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Think maybe some in the GOP might be trying to figure out how to cover their backsides on the jobs thing? Of course, when it comes down to brass tacks, they’re going to obstruct and obstruct again since the only thing they’ve got going for 2012 is to ensure that Obama fails, but I think they may be figuring out that they aren’t looking too pretty as they go about trying to bury the economic recovery.

Take, for example, Roy Blunt’s effort to dismiss Obama’s jobs speech before he ever heard it by suggesting that it wasn’t worth a joint congressional session:

“The pressure,” Blunt said, “is much greater than it would have been if he would have decided to come out with those same job proposals at a manufacturing facility somewhere.” He added, “Or as Mitt Romney did, at a Truck Body shop, or somewhere.”

A body shop? Dissing the president for sure, but doesn’t it also sound like he’s thinks he and his oh-so venerable colleagues in the congress are just a little too good to dirty their hands with America’s umemployment problem?

Be that as it may, Blunt was certainly trying to construct some kind of cover when he lobbed an email  titled “A Special Message From Senator Roy Blunt” into our inboxes early this morning. It is clearly intended to provide a safe place where Blunt can hide and take potshots at the President while avoiding doing anything substantive about unemployment.

The pervasive theme of Blunt’s little opus is the pretense that our economic problems should be laid at Obama’s feet, conveniently ignoring the fact that the economy was creeping forward, far too slowly to be sure, but jobs were being added right up to the point where the austerity measures and spending cuts that the GOP insisted on began to kick in. Then, presto-bingo, zero jobs growth.

Blunt, a leading player in the Bush era congress that got us all prepped for the big crash of 2008, wants us to believe that Obama’s handling of the economy has resulted in a situation massively worse than it was when we were teetering on the edge of the abyss. To make this  point he cites lots of comparative figures that are meant to prove that things are lots worse right now.

Unfortunately, Blunt’s comparisons omit context that might otherwise leave him, as one of the architects of our current dilemma, with pie on his face. For instance, he seems to really relish the fact that insurance premiums are higher now than in the past. Well, duh … health care costs were careening upwards long before Obama, whose Affordable Care Act (ACA) was engineered to slow rising costs – which is very likely to happen over the long haul after the ACA is fully implemented in 2014 – or in some cases, even sooner.

Of course, some of the comparisons Blunt offers are also just wrong. For instance, he claims that gas prices are 98% higher now than they were in 2008. Does he mean something other than the price of fuel at the pump? Because not only do I remember prices over $4.00 a gallon at the pump in 2008, I can document it as well. And I believe that gas currently costs somewhat over $3.00 a gallon. Does he just pull these figures out of the air?

And what do you think Mr. Blunt suggests as the solution to our high unemployment? If you said cut taxes for the wealthy, and gut regulations you would have hit the nail on the head. Goes to show you can’t teach an old dog new tricks: Blunt got this mantra down during the Bush years and, never mind that it nearly brought our economy down, he isn’t giving up on it now.

The real slap in the face was that Roy Blunt, proud member of the GOP – the clowns who nearly shut down the government in April, then took the economy hostage in July, resulting in a first-ever credit downgrade and months of market instability, and who did all this with a show of utter disdain for their duly elected Democratic colleagues and for the President – has the gall to call the President to task to work for “real, bipartisan change.” I can only point out to Senator Blunt that today the stock market cratered once again, dragging my 401(k) ever closer to the mud. The reason? The market’s uncertainty that the GOP will permit the congress to pass the President’s jobs bill. Which means, as Robert Reich has pointed out, it’s gonna be the GOP’s double dip – and I’m not talking about ice-cream.

You want to read Senator Blunt’s “special message”? Go ahead – it’s reproduced below the fold.


September 09, 2011

Dear Friends,

During my travels throughout Missouri in August, I met with countless business owners, farmers, local leaders, families, and other people who are concerned about Washington’s out-of-control spending and want President Obama to get serious about policies that will help spur private sector job creation.

Unfortunately, last night Americans heard more empty rhetoric from the President as we continue to face skyrocketing debt and unemployment under his administration’s policies. Just last week, we learned that zero jobs were created during the month of August. Meanwhile, America’s unemployment has increased 17%, our federal debt has increased 39%, gas prices are up 98%, home values have decreased 11%, and health insurance premiums have increased 19% since the President took office in 2009.

Clearly, the President’s approach has failed – it’s time for real, bipartisan change if we’re going to right our nation’s economy. I hope President Obama and the Democrat-controlled Senate will take this opportunity to work with Republicans to rein in reckless spending, eliminate onerous regulations, and pass pro-growth tax policies in order to give small business owners the certainty they need to grow jobs and jump start our nation’s economy.

I also joined my colleagues this week in calling for President Obama to send Congress the job-promoting trade agreements pending with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. With every day these trade deals linger, America is losing jobs and market share to competing countries. Agriculture is one of the few sectors of our economy with a trade surplus, the agriculture industry in Missouri and across America would benefit greatly from this expansion of global exports.

Finally, as we approach the 10th anniversary of the devastating terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, we honor those who lost their lives, and I remain thankful that our nation has remained safe from another attack over the last decade. This accomplishment is in great part thanks to our intelligence professionals and all of the men and women in uniform who have made the ultimate sacrifices to protect our safety and our nation’s freedoms.

Today, we face another very real crisis in America – one that requires the same bipartisanship, leadership, and resolve that we witnessed in the aftermath of those deadly attacks on 9/11. Our nation’s economy is in crisis, and just as we witnessed 10 years ago, I am confident that we can harness that same sense of unity today as we work together to get America’s financial future back on track.

As always, I encourage you to continue the conversation by visiting my website, or connect with other Missourians and get  frequent updates from me, by joining me on Facebook or on Twitter.