John on November 6, 2009 at 8:21 am
Democrats â€“ headed into an historic health care vote this weekend â€” got smacked in the face with a 10.2 percent unemployment rate in October, the government reported Friday.
The jobless rate is well above the 9.9 percent that economists expected and breaks the psychological barrier of 10 percent, topping double digits for the first time in 26 years. It’s the last headline the Obama administration wanted to see going into the House healthcare vote, and White House officials were already heading to the airwaves Friday morning to talk up the economy.
In all, employers shed 190,000 non-farm jobs last month.
The tough numbers arm House Republicans with fresh political ammo against the trillion-dollar House health care bill, which could come to a vote as early as Saturday. The GOP has been relentlessly pushing the narrative that Democrats are obsessed with creating ever-bigger government at the expense of the economy, and Democratic response to the bad employment news was thin on Friday morning while Republicans pounced.
Obama aides nevertheless were dismayed by the worse-than-expected figure. The White House activated a plan calling for the president’s economic advisers to hit the cable channels at 9:30 a.m. A written presidential statement is also planned.
Begin the spin! Funemployment for all! How about this tried and true response: “I meant to do that.”
Paul Krugman has a bad feeling about this and is wishing Obama had listened to his plea to spend a lot more money, more quickly.
Category: Energy & Economy |