Friday, November 07, 2008

Hillary on the Unemployment Numbers

Statement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on October Jobs Report

(My emphasis)

Under the Bush Administration, the American economy has lost jobs for 10 straight months. Today's report contains the worst unemployment rate in 14 years with our economy now having lost more than 1.2 million jobs in this last year alone. The Bush Administration has the worst job creation record of any administration since the Great Depression.

Businesses large and small are struggling to secure financing to survive. Families cannot find affordable mortgages and consumer loans. The housing crisis has wiped out hundreds of billions of dollars in home equity and grows deeper every day. This final chapter of the Bush Administration's ill-conceived economic policies cannot end soon enough.

We are in a recession and we must act decisively and wisely to change course, hasten a recovery, and reform the broken economic policies that will be the sad and disastrous legacy of the Bush Administration. Under a Democratic Congress and Administration, we will have the ability to do precisely that. In the coming weeks, as we consider a stimulus package, I believe we should pursue several goals that will help restore stability to our markets and financial system.

One, we must prevent another wave of looming foreclosures that will drive down home values and the broader financial markets. Twenty percent of Americans now hold mortgages that exceed the value of their homes. We must prevent as many unnecessary foreclosures as possible by rewriting mortgages for families committed to making monthly payments and acting responsibly. I have proposed, and will introduce, the Home Owners' Mortgage Enterprise, or HOME Act, to buy and rewrite mortgages at risk of failure. This is based on the successful Home Owner's Loan Corporation created during the Great Depression by President Roosevelt, which not only saved more than one million homes but also turned a profit while staving off foreclosures and preventing wider home values from falling further. We also should consider jump starting the housing market with a temporary tax credit to address record levels of low demand.

Two, a stimulus package should help displaced workers and struggling middle class and hardworking families. Extending unemployment insurance benefits for the hundreds of thousands of workers who will soon exhaust their benefits is necessary to ease the burden on those families who continue to seek work. Aid for struggling families facing higher home heating bills this winter must also be an urgent priority.

Three, we should also help our distressed states and cities. Our states, many of which face record budget shortfalls, need fiscal aid in order to fill their budget holes without having to sacrifice their critical health, social, and public safety services.

And four, we should consider steps to create jobs in the near term by targeting a stimulus that will not only boost the economy now but pay dividends in the future. For example, providing resources for states to begin construction on "fast-tracked" infrastructure projects will help create hundreds of thousands of new jobs while fixing our crumbling roads and deteriorating bridges, creating room for the economy to grow.

The challenges we face are daunting, and today's jobs report clearly shows that the road to recovery will be difficult. But it is imperative that we take these urgent steps that will kick start our economy and hasten our recovery.

All good, solid Democratic efforts. My biggest point of disagreement with Hillary is that house prices need to drop further because they have been grossly over priced in the bubble areas. Thus, we need to let prices drift down further until they are in line with household incomes and sensible borrowing.

I love her line: "We are in a recession and we must act decisively and wisely to change course, hasten a recovery, and reform the broken economic policies that will be the sad and disastrous legacy of the Bush Administration." More of this, please. More nicely, sweetly partisan knife twisting to ensure that Bush is never spoken of without BartCop's tag line - Worst President Ever.

On a practical note, and (giving credit where credit is due) something I have heard The Precious say he wants done, is to extend unemployment insurance benefits. OK, Congress Critters, do it. Do something that is chump change compared to the Hanky Panky but will immediately and materially improve ordinary lives starting now.

The push for infrastructure projects is also good because those are highly localized operations that will benefit working class families directly. It's a threefer - stimulate local economies, target the segment of the workforce that is being devastated by the loss of manufacturing and construction, and create infrastructure that is an investment for long-term growth through better roads, ports, bridges, power and water systems, and so forth.

See? Being a good liberal means doing what is right at every scale and takes a lot less effort than plotting how to screw people while enriching your cronies back home.



Dhyana said...

My degree is business, not economics, but this I know: we need to keep those who are currently working keep their jobs. Pelosi, Reid and Bush need to do this now, not next year. Here is what I think will work:
1. Help the middle class with a significant income tax reduction, even if it's for only 2 years.
2. Limit the credit card interest rate to 12 percent for the next 2 years.
The impact will be a pay increase for those who need it most, money to pay debts and stimulate the economy.
The middle class has been burdened with decreasing wages during the Bush administration, forcing consumers to borrow to make up the deficit.
We need to stop the hemorrhage of job losses that can lead to a snowball effect of job losses that decreases consumption that leads to more job losses as it happened during the Great Depression.

Koshem Bos said...

Letting house prices drop even further will work only if we allow current mortgages to be dropped to the lower housing values.

Ray said...

despite all the stats, I still see thousands of high paying jobs posted on job sites. (professional networking) (aggregated listings) (matches jobs based on your skills)

Good look to those looking for work!

wlotus said...

You mean to tell me the idea for extending unemployment benefits which that one spoke of in his speech the other day came from Senator Clinton? Why am I not the least bit surprised?

Anglachel said...


I don't think the idea of extending unemployment benefits belongs to any one Democrat, but has been a standard recommendation for months. It was a topic in several convention speeches.

What is clearly one of Hillary's objectives is raising wages. She has been on this topic for years. I have a post from June 2006 documenting that she introduced legislation in April of 2006 to tie Congressional pay increases to increases in the Federal minimum wage. So, HRC has consistently been ahead of the Congressional leadership on this topic.