President Obama inherited a huge mess from his predecessor -- very expensive wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a society in which 45,000 people die each year from lack of affordable health care, and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Some 17 million American children -- more than one in five across the U.S. -- lack food security. The official unemployment rate is over 10 percent, and unofficial estimates for the actual rate are much, much higher.
So we can't expect Obama to wave a magic wand and solve all the nation's (and the world's) problems during his first year in office. But the White House is not a one-man show, and Obama has all his various teams of advisors to help him, each in their respective areas of expertise.
But, unfortunately, he is getting his economic advice from people like Timothy Geithner and Larry Summers, who actually helped to create this economic crisis, and who so far this year have been focusing on bailing out Wall Street while ignoring the plight on Main Street.
And so jobs remain scarce and the unemployment rate continues to climb.
Finally, yesterday, Obama hosted a jobs summit at the White House.
The Washington Post reports that "Obama says he does not have the money for the plan many of his liberal supporters say packs the biggest employment punch -- direct federal investment in job creation. Instead, he came close to embracing a to-do list for the private sector that sounded rather familiar: weatherization, small-business incentives, regulatory and other help for exporters, and tax credits for employers who hire new workers."
So again corporate America gets to call the shots. These are the same corporations that continue to outsource their work to cheaper overseas labor as our unemployment rate spirals out of control.
And Obama chooses to continue throwing money at Afghanistan rather than investing in job creation programs focused on public works, infrastructure, and green technology. That surely makes the war profiteers very happy. I guess that's one sector that might still be hiring.