Of course, the stimulus didn't work. The promise was 3.5 million new jobs. Instead, 3.5 million have been lost. Reich doesn't offer any substantive argument as to why he believes the stimulus worked. The numbers simply are not there. What's Reich's solution? More of the same:We're falling into a double-dip recession.
The Labor Department reports this morning that the private sector added a measly 41,000 net new jobs in May. But at least 100,000 new jobs are needed every month just to keep up with population growth.
In other words, the labor market continues to deteriorate.
The average length of unemployment continues to rise -- now up to 34.4 weeks (up from 33 weeks in April). That's another record.
More Americans are too discouraged to look for a job than last year at this time (1.1 million in May, an increase of 291,000 from a year earlier).
Of the small number of jobs created by the private sector in May, many came from temporary help services.
...Why are we having such a hard time getting free of the Great Recession? Because consumers, who constitute 70 percent of the economy, don't have the dough. They can't any longer treat their homes as ATMs, as they did before the Great Recession.
Businesses won't rehire if there's not enough demand for their goods and services.
The only reason the economy isn't in a double-dip recession already is because of three temporary boosts: the federal stimulus (of which 75 percent has been spent), near-zero interest rates (which can't continue much longer without igniting speculative bubbles), and replacements (consumers have had to replace worn-out cars and appliances, and businesses had to replace worn-down inventories). Oh, and, yes, all those Census workers (who will be out on their ears in a month or so).
So what's the answer? In the short term, more stimulus...
In the longer term, we need a new New Deal that will bolster America's floundering middle class. Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and extend it up through the middle class. Finance that extension through higher marginal income taxes on the wealthy, who have never had it so good.Never had it so good? Right now the bottom 47% of wage earners pay no income taxes at all. Adding tax credits will simply give them money back. As I wrote over a month ago: Not only does bottom 47% of taxpayers pay no federal income tax, but the bottom 40% GET MONEY BACK! That goes right along in consistency with a prior post of mine: 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll: 50% of Americans that don't pay taxes thinks 'rich' people ought to pay more, even though top 1% pay more than bottom 95%
Note that the bottom 50% pay almost no taxes, while the top 5% pay about 60% of the federal tax bill. I agree with one thing - this isn't fair. But I think it is the rich that are paying too much, only to be sneered at by those that pay nothing at all and get OUR money back from the government. It's now gotten so bad, so unfair, that the top 1% pay more in federal taxes than the bottom 95%: The rich are paying far more than their fair share, and instead of being thanked are demonized by Reich and his ilk. This is the same Robert Reich, mind you, who wanted to mandate racial discrimination in the stimulus bill just over a year ago (Mandating Discrimination with Stimulus Funds):
Robert Reich also made a bald-faced case for statism - that people are too stupid to choose for themselves and will instead be duped into purchasing something wrong for them, thus it's the government's responsibility to buy a private commodity for them instead, in this case insurance. It is the battle cry of every tyrant - 'I know what's good for you!' And George Will calls him on it without so much as a blink (Video of Goerge Will to Robert Reich: “There you have the premise of this legislation and the core of todays liberalism. The American people are such dopes they can’t be counted upon to buy their own insurance”):
Lastly, Reich had this sad episode from a couple of year ago: Video: Obama Advisor Robert Reich To Elderly 'We're Going To Let You Die!'