Monday, August 9, 2010

A Democratic Panic Attack?

Government employment of the unemployed is one...

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By: Larry Kudlow

With the disappointingly soft jobs report for July, and a faltering recovery overall, is Team Obama getting ready for some sort of new, liberal-left, Keynesian, big-bang stimulus package? Will they be desperate to “do something”?

Already there are rumors of an August surprise (to use the phrase of business columnist Jimmy Pethokoukis) where Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac forgive underwater mortgages held by millions of Americans. And with state and local government jobs having fallen 169,000 year-to-date, perhaps the Democratic Congress and the White House will seek an even bigger spending plan for teachers and Medicaid workers — on top of the $26 billion plan that just passed the Senate.

Or maybe the Democrats will come up with a new infrastructure-spending bill, perhaps for green technologies and whatnot. Or maybe they’ll extend unemployment benefits even more. My liberal friend Robert Reich is even talking up the New Deal’s Works Progress Administration (WPA), where the government employed millions during the 1930s.

With the announcement this week that Council of Economic Advisers chair Christy Romer will leave the White House to go back to teach at Berkeley, it looks like the center of economic gravity will shift leftward inside the West Wing.

A Democratic Panic Attack?

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