President Joe Biden acknowledged this week that the latest jobs report fell far short of expectations.
As for his proposed solution, he appeared to suggest that it will include a range of tax hikes.
“Leveling the playing field”
During a press conference on Friday, the president tacitly touted his plan to raise taxes on the rich in order to provide assistance to poor Americans.
“We’re going to do it by leveling the playing field,” Biden said, insisting that corporations and wealthy Americans “can afford to pay just a little bit more.”
The president’s press conference came shortly after the release of the Department of Labor’s latest numbers. To describe the report as a disappointment would be an understatement.
Overall, experts predicted there would be roughly 740,000 new jobs created in August and that the unemployment rate would drop to about 5.2%.
Instead, the U.S. economy added just 235,000 jobs. The unemployment rate did, however, come in at 5.2% as widely predicted. The August numbers represented a major dropoff from June and July, which saw the creation of 938,000 and 1.1 million jobs respectively.
“Continued growth month after month”
For his part, Biden attempted to put the best spin on the numbers as possible, explaining: “While I know some wanted to see a larger number today and so did I, what we’ve seen this year is continued growth month after month.”
He went on to cast blame for the poor jobs report on the delta variant of COVID-19 — particularly those who decline the vaccine. He attempted to compare the current situation to the surge last winter, at which time vaccines were unavailable.
Biden apparently could not resist the opportunity to jab former President Donald Trump’s economic policies, particularly his predecessor’s use of the stock market as a gauge of economic success.
Defending his own economic record, the president said: “Imagine if the other guy was here: ‘We’re doing great. It’s wonderful. The stock market is surging. It’s gone up higher under me than anybody.’ But that doesn’t — that doesn’t mean that it’s the best for the economy.”
Biden’s rationale is likely to strike many Americans as unconvincing. If his pathway back to normal includes higher taxes, it seems there could be even more cause for concern.