The president offered no quick fix to a nation’s economy which continues limping along in seemingly slow motion, with last week’s unemployment numbers
compounding what many see as a major challenge to Obama’s re-election aspirations.
Obama told his audience on Saturday
its up to the private sector to create jobs for the country, but offered little in the way of substance. Noting education is essential to success for a middle-class lifestyle, he issued a challenge for school districts and states to improve teaching which would lead to a national goal of having “the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.”
Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research believes Washington must come up with a new game plan, but until then, tough times are ahead. “At some point, the pain of high unemployment may lead to some new thinking in Washington – but until that time, welcome to the second Great Depression,” he said, Canada’s Globe and Mail
The new way of thinking Baker spoke of will do little unless those with power can transform such thinking into action. Obama, once again, spoke on Saturday of the clean energy sector, noting “we’re investing in wind power, solar power, and biofuels” to help America become less dependent on foreign oil and “clean up our planet for our children.” He did not mention the gas fracking industry and its assault on clean water.
In a new CNN pol
l (pdf), nearly half of Americans surveyed think another Great Depression is around the corner, with 48 percent saying it is either somewhat or very likely to happen within a year.
In another new poll by Washington Post-ABC News, the president’s approval rating
on the economy has reached a new low, with 59 percent polled believing Obama is doing a poor job in his handling of the economy, putting at risk his hopes for a second term.
With the nation’s political masterminds fighting each other over coercive measures involving spending cuts and raising the federal debt limit by August 2, many unemployed and working Americans continue dealing with a stagnant economy based on rising fuel prices and the president’s little-criticized war strategy, both factors which cannot possibly allow the economy to move forward.
The president closed his address by noting “folks” just want a job that covers their bills, and as long as he has “the privilege” of serving in a presidential capacity, he’ll fight for that dream.