Obama denies the existence of shovel ready jobs


President Obama says that there's no such thing as "shovel ready" jobs in Washington. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

In a recent interview, President Obama said that are is no such things as “shovel ready” jobs. One of the constant criticisms of his administration thus far is the lack of job creation. The president pledged, while he was on the campaign trail, that the government would create jobs . Unemployment has dropped about 1 percent since he took office. Along with opposition to health care reform and Wall Street reform, he has been panned for not creating many jobs.

No such thing as shovel ready

Obama is almost halfway through his first term as president. The stimulus programs he spearheaded were thought to be vehicles toward job creation. Critics on both sides of the political aisle have condemned stimulus programs as wasteful and ineffective. Recently, Obama sat down for an interview with the New York Times. The president addressed the lack of job creation among other issues. He said that it became clear to him once he got to Washington that there were no such thing as shovel ready projects in the public works sector to get people working. Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized many public works projects during the Great Depression to keep people employed.

Obama looks to long term

Obama stresses that his concern has always been to do good over the long term. He, and others quoted in the interview such as David Axelrod, maintain that popular opinion is swayed by the short term. The appearance of a lack of success gets him portrayed as a villain, due to no one being able to focus on benefits that may come from his policies in years to come. Obama says in the interview with Peter Baker that in a democracy like the United States, things always take longer than anticipated, but patience is never regarded as a virtue. The Obama “shovel ready” comments certainly make it seem so.

Wither Washington

In the classic film “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington,” an idealistic man becomes a Congressman, then he is broken by the cynical Washington machine. It is difficult to know whether Barack Obama is falling victim to similar circumstances. Departures of high level staff, such as Rahm Emanuel make it appear he is struggling.


New York Times

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