The administration’s appeal for a further extension of unemployment benefits may succeed in putting Congressional Republicans in a tight spot if they resist. In that sense, it may be a shrewd political move, yet embedded in it is an extraordinary acknowledgment of failure by the president and his party.
We’re now four and a half years into an economic recovery that Democrats keep telling us is getting better all the time, yet, the job market remains so weak, the jobless rate so high that the president considers it an emergency. Indeed, that is the official name of these extended benefits, emergency unemployment compensation. Normally, unemployment payments run out after 26 weeks, but that was extended five years ago to 99 weeks and has been repeatedly extended since.
Now though, it’s running out for an estimated 1.3 million people. No one is arguing that these benefits should go on forever, and the White House notes it is only asking for another three more months at a cost of about $6 billion. So, will that be the end of it? Will the emergency at last be over? All Obama advisor, Gene Sperling, would say today is that three months would provide time to discuss what to do for the rest of the year.
Upon taking office, the president and the party set two big goals. One was to revive the economy, the other to reform health care. The Obamacare mess tells us where we are on one, the call for further unemployment payments tells us where we are on the other.
And of course the Real Problem is, the Obots are still blaming George W. Bush. Because it’s incomprehensible to them that their Unicorn Healer of a president could possibly have failed. But it occurs to me that if Obama is indeed such a God-King, how could a blundering bozo who hasn’t been in office for more than 5 years still be flummoxing his omnipotence?