Friday, February 6, 2009

600,000 Jobs Gone In Jan. - Most In One Month Since 1974

Obama warns lawmakers that 'catastrophe' looms
By David Lightma
McClatchy Newspapers

President Barack Obama warned lawmakers Thursday that the economic crisis could become a "catastrophe" unless they stop bickering and act, while the Senate's Democratic leader predicted that the president's economic-stimulus package will pass. » read more

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job losses accelerated in January as 598,000 were slashed, the most in 34 years, and the unemployment rate soared to a 16-year high [of 7.6 percent.] more

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Democratic-led Senate will try again on Friday to pass a $937 billion stimulus package aimed at boosting the battered economy as some of the worst unemployment data in decades boosted political pressure for a deal. more

Today, the Labor Department reported that the economy lost 598,000 jobs in January, the worst monthly jobs loss since 1974. 1.8 million jobs have been lost in the last three months. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office predicts Obama's infrastructure stimulus spending plan would create up to 3.6 million jobs through year 2010, but even as millions of Americans have already lost their jobs and millions more are likely to lose their jobs in 2009 Republican Senators say, "what's the hurry, slow down" (YouTube)
  • LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): We need to slow down, take a timeout, and get it right.
  • ROGER WICKER (R-MS): Let’s not rush into doing this the wrong way.
  • JOHN ENSIGN (R-NV): It’s still time. There is no hurry.
  • TOM COBURN (R-OK): There’s no reason for us to hurry up, number one.

Both Texas’ senators Kay Bailey Hutchison (R) and John Cornyn (R) have also voiced their staunch opposition to Obama's $819 billion stimulus plan. “I read the bill in vain for any real stimulus in the economy,” Cornyn told the Dallas Morning News. Senator Hutchison told the Plano Chamber of Commerce that she could not support President Barack Obama's proposed $825 billion non-stimulus package at a Jan. 23rd luncheon meeting. Both Texas’ senators are positioned to filibuster Obama's economic stimulus package.

Even as both Texas' Senators oppose Obama's stimulus spending in favor of the usual G.O.P tax cuts, Obama's legislation could help cushion Texas against expected job losses over the next two years. According to an article in the Dallas Morning News, Bernard L. Weinstein, director of the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas said, "It appears the 286,000 jobs might just offset the anticipated losses over the next two years."

Also in contrast to Senators Hutchison's and Cornyn's opposition to Obama's infrastructure spending approach to stimulating the economy, the The Texas Department of Transportation is lobbying for the stimulus spending legislation and for Texas' share of the infrastructure spending provided in the bill to repair Texas' roads and aging bridges.

Nobel prize winning economist Paul Krugman explains stimulus spending vs. tax cuts on MSNBC's Morning Joe. Video here - The meat of the discussion starts just after time mark 4:00. mark

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