It's an economy in which you take the good news where you can get it, and Wednesday the nation received some: President Barack Obama's $447 billion jobs plan would help avoid a recession by maintaining GDP growth and lowering unemployment, according to a new Bloomberg survey of 34 economists.
The Obama jobs bill, submitted to Congress earlier this month, will likely increase GDP by 0.6 percentage points in 2012 and add or keep 275,000 employees, the median response of 34 economists indicated. Over two years, economists expect the initiative to add 288,000 jobs.
There is so much we could all accomplish together if we can finally get Washington to act -- if we can get folks in that city to stop worrying so much about their jobs and start worrying more about yours, Obama said Tuesday in a speech at a high school in Denver, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.
The U.S. economy grew at a 3 percent rate in 2010 -- the first full year of expansion following the 2007-2009 Great Recession -- before slowing to a minuscule 0.4 percent growth rate in the first quarter of 2011 and a low 1.0 percent growth rate in the second quarter.
During the past 12 months, the U.S. economy has add 1.26 million jobs -- or about 105,000 per month -- about 25,000 jobs per month less than what's need to prevent the unemployment rate from rising.
Those economists also expect Obama's proposed legislation to decrease the U.S. unemployment rate by 0.2 percentage points in 2012.
Will the House Pass the Bill?
Of course, the Obama jobs bill may not get the chance to stimulate the economy: Congressional Republicans have expressed their opposition to parts of the bill, with some GOP members saying they won't vote for any Obama jobs bill -- even if opposing the bill will harm the nation -- because voting for it would give Obama a victory.
The reality is Obama's Stimulus 2.0 isn't a plan to put our country back to work, Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, said Wednesday, the Journal reported. It's a rehash of the same failed policies from the first stimulus that didn't create jobs and saddled future generations with more debt.
However, three respected economic analysis units say the Obama jobs bill will increase U.S. commercial activity by even more than the median estimate of the Bloomberg survey.
Goldman Sachs estimated that the Obama job plan would increase U.S. GDP by 1.5 percentage points. Also, Macroeconomic Advisers forecast a 1.3 percentage point rise in GDP; UniCredit Research, a 2 percentage point jump.
Public Policy/Economic Analysis: Simply, the most constructive course for the nation would be for Congress to pass Obama's jobs bill in a hurry: the sooner Congress acts, the sooner projects can start, the sooner jobs will be added to an economy that needs all of the new jobs it can get -- public sector, private sector, or non-profit.
How bad is the employment situation in the U.S.? The nation is short about 11 million jobs -- a total that's much higher if you count part-time employees who want full-time work but can't find it, and discouraged unemployed adults who have stopped looking for work: technically, they're not counted by the U.S. Labor Department as being unemployed, even though they still want to work.
Of course, the urgent need to pump-prime the economy and add jobs won't stop at least a portion of Congress from opposing the legislation: conservative Tea Party faction members in the House, along with conservative Republicans in both chambers, have expressed opposition to the bill because it involves federal spending - and the GOP has shown it will oppose most federal spending for social/economic objectives -- even they helps address the nation's most important problem -- the lack of jobs.
As the above suggests, the American people will play a role in determining whether the jobs bill is passed or not: if Americans are not behind the legislation, Congress, particularly the House -- all of the members of which are up for re-election in November 2012 -- probably won't act. However, if a majority of Americans want the jobs bill passed and make their voices heard in e-mails, Tweets, and other correspondence to Congress, the House will pass the bill.