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Denis McDonough, an “assistant to the President and national security advisor,” received only a measly 17 percent raise–from $147,599 to $172,200. Maybe because of those pesky national security failures. Ignored, for example, was the defense fiasco when long-range interceptor missile fired by our military failed to hit its target in a test over the Pacific in December. We don’t have secure defenses either from missile attacks or from border crossings by terrorists. Travelers are patted and pawed at airports, while stun guns are found on our planes.
Pay raises Obama handed out must look almost like White house staffers are winning the lottery compared to the evaporated income of the 14.1 million unemployed in today’s workless workforce. Some of the 982,000 “discouraged” workers likely would find it hard to drum up a memory of when they even got a 3 or 4 percent pay raise.
Mortimer Zuckerman in U.S. News & World Report writes that “we have experienced the loss of over 7 million jobs, in the face of the “most stimulative fiscal and monetary policies in our history.” There have been “no net increases in full-time jobs, only part-time jobs,” he writes, despite Obama’s bragging about jobs created or saved.
The “real job losses” are greater than the 7.5 million. They are closer to 10.5 million, so many have quit looking for work. The unemployment numbers don’t include those who have stopped looking or who are working part time but would work full time if a job were available. And they include those who have applied for a job in the past four weeks. Include those others “and the real number is a nasty 16 percent.” The states own the federal unemployment insurance fund “an astonishing $90 billion to cover unemployment benefits,” Zuckerman points out.
For young people, who deliriously fell at Obama’s feet during his 2008 campaign, the jobless economy has been severe. Only 24 percent of teens, one in four, have jobs, according to a Wall Street Journal article July 1. That contrasts with 42 percent in the summer of 2001.
Congress contributed to this when it passed the ill-timed Nancy Pelosi-backed bill to raise the minimum wage to $7.25 an hour, taking untrained and unskilled off the job market.
Worse, unemployment among young people has led to an increase in mental health problems, including depression, panic attacks and self-loathing, said an article last year, updated July 13. The Prince’s Trust new youth index said unemployment has caused problems such as self harm and insomnia. One in six young people were said to have found unemployment “as stressful as family breakdown.” The study was among 16 to 25-year-olds not in education, employment or training. Half the unemployed young said they felt “ashamed to visit a job center.”
If young people were so upset, think how an older person with no job and a family to support must be affected. And how pleasing it must be for them to know that at least the president has been spreading the “wealth” among his talented staffers.
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