With unemployment hovering at 9.5 percent — real total unemployment, called U6, is much higher — what’s another 23,000 jobs lost? Apparently, not much to Barack Obama. Previously unreleased documents show that his administration issued the federal moratorium on deepwater drilling despite knowing the ban would kill thousands of jobs. According to The Wall Street Journal, the documents reveal that Michael Bromwich, the head regulator of offshore oil exploration, told Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar that the temporary ban “would result in ‘lost direct employment’ affecting approximately 9,450 workers and ‘lost jobs from indirect and induced effects’ affecting about 13,797 more.”
Also, regardless of confirmation from the region of the moratorium’s devastating impact, the government says the ban will continue. That’s right — the beatings will continue until morale improves. Reflecting its typical “we know best” disdain for the peasants, the administration has even claimed the impact wasn’t as bad as industry experts said. Try telling that to those 23,000 former workers.
In related news, House Republican Leader John Boehner has called on Obama to fire Treasury Secretary Tim “Tax Cheat” Geithner, National Economic Council Head Larry Summers, and the rest of the White House economic team. (Senior Economic Adviser Christina Romer and Budget Director Peter Orszag have already abandoned ship.) Pointing to “job-killing tax hike[s],” skyrocketing spending and a penchant for new regulations, Boehner said, “We’ve tried 19 months of government-as-community organizer. It hasn’t worked.” A political chess move to be sure, but we won’t argue that government-as-community organizer is getting rather expensive.