US Jobs Numbers Fuel Presidential Campaign Rhetoric

    A supporter uses her personalized mobile phone to take a picture of U.S. President Barack Obama as he speaks at a campaign event at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida, September 9, 2012.
    A supporter uses her personalized mobile phone to take a picture of U.S. President Barack Obama as he speaks at a campaign event at the Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, Florida, September 9, 2012.
    Michael Bowman
    Economic concerns are dominating the U.S. presidential contest, days after a monthly labor report showed weak job creation and hundreds of thousands of Americans leaving the workforce.

    Friday’s disappointing jobs numbers are playing into a central argument put forth by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

    “We are not creating as many jobs to keep up with our population growth," said Romney. "This is not the kind of news the American people were hoping for and deserve. But I am here to tell you that things are about to get a lot better.”

    Romney told supporters in Virginia he will revive America’s slow-growth economy if he is elected president in November.

    Meanwhile, President Barack Obama acknowledged U.S. economic woes while campaigning in Florida.

    “Nobody is satisfied with the status quo," said Obama. "There are too many folks out there who still need a job. And the question is not whether we need to make more progress. The question is how do we do it.”

    In an election expected to turn on economic sentiment, the candidates are offering sharply different plans to boost growth and create jobs.  The president wants to allow taxes to rise on top earners while boosting infrastructure and education spending.  Former Obama economic adviser Austan Goolsbee spoke on the U.S. television program Fox News Sunday.

    “I do not believe that having the [income tax] rates go back to what they were in the 90s will have any negative impact that is significant on the economy," he saud. "And you can use the money for things that are important, like cutting taxes for businesses that hire people.”

    By contrast, Mitt Romney wants to further cut federal income taxes across the board while boosting military spending. Romney economic adviser Glenn Hubbard also appeared on Fox.

    “We have very anemic growth in the U.S. economy," said Hubbard. "We could do better with much better policy. Romney is proposing tax reform, regulatory reform, a wise budget strategy, and trade.  The president has proposed tax increases.”

    On the campaign trail, President Obama summed up the Republican approach this way:

    “Tax cuts, tax cuts, roll back some regulations, and then let us have some more tax cuts," he said. "Tax cuts when times are good. Tax cuts when times are bad. Tax cuts to lose an extra few pounds. Tax cuts to improve your love life.”

    Mitt Romney is keeping the focus on President Obama’s economic record and a stubbornly-high unemployment rate.

    “We remember that the president promised that if we let him borrow almost a trillion dollars [for economic stimulus spending], he would never let it reach eight percent," said Romney. "It has been above eight percent ever since. He does not have a plan.  And we have got to make sure he does not have any more days in the White House after January.”

    Public-opinion polls consistently show the economy as voters’ top concern. Polls show most Americans do not believe President Obama created current U.S. economic woes, but that not enough has been done to correct them during his administration.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora