February 11, 2013

IT’S LIKE GROUNDHOG DAY: Byron York: After ignoring unemployment, Obama seeks to convince Americans it’s his top priority. He keeps saying he’ll pivot to jobs, but he never does.

he unemployment rate is 7.9 percent — one tenth of a point higher than it was when Obama took office in January 2009. But the true toll of joblessness is far higher. The Labor Department’s so-called U-6 rate, which includes people who want a job but have become so discouraged they have quit looking, is 14.4 percent. And a new study, by Rutgers University scholars, shows that 23 percent of those surveyed have lost a job sometime in the last four years, while another 11 percent have seen someone in their household lose a job. That is one-third of the American people who have experienced unemployment during Obama’s time in office, along with many more who have experienced other hardships of the economic downturn. . . .

Obama’s slighting of the economy is nothing new. Critics charged throughout his first term that at a time when economic conditions bordered on the desperate, the president devoted more than a year of his energies to passing a national health care scheme. At the time, the White House promised it would “pivot” to the issue of jobs and the economy at some future time. That time never came. Meanwhile, all the polls showed deep public concern over the economy.

Now, apparently, Obama has noticed public opinion.

Meh. He’d rather “fundamentally transform” America. You’re just collateral damage.