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SOTU: Glossing over the Pervasive Suffering Caused by Joblessness

January 26, 2011 ·

The freeze on the funding of discretionary domestic programs would choke off vital assistance to a shrinking middle class and growing numbers of poor and low-income families.

President Obama is to be praised for not giving into crisis-hysteria around Social Security and instead calling to protect this vital, popular and stable program.

He also deserves credit for reiterating his call for an end to the Bush tax cuts for those Americans making over $250,000 a year. This is the least of what's necessary for the economy to turn toward a path of recovery.

However, Obama missed the mark in several areas. He seemed to gloss over the pervasive economic suffering in the country as the result of staggering un- and under-employment numbers. And by calling for a five-year freeze on the funding of discretionary domestic programs that offer vital assistance to a shrinking middle class and growing numbers of poor and low-income families, Obama lost a chance to demonstrate true leadership in getting an economy that works for all of us back on track.

Until we get serious about direct public job creation, a positive prescription for reversing the alarming trend of growing poverty and inequality in this nation, and real solutions for soaring health care costs, we won't be able say that President Obama or our federal lawmakers have done their jobs.