There are a few problems with Mr. Romney's brief ad that was released today, the biggest being the question of a causal relationship between President Obama's policies and unemployment. One site that tracks the unemployment figures is Reflections of a Rational Republican, which has the following graphs.
|Change in Total Private Employment (in thousands), Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics|
|Unemployment Rate, Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics|
Now, it is fair to say that the economy and employment are mostly out of the hands of lawmakers. What Republicans in Congress have managed to do is push government employment lower which does affect overall unemployment. President Obama's plans, those that have not been blocked by Congressional Republicans, has had the affect of turning unemployment around, albeit slowly.
But, what about the new college graduates? Mr. Romney is correct that the unemployment rates are unacceptable. On his campaign website, he speaks of retraining unemployed workers and of attracting the best and brightest immigrants. He speaks of limiting unions, perhaps not as much as Governor Walker in Wisconsin. I cannot find where he addresses anything that will make a difference for new college graduates.
President Obama has been working on opportunities for new college graduates for quite a while. In December of 2010, he signed an executive order focusing on federal internships and hiring. He has been a champion for more affordable college, not just in the last few weeks. The White House has a page of links to the current job initiatives. Perhaps it is time to give President Obama a chance without the constant obstruction of a Congress that has, in Mitch McConnell's words, the top political priority of denying President Obama a second term.
4 February 2012, Original Pedantic Political Ponderings post.