The president just spoke from the Rose garden this morning to hail the somewhat encouraging new job numbers, which while terrible by most definitions came in better than expected, and at least signal that we’re probably not (yet) veering into a dreaded double-dip recession. Acknowledging that there’s a long way to go, Obama said that his policies have managed to “break the back” of the current recession–and called (for at least the third time) on Senate Republicans to stop blocking his small business lending bill.
Obama also said that next week he will propose a new package of economic measures, which might contain some of the targeted tax cuts described in today’s Washington Post. Given the GOP’s stalwart opposition to more spending, and the coming Republican electoral wave, any new government action to juice the economy will probably take the form of tax cuts. Check out the NYT‘s David Leonhardt for more detail on measures that Obama and the GOP might agree on that could be worth doing.
P.S. Lest we get too optimistic, here’s Leonhardt’s grim analysis of today’s numbers: He says we’re stuck in a “long slog” which
presents us with two main problems. First, the odds of a double-dip recession are higher than they were a few months ago. It won’t take as much to push the economy into a self-reinforcing cycle of job cuts and spending cuts. Second, the labor market is a long, long way from healthy, and it isn’t on pace to get there anytime soon.
If you need something to cling to, the Post‘s Neal Irwin–who sees “a slow-and-steady recovery”–is a slightly sunnier read.