LIPSTICK ON A PIG
Despite the good news this week about Osama bin Laden’s demise, all is not rosy for President Barack Obama — at least in the eyes of the American people. The approval of his handling of the economy hit an all-time low with only 34 percent of Americans giving him a thumbs up, according to a CBS/New York Times poll.
Looking for a reason why? According to the Labor Department’s monthly jobs report, unemployment rose from 8.8 percent to 9 percent in April. And though the U.S. economy added 244,000 jobs, beating expectations, the bad news is that when the bar for success is set so low, even increasing unemployment and decent job growth can seem like a silver lining on a dark and stormy cloud. Or if you want another metaphor, try “lipstick on a pig.”
There are other storm clouds in America’s economic picture. New claims for jobless benefits shot through the roof to 474,000 last week, increasing by 43,000, according to a Labor Department report. That’s its highest point since last summer. For the fourth month in a row, labor force participation rate remained flat and jobs are still difficult to find. Meanwhile, gas prices are topping out at $4 per gallon. All in all, the American people sensed what the statistics would show: The U.S. economy continues to drag, and they know full well whom and what is to blame — President Obama and his failed stimulus economic policies.