Blame Congress, Not Obama, for Slow Economic Growth

Compared to the public sector, the private sector is "doing fine."

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The president, or perhaps more specifically, White House spokesperson Jay Carney, was bombarded with tough and very aggressive questions by reporters this week. Questions ranged from allegations made by Sen. John McCain to the Department of Justice and the ongoing investigation into the "Fast and Furious" operation that led to one border patrolman's death. Of course the question arose again about the president's remark that "the private sector is doing fine." That question led Jay Carney to talk about how the press and those on the right often take the president's words out of context.

Surely President Obama knows that the economy is in tough shape. He has stated such repeatedly: how we're economically on the road to recovery, but it's not happening fast enough—not for him, not for us.

What confuses me amidst all of these attacks by the right is that you would think the right would be happy with the growth in the private sector. After all, it's the right that has blamed this entire economic situation on unions and union employees such as teachers, firefighters, and police officers. Over 800,000 jobs were created in the private sector alone. The public sector? Those jobs are disappearing , not growing. 

[See a collection of political cartoons on the economy.]

What also confuses me is how something which should be considered to be agreed upon by both sides of the aisle in Congress—job growth—has become such a bone of contention in our nation's capitol.

The president proposes legislation, Congress won't work together to pass it, no more jobs are created...and that is President Obama's fault? Hmmm.  And let's not forget the Bush tax cuts which are still in play, some for over a decade. Those on the right keep telling me that those tax cuts work to stimulate the economy and without those tax cuts, small and large business owners alike cannot hire more people. So where are the jobs? Where's the money to stimulate our economy?

[Check out our editorial cartoons on President Obama.]

I find it odd that the right attacked the president for a statement that not only was taken out of context, but within the context in which he used it, is actually accurate. The private sector is fine compared to the public sector. I know there are polls out there which would make you think a teacher is raking in millions, but when information is given to show public sector employees are making more than the private sector, are they including the salaries of Congress? They are federal employees. Or how about the top CEOs at the top corporations on Wall Street—earning seven-figure salaries—who have yachts and multiple homes?

The bottom line is the American people aren't stupid. The economy's not fine; but the private sector is headed in the right direction and has been. The public sector has been attacked. Congress has the power to change all of this so that we'll all "be fine," but they refuse for the sake of politics. So maybe instead of attacking the president for his remark on the private sector, maybe we should be attacking the CEOs in the private sector who aren't hiring, or the members of Congress in the public sector who refuse to work together for the best interest of America. It's in our best interest to create jobs.

  • No, President Obama, the Economy Is Not Doing 'Fine'
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