With just 121 days until Democratic candidates face angry voters at the polls, President Barack Obama is touting a recent jobs report as evidence that his jobs agenda is finally working.
“We’re making progress,” Obama declared proudly.
Yet as even the New York Times noted, “In fact, part-time jobs accounted for two-thirds of all new jobs in June.” Moreover, as former Wall Street Journal economist Ben Casselman, now with Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, points out, “For the 49th time in 50 months, more jobseekers gave up looking than found work.”
One of the clearest and most immediate shorthand economic barometers voters use to determine how Main Street America is doing–food stamp enrollments–casts a pall over Obama’s reinvigorated claims of yet another “recovery summer.”
When Obama entered office in Jan. 2009, 31.9 million individuals received food stamp benefits. As of Mar. 2014 (the latest available data reported by the Department of Agriculture), 46,097,719 people received food stamps.
In Dec. 2013, food stamp enrollments fell below 47 million for the firsttime in over a year and have edged lower each consecutive month thisyear. Still, even counting those marginal declines, since Obama entered office, over 14 million more people now receive taxpayer-funded food stamp benefits than did prior to his becoming president.
Whether Obama and Democrats can spark a jobs boom and move millions from welfare to work in the run up to the midterm elections remains to be seen. If so, they need to hurry.
Voters head to the polls Nov. 4.