House Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Ranking Member

Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.


Left Turns

December 2, 2009

CONTACT: Alexa Marrero
or Ryan Murphy
(202) 225-4527

Previewing the White House Jobs Summit: Just More of the Same Failed Policies?

As the White House readies for tomorrow’s so-called jobs summit, skepticism is growing among Americans who believe the stimulus plan enacted earlier this year has failed, and more of the same government spending will fail to stem the rising tide of unemployment.

“Obamanomics — the White House’s jumble of industrial policy, massive deficit spending and tax hikes — isn’t working.

“There are now 15.7 million Americans without jobs. And a big White House conference on jobs is nothing more than a soft distraction from those hard facts.”

Newmark, “Mean Street: The Sham of a Mockery of an Obama Jobs Summit,” Deal Journal (WSJ Blog), 12.02.09

“For Thursday, the White House has invited CEOs, labor leaders and lots of useful economists. It’s kind of the group you might get if you Googled ‘financial figures, serious.’

“Or, financial situation, serious.’”

Sarasohn, “Needed at jobs summit: less summit, more jobs,” The Oregonian, 12.01.09

“Facing rising unemployment rates and having seen uncertain results from the stimulus bill, President Obama is hosting a ‘jobs summit’ at the White House Thursday that will be packed with business leaders and economists supportive of White House policies but lacks a diversity of opinion, several analysts say. …

‘He's going to get lots of recommendations to spend more money,’ said Peter Morici, a professor at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. ‘These are the very same people who gave us the stimulus package. My feeling is we're not going to get what we need, and that's a complete change in direction on economic policy.’”

Rowland, “Critics not invited to White House's 'jobs summit',” The Washington Times, 12.02.09

“The jobs forum that Obama will host at the White House on Thursday is an acknowledgment that employment is not bouncing back as quickly as it used to after recessions. It's an opportunity for the president to show that he's engaged and on the job of finding jobs.

“The risk for Obama is that the forum may be perceived as a public-relations gambit, as Republicans assert. That could further fuel perceptions that Obama has trouble making up his mind to take action, an allegation leveled by critics for the months he took in formulating his new Afghan war plan.”

Raum, “Analysis: Obama faces heavy lifting at jobs forum,” The Associated Press, 12.01.09

“It’s one of the oldest tricks in the presidential playbook: when you want to focus attention on an issue, hold a meeting and call it a ‘summit.’

“President Barack Obama’s already done a ‘Fiscal Responsibility Summit,’ a ‘Health Care Summit,’ an ‘H1N1 Flu Preparedness Summit,’ and even a ‘Distracted Driving Summit.’

“Next up: a ‘Jobs Summit’ Thursday, and if Obama thought fighting the flu or getting health reform done was tough, wait until he faces the hard truth that presidents ultimately face when they need an economic quick-fix.

“There isn’t one.”

Javers, “'Jobs Summit' no magic bullet for employment,” Politico, 11.28.09

In the face of the highest unemployment rate in more than a quarter-century, perhaps the solution isn’t a “summit” of friends rallying around a series of failed policies. The three million Americans who have lost their jobs since the $787 billion government stimulus was enacted earlier this year are likely to take little comfort in just another White House gathering.