Tag Archives: mid-term elections

Labor Day Oregon: Obama’s “recovery summer” theatre ends with more spending for planned road projects

Okay. So now, American’s can grumble in their car about the road construction back-up on the way to the unemployment office instead of work….

Unemployment in Josephine County, Oregon, rose slightly last month, according to a Aug. 24 press release from the Oregon Employment Dept. (OED).

The county’s seasonally adjusted rate went from 13.8 percent in June to 14.3 percent in July, OED said. It was at 14.6 percent in July 2009.

And now this: 

WASHINGTON (AP) – Vowing to find new ways to stimulate the sputtering economy, President Barack Obama will call for long-term investments in the nation’s roads, railways and runways that would cost at least $50 billion.

The infrastructure investments are one part of a package of targeted proposals the White House is expected to announce in hopes of jump-starting the economy ahead of the November election. Obama will outline the infrastructure proposal Monday at a Labor Day event in Milwaukee.

While the proposal calls for investments over six years, the White House said spending would be front-loaded with an initial $50 billion to help create jobs in the near future.

The goals of the infrastructure plan include: rebuilding 150,000 miles of roads; constructing and maintaining 4,000 miles of railways, enough to go coast-to-coast; and rehabilitating or reconstructing 150 miles of airport runways, while also installing a new air navigation system designed to reduce travel times and delays.

Obama will also call for the creation of a permanent infrastructure bank that would focus on funding national and regional infrastructure projects.

Administration officials wouldn’t say what the total cost of the infrastructure investments would be, but did say the initial $50 billion represents a significant percentage. Officials said the White House would consider closing a number of special tax breaks for oil and gas companies to pay for the proposal.

Obama made infrastructure investments a central part of the $814 billion stimulus Congress passed last year, but with that spending winding down, the economy’s growth has slowed. Officials said this infrastructure package differs from the stimulus because it’s aimed at long-term growth, while still focusing on creating jobs in the short-term.

In a Labor Day interview on CBS'”Early Show,” Labor Secretary Hilda Solis said the plan Obama was to unveil Monday would “put construction workers, welders, electricians back to work … folks that have been unemployed for a long time.”

With the unemployment rate ticking up to 9.6 percent, and polls showing the midterm elections could be dismal for Democrats, the president has promised to unveil a series of new measures on the economy.

Their is a new meaning to the phrase “Recovery Summer”. The hope that as summer winds down American’s will recover their senses at election time… 

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Telegraph UK: Barack Obama seems unable to face up to America’s problems

 The end of the road for Barack Obama?

 By Simon Heffer

It is a universal political truth that administrations do not begin to fragment when things are going well: it only happens when they go badly, and those who think they know better begin to attack those who manifestly do not. The descent of Barack Obama’s regime, characterised now by factionalism in the Democratic Party and talk of his being set to emulate Jimmy Carter as a one-term president, has been swift and precipitate. It was just 16 months ago that weeping men and women celebrated his victory over John McCain in the American presidential election. If they weep now, a year and six weeks into his rule, it is for different reasons.

Despite the efforts of some sections of opinion to talk the place up, America is mired in unhappiness, all the worse for the height from which Obamania has fallen. The economy remains troublesome. There is growth – a good last quarter suggested an annual rate of as high as six per cent, but that figure is probably not reliable – and the latest unemployment figures, last Friday, showed a levelling off. Yet 15 million Americans, or 9.7 per cent of the workforce, have no job. Many millions more are reduced to working part-time. Whole areas of the country, notably in the north and on the eastern seaboard, are industrial wastelands. The once mighty motor city of Detroit appears slowly to be being abandoned, becoming a Jurassic Park of the mid-20th century; unemployment among black people in Mr Obama’s own city of Chicago is estimated at between 20 and 25 per cent. One senior black politician – a Democrat and a supporter of the President – told me of the wrath in his community that a black president appeared to be unable to solve the economic problem among his own people. Cities in the east such as Newark and Baltimore now have drug-dealing as their principal commercial activity: The Wire is only just fictional.

Last Thursday the House of Representatives passed a jobs Bill, costing $15 billion, which would give tax breaks to firms hiring new staff and, through state sponsorship of construction projects, create thousands of jobs too. The Senate is trying to approve a Bill that would provide a further $150 billion of tax incentives to employers. Yet there is a sense of desperation in the Administration, a sense that nothing can be as efficacious at the moment as a sticking plaster. Edward B Montgomery, deputy labour secretary in the Clinton administration, now spends his time on day trips to decaying towns that used to have a car industry, not so much advising them on how to do something else as facilitating those communities’ access to federal funds. For a land without a welfare state, America starts to do an effective impersonation of a country with one. This massive state spending gives rise to accusations by Republicans, and people too angry even to be Republicans, that America is now controlled by “Leftists” and being turned into a socialist state.

Read the rest of the story at: The end of the road for Barack Obama? – Telegraph