It’s still about the economy, stupid

As I note in the entry below, Mitt Romney is blatantly lying when he claims President Obama has made the economy worse. The economy is in far better shape than it was when Obama took office. As true as that is, it is also true that the recovery has been sporadic and uneven, especially when it comes to jobs.

Well, the jobs numbers for June are out, and the news is not good: Only 18,000 jobs were created. As Steve Benen notes, that’s a dismal number that falls far short of what’s needed just to keep up with population growth, much less replace jobs lost to the recession. The private sector actually created 57,000 jobs, but those were almost completely offset by layoffs in state and local governments.

So, with the economy on the brink, what is Washington consumed with? A debt-reduction deal that will intentionally hurt the economy and destroy jobs in the short-run. This is being driven by Republicans willing to allow the United States to go into default on its obligations if they don’t get their way.

The debt, they say, is an existential crisis that must be dealt with – but only with spending cuts, not with any tax increases, even though taxes are at all-time lows.

Never mind that the two main drivers of the current deficit are revenue shortfalls caused by the sputtering economy and the Bush tax cuts that Republicans insist be kept in place even though they have demonstrably failed at ensuring prosperity.

We should be working on short-term stimulus efforts and long-term debt-reduction goals. The current course is pure insanity.

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