Unemployment sits at 10.2 percent, a 26-year high. New jobless claims dipped slightly last week, but most employers still aren't in any rush to hire.
Many economists expect the unemployment rate "to remain high for several years," noted The AP.
So President Obama, anxious to calm fears of a "jobless recovery," leapt into action on Thursday. Just before taking off on a trip to Asia, the president announced he'll hold a December jobs forum, calling together experts from the private and public sectors to drum up ways to get the job market expanding once again. "We are open to any demonstrably good idea to supplement the steps we've already taken to put America back to work," Mr. Obama said.
On the same day the president was announcing his jobs summit, his budget director was talking health care.
"White House Budget Director Peter Orszag said he expects legislation to overhaul the U.S. health care system to be completed this year," Bloomberg News reported, "possibly with a new tax on capital gains to help fund it."
Did you get that?
The president can't figure out why the private sector isn't hiring. Meanwhile, he champions a hugely expensive cap-and-trade scheme that will jack up the energy costs of businesses and individuals alike, sits on a $1.5 trillion deficit that doesn't even include the liabilities inherent in the soon-to-be-bankrupt Social Security and Medicare programs, and pushes a massive government expansion into the health care sector that might require "a new tax on capital gains."
All the while, the White House leads cheers for an expansion of the regulatory state. The expiration of the Bush tax cuts -- which will result in one of the largest tax hikes in U.S. history -- looms on the horizon.
Yet this administration expresses puzzlement that job creators in the private sector aren't rushing to expand their operations?
We may be even worse off than anyone thought.