John Ransom
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I wish Obama and the Democrats could be as passionate about jobs as they are about, say, the contents of Happy Meals. Or the dust from cement factories. Or the habitat of the red-cockaded woodpecker.

While the wizard of DC remains a master of illusion and delusion, focusing everyone’s attention on the man behind the curtain- and his 20 Little Martyrs- the jobless recovery now enters its fifth year with no signs that hiring will be picking up soon.

So instead of worrying about the peckers, I wonder about the 12 million martyrs who remain unemployed. And the 3.6 million martyrs who are not in the labor force. And the 8 million martyrs who can only find part-time work. That’s almost 24 million martyrs, plus their families.

Jobless claims went up fractionally last week, showing little progress in tackling unemployment. Jobs numbers for December weren’t even enough to cover those entering the workforce.

This is exactly what we’ve come to expect under Obamanomics, which has dumbed-down our economy like it was Greece or California.

According to the BLS household data, 192,000 people entered the workforce in December while only 155,000 jobs were created. Those numbers are consistent with trends established in 2011 and in 2012.



“December's overall figures were only slightly better than 2012's average growth of 153,000 per month,” says CNN Money, “which mirrored the 2011 pace. That's not enough to make a significant dent in the unemployment rate, economists said.”

And that has a negative effect on the net economy.

Yet still CNN files the story under “America’s Comeback.”

At average weekly wages of $818.69, that’s about $13 billion of immediate spending and investment missing from our economy every week or nearly $700 billion per year.  And that’s not counting the underemployed workers working just part-time.

To put that number in perspective that comes out to about $150 billion in missing tax revenues per year for the federal government counting payroll taxes and income taxes.  If money had any velocity in our economy, the number would likely be twice that because dollars would move through the system with some rapidity.  

But Obama seems set on doing whatever he can to keep the economy bouncing along the bottom until if goes over what U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee calls the “Regulatory Cliff.”

“Last week it was the Soot Rule, now it’s Boiler MACT and Cement MACT,” said Inhofe on Christmas Day.

“It’s clear that with the election over, the President is intent on taking the nation over the Regulatory Cliff. I predicted this would happen after the election in my report, A Look Ahead to EPA Regulations for 2013, which I published a month before the election. These rules will cost industry billions of dollars to comply with, meaning that tens of thousands of jobs are going to disappear.”

It’s clear that if you are looking for good news you can’t turn to Washington and our elected leaders for it.

“One positive note is that there was a notable rise in the number of unemployed re-entering the market,” said Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at CohnReznick according to CNN. “The figure jumped nearly 8% in December, possibly signaling a renewed sense of optimism among the jobless.”

 Well that’s only because there are so many jobless.

Thank God for the 24 million jobless who are there to provide optimism for the rest of us that Obama and Congress won’t provide.  

24 million martyrs? Jobless? Discouraged?

There’s not much to pick between the terms.

In any event, they serve DC just fine whatever one wants to call them.     

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John Ransom

John Ransom is the Finance Editor for Townhall Finance.