“Ignore your teeth and they’ll go away.” That was the title of a popular ca. 1980s book on gum disease prevention. It is hard to say whether the president has a similarly whimsical sign in the Oval Office reading, “Ignore your Jobs Council and it will go away,” but there’s no question that he has followed that dubious course of action. And the situation is about to get worse.
After convening the council just four times in the two years since its creation, the White House announced today that the panel, comprised of business and labor leaders, will be dissolved effective immediately.
The Associated Press notes:
When Obama in January 2011 formed his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, unemployment was hovering above 9 percent. Two years later, more than 12 million people in the U.S. are out of work. The unemployment rate has fallen to 7.8 percent, but both parties agree that’s still too high.
Add to those sobering statistics the fact reported Wednesday that the gross domestic product declined in the fourth quarter of 2012, shrinking by annual rate of 0.1 percent, and you might conclude the president needs all the help he can get in managing the economy If the GDP is in negative territory at the end of the first quarter of 2013, the nation will officially be in the second dip of a double-dip recession.
FOX News quotes Brendan Buck, a spokesman for the now-defunct Jobs Council, as saying:
To understand the abysmal nature of our economic recovery, look no further than the president’s disinterest in learning lessons from actual job creators. Whether ignoring the group or rejecting its recommendations, the president treated his Jobs Council as more of a nuisance than a vehicle to spur job creation.
The administration argues that that the president took “action” on 33 of the council’s 35 recommendations in the first year and implemented 16 of them. “Some of the implemented recommendations include proposing new tax rules that encourage businesses to invest and create jobs in the United States instead of overseas, expediting job-creating infrastructure projects across the country, eliminating inefficient and burdensome federal regulations, and streamlining government,” the White House website reads.
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