William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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BARACK, REVISE YOUR SPEECH – AT 8:48 A.M. ET:  The president speaks to the nation next week about jobs and the economy, undoubtedly reflecting the wisdom on these subjects that he absorbed at Marth's Vineyard.   Meanwhile, back at the ranch, things aren't cooking so well.  From Bloomberg:

Employment in the U.S. unexpectedly stagnated in August and the jobless rate held at 9.1 percent as American employers became less confident in the strength of the recovery.

Payrolls were unchanged last month, the weakest reading since September 2010, after an 85,000 gain in July that was less than initially estimated, Labor Department data showed today in Washington. The median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey called for a rise of 65,000. Hourly earnings and hours worked both declined. The August data included a 48,000 drop in information industry jobs, mostly reflecting striking Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) workers.

The first U.S. credit downgrade, political squabbling over the budget and mounting fear of a default in Europe caused the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to plummet 17 percent from July 22 to Aug. 8, prompting companies and consumers to cut back. The lack of hiring is one reason Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke last week said the central bank still has tools available to stimulate growth.

COMMENT:  We don't have a parliamentary system in America.  If we did, Obama would surely lose a "no confidence" vote in the House, and would come close in the Senate.  Does anyone have confidence that this administration can turn it around? 

What employers and others see is a lack of urgency, underlined by the president's delay in giving his much-advertised speech until getting in the full value of a Vineyard vacation.  They don't see an engaged or experienced president.

And yet, this man may well be reelected.  If he is, he will be able to do what he wants for four years, since he'd have no political reason to show restraint.  (He'd be ineligible to run again.)   Does that send a chill up your spine?  It should.

September 2, 2011