OK. The Prez headed to Martha’s Vineyard yesterday to start his nine-day vacation. I don’t have a problem with that. He merits some time off from work just like anyone else. But that’s the rub. Millions of Americans aren’t working and might not find a job anytime soon. And the Prez says he has a plan to spur job creation — but we will have to wait until after Labor Day to learn the details.
So I guess we might as well all chill along with the Prez and members of Congress and the other miscreants who flee DC for all or most of August.
To quote the great American philosopher Zac Brown:
I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand
Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand
Life is good today, life is good today
Clearly, the angst over a president’s vacation — or not — or about rounding up members of Congress and making them return to DC — or not — is all about perception. And the perception among many in this country as expressed in recent public polls is that neither the administration nor Congress are doing much, if anything, to address the big issues of jobs and economic growth.
And the perception is that things are getting worse, with no solutions, certainly no easy solutions, in sight. Here’s from WaPo, “Stock markets are walloped by another sell-off as fears of recession build“:
“I think the risk now is that we fall into another recession,” said Patrick Newport, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Mass. “I think the risks have just changed very dramatically in the last couple of months. People are spooked.”
Data from the National Association of Realtors, a trade group, painted a disappointing picture of the housing market, with sales of existing homes falling 3.5 percent in July to 4.67 million, the lowest rate in eight months. Economists had been expecting sales closer to 5 million.
“Just as mortgage rates are dropping, people are not applying to buy homes,” Newport said.
Jobless claims rise
The latest figures on unemployment, considered another key piece in any recovery, also proved disconcerting. The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly unemployment benefits again rose above the 400,000 level last week, a benchmark figure that many economists take as a sign of a declining economic trajectory.
“Right now, it’s all about jobs in the U.S.,” said Kurt Rankin, an economist at PNC Financial Services Group. “Nothing is going to happen in the U.S. until some jobs are created.”
Guess we’ll have to wait until after Labor Day.
So let’s encourage the Prez to have a relaxing and enjoyable vacation — while we keep our fingers and toes crossed that he really does have a plan.
And an update. I still have not received my invitation to the Kim Kardashian wedding this weekend. Maybe she thinks I’m on vacation and wouldn’t be able to attend.