News / Economy

    Political Differences Cloud Obama Job Proposals

    President Barack Obama's speech on the U.S. economy is just the latest in a long history of government proposals to stimulate economies and put people back to work. But with the U.S. economy expanding much slower than expected, and a political climate focused on spending cuts, some analysts doubt the government can improve the nation's economic landscape. Mil Arcega reports.

    With nearly 14 million Americans out of work, some question whether President Barack Obama's jobs proposals can have a significant impact on hiring.

    The president said earlier this month in Detroit that the outcome depends on Congress.

    "There is work to be done and there are workers ready to do it.  Labor's on board, business is on board, we just need Congress to get on board.  Let's put America back to work!," he said.

    But Republican leaders voiced objections even before the president's speech.

    Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell.

    "There's a much simpler reason to oppose the president's economic policies that has nothing whatsoever to do with politics -- they don't work," McConnell said.

    Some analysts see politics as the problem.   Vincent Reinhart is an economist at the American Enterprise Institute.

    "The reason we're so inefficient right now is the political system drove us here; voters are incoherent in terms of what they want from the government for themselves and what they want for everybody else.  And until we come to, figure out some way to rationalize all that, we're not going back to the high growth rates," Reinhart said.    

    Others say the nation's obsession with deficit reduction makes matters worse.  Labor economist Gary Burtless says growing the economy will require more spending, not less.

    "I do think that the deficit and the rising debt of the United States represents a problem -- it's a long term problem and the solutions they have adopted, I think, are going to make that long term problem worse, because without the economy growing robustly, we won't have a manageable debt problem," Burtless said.

    Many analysts say debt reduction will likely take precedence over jobs in the coming months.  A bipartisan committee is now searching for ways to lower the federal deficit by more than a trillion dollars over the next 10 years.  

    With a November deadline fast approaching, Douglas Holtz-Eakin at the American Action Forum says the exercise will test America's political will. "The pressure will be on this committee not so much from a substantive point of view, but from a political point of view to prove that Washington still has some value to this country and that the legislative process still works to some extent.  That, I think, is what makes this difficult," Holtz-Eakin said.

    Even if the president gets everything he wants, some estimates suggest unemployment could remain above 8 percent until after 2014. Gary Burtless says the rate might be higher next year.

    "I'd love to be wrong, but I don't think I will be, and I think it's more likely to be higher a year from today than it is to be lower a year from today," Burtless said.

    Analysts say continuing high unemployment could hurt the president's election chances in 2012.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8977
    JPY
    USD
    111.18
    GBP
    USD
    0.6834
    CAD
    USD
    1.3038
    INR
    USD
    67.139

    Rates may not be current.