Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Roundup: Jobless Rate as Political Issue

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Roundup: Jobless Rate as Political Issue

Article excerpt

Barack Obama has a steep hurdle to leap if he intends to win a second term.

All politics, the saying goes, is local. Or to make a finer point, it's personal.

So to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, are you better off now than you were in 2008?

No president has been re-elected since World War II with national unemployment above 7.2 percent, reported The Wall Street Journal.

The Congressional Budget Office projects a rate of 8.2 percent in 2012, the Conference Board, a business group, estimates it will be 8.5 percent.

In fact on Election Day 1960, 1976, 1980, 1984 and 1992, unemployment was higher than 6 percent.

In four of those five cases, voters evicted the party in the White House, reported The Washington Times.

Only in 1984, when November unemployment was at 7.2 percent, under Ronald Reagan, did the voters leave the incumbent in office. And the jobless rate was dramatically improving from about 9.5 percent in 1983.

Obama can realistically argue that his stimulus prevented a Great Depression.

But really, who locally can say that the federal government's stimulus helped them?

Perhaps public school teachers, whose pay was supplemented a bit from the stimulus.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the average unemployed person has been out of work for about 40 weeks, the U.S. Labor Department reported.

This is the longest since 1948.

And for the people who largely supported Obama in 2008, the young and minorities, the unemployment rate is terrible.

For people under 25, only 45 percent are currently employed.

For boomers, retirement is being delayed as savings once contained in home equity have been lost.

Several key states are weighed down by large numbers of jobless, led by Florida, also including Nevada, North Carolina and Michigan.

Obama can make a case in Michigan that he saved the auto industry. Elsewhere, he has a less convincing case.

Simple answers don't seem to work.

Slashing government is needed, but two-thirds of federal government spending is going to sacred cows: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, defense and interest on the debt.

We want our cake and eat it, too.

People have difficulty relating to the big issues.

But a job and a family's home. Those are issues that drive people to the polls and determine elections.


Cristian Fernandez was a quiet boy, say those who know him,

So how could this 12-year-old turn into a killer of his 2-year-old half-brother?

That's the question vexing many as the youth faces charges as an adult that could send him to prison for life without parole.

Some clues were revealed in a Sunday story by Times-Union reporter Jeff Brumley.

Trouble was all around Cristian. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.