President Barack Obama urged Congress on Monday to adopt his proposals to boost the economy, as the Department of Labor announced that the number of U.S. jobs created in May fell well short of expectations.
Mr. Obama chose not to dwell on the disappointing numbers when he addressed the crowd which had gathered at the Honeywell headquarters in Golden Valley, Minn. However, he acknowledged that the U.S. economy was still showing signs of weakness and “facing some serious headwinds”.
“The economy is growing again, but not as fast as we want it to grow,” he said.
Mr. Obama also claimed that the prices of oil and gasoline were exerting a negative effect on growth. In addition, he pointed out that the financial crisis currently affecting many countries in the eurozone was causing ripples on a global scale.
In the face of these external factors, Mr. Obama urged lawmakers once again to back his growth and job creation proposals.
These include the elimination of tax breaks for companies which relocate part of their workforce overseas, the introduction of tax breaks for firms which increase their staffing levels at home, changes to the mortgage refinancing process in order to make it easier and cheaper for home owners to renew their mortgage loans, the creation of a “Veterans Jobs Corps” to facilitate the hiring of veterans who have left the military and are now in search of a job, as well as the extension of the clean energy tax credits, which are due to expire at the end of the year.
“We have a lot of work to do to get where we need to be,” Mr. Obama emphasized. “All these factors make it all the more challenging, not just to recover,
but to lay the foundation for an economy built to last over the long term. But that’s
our job,” he added.
The president also strongly criticized the Republicans for preventing Congress from passing legislation which would bring a certain degree of relief to average Americans, accusing them of having recourse to pre-election gimmicks. Republican legislators have consistently complained that Mr. Obama‘s proposals failed to tackle excessive federal spending as well as the ballooning federal debt.
“It’s not lost on anybody that it’s an election year. I understand that. I’ve noticed. But we’ve got responsibilities that are bigger than an election. My message to Congress now is that it’s not time to play politics, not time to sit on your hands. Americans expect their leaders to work hard no matter what year it is,” Mr. Obama stated.
Although the U.S. economy has not come to a complete standstill, the fact that only 69,000 jobs were created last month does not bode well for Mr. Obama‘s chances of serving a second term. However, the president is likely to receive a helping hand in the next few weeks.
Indeed, the price of gold jumped in early morning trading following the announcement that the payroll numbers had failed to meet expectations. This can only mean one thing: the Federal Reserve will announce in three weeks’ time that it will start a new round of quantitative easing, or money printing, in order to try and “create jobs” once again. It did not work last time round. Will it work this time?