by Ben Schreiner
A near constant refrain of President Obama, made both in his speech to a joint session of Congress on September 8th and since, has been that his jobs proposal (the American Jobs Act) contains “nothing controversial,” nor “nothing radical.” In a certain respect, Mr. Obama is right; his jobs proposal is remarkably timid. According to the most favorable estimates of the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, the president’s proposal would help create a grand total of 4.3 million new jobs. But even by these rather optimistic estimates, the president’s proposal would still do little to cut into the swelling ranks of the nation’s unemployed. Bear in mind that a staggering 14 million Americans remain unemployed, while over 10 million more are either underemployed or have simply dropped out of the labor force all together. Aiming for a maximum creation of 4.3 million new jobs, therefore, is an astonishingly inadequate target.