The Great Recession supposedly ended in 2009. Yet recovery has been slow, much slower than President Obama hoped, especially after his $787 billion stimulus package. In July, the sluggish economy created only 117,000 jobs, shrinking unemployment only by .1 percent. And the president may have gotten even worse news. Friday, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs report for August and unemployment remained stuck at 9.1 percent. The trend has many people worried that the country may be on the brink of another recession. [See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]
Wednesday, Danielle Kurtzleben encouraged "Don't Fear the Double-Dip Recession," pointing out that small business was growing, spending was increasing and labor was steady. But the stock market has already started sinking in response to Friday's crummy labor report. Obama plans to make a speech in front of Congress Thursday to announce his jobs agenda (he originally sought to speak Wednesday but was denied an invitation by Speaker of the House John Boehner). Even if Obama can meet the high expectations for his job plan, the recent debt limit debate suggests he probably will face obstacles in Congress. Kurtzleben reports that many of the jobs lost in August were in the public sector. Judging by the struggle over the current U.S. deficit, the Republican Congress will probably not agree to any more government spending that would add public sector jobs and instead seek Reagan-style tax cuts and deregulation to encourage growth. No matter what Obama announces on Thursday, another heated Washington standoff is almost a given, meaning America might just need to learn to live in a stagnant economy, or perhaps, something worse.
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