10:01 am Sep. 7, 20121
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the new jobs numbers released by the Labor Department this morning are "not good," and the unemployment rate, which went down slightly, "means people are dropping out of the work force. They're certainly not getting jobs."
The economy created only 96,000 jobs in August, which was below expectations, and the uemployment rate went down only marginally, from 8.3 to 8.1 percent.
"You can't argue...it went down because those people got jobs," said the mayor, during his regular Friday morning radio appearance on the John Gambling Show. "The numbers just wouldn't add up. "
"The bottom line is, there are structural things going on here," he said, referencing the focus of the first half hour of the show: increasing automation, globalization, the digital revolution, and the need for better educated workers.
The mayor, whose strenuous bipartisanship belies his generally liberal leanings, said the two parties' approaches were more similar than not.
"The Democrats believe in more public sector jobs," he said. "And the Republicans scream about that...But then the Republicans do exactly the same thing. They just couch it differently. The defense budget is a jobs program. You can't possibly argue that we need a defense budget that's bigger than the next ten countries around the world combined. The Air Force keeps saying we don't want any more C-17s. And we keep building them."
"It's a stimulus package," said Gambling.
"That's exactly right," said the mayor.
"What Obama should do is just say, 'I'll veto any bill that tries to stop the end of the Bush-era tax cuts, let everybody's taxes go up,'" he continued. "This business of just going after the rich is so disingenuous, because it doesn't generate very much money. It's just a punitive thing. It's a political thing to say, 'Oh, I got those bad rich guys.' But it doesn't generate any money, and there's no reason to do it. Do it for everybody. We're all in this together, and then he'd have enormous ability to go to the Republicans and get real expense cuts and adopt Simpson-Bowles or some version thereof."
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