Amidst talks of the now-notorious New York Post cover and the fiscal cliff dilemma, the November jobs report slowly crept out into the news stream – a sheer side-effect of the unfortunate fact that the election is now over and unemployment stats have less of a dramatic effect on our national conversation.
Within this report
, word came that the country underwent a growth of 116,000 jobs but a startling part of the overall picture went under the radar: because of Hurricane Sandy’s devastation, 86,000 jobs were lost. Read that again: 86,000.
The crippling hit mostly came in manufacturing, retailing and leisure – in many of the communities along the Eastern Seaboard, entire sectors were wiped out and still seek reconstruction. Because of this. President Obama is expected
to ask the Hill for $50 billion in aid sometime this week for states in need of a federal funding IV. This number is a bit ($32 billion) below the amount asked by New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
And, luckily, it comes at a time when the last thing the legislative branch wants to do is listen to the executive’s demands.
In terms of negotiations, the Republican-run House is not budging on the President’s demands for higher taxes on the rich; even mention of a stimulus package four times bigger than the Sandy money he’s asking for was shot down faster than you can say ‘fiscal cliff shitshow.’ However, the opposing party is in the hot seat with these job numbers; 86,000 is a hard number to ignore.
Democrats in Congress, including Senator Chuck Schumer, have called the funding request inadequate to fit the demands of what the states are asking for. However. Obama is treading on fragile ground with a fiscal crisis looming in the background – asking for $50 billion might even be too high.
The recovery aid will be decided on next week in Congressional talks. They must consider the devastation wrought by this crisis and, also, decide if they want to put aside long-standing hostilities for a short-term humanitarian effort. With Washington, who knows.