Obama’s frolic while Americans struggle
As the coolly indifferent Obama’s embarked on their annual 17-day Christmas vacation on the white sand beaches and golf courses of Hawaii, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level in nearly nine months.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 379,000, according the figures recently released by the U.S. Department of Labor. That was the highest level since March and marked the second straight week that claims have risen.
Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications to fall to 334,000 last week. But the four-week moving average for new claims actually increased 13,250 to 343,500.
“This is not really good. Some of us had thought last week’s jump was an aberration. We have to see what’s going on here. Obviously the Fed won’t be looking at these numbers kindly after what happened yesterday,” said Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors.
The claims report showed the number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid rose 94,000 to 2.88 million in the week ended Dec. 7.
Scroll through this press release and check the states with the highest filings of new claims for unemployment benefits.
The largest increases in initial claims were in California (up 21,876), New York (up 14,322), Pennsylvania (up 14,004), Georgia (up 11,582), and Texas (up 9,761). These numbers represent families and individuals hit hard by the economic downturn and struggling, not to get through the holidays, but simply provide the basics to function.
But Barack and Michelle Obama; their two daughters, Malia and Sasha; his mother-in-law, Marian Robinson; friends, extended family and even the White House chef (they do have to eat, after al!) and the family’s Portuguese water dogs, Bo and Sunny are indifferently frolicking. This luxurious, nearly $8 million home, on the island of Oahu is their cozy getaway.
Is it any wonder Obama is ending his fifth year in office with the worst public approval ratings of his presidency, record numbers of Americans saying they disapprove of his job performance and his level of trust factor seriously eroded?