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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

The American immigration system, a la President Barack Obama


A common refrain about immigration is that the U.S. “is a nation of immigrants.” People coming to the colonies built what would become the United States of America, and since then millions have immigrated here.

“Most immigrant groups that had formerly come to America by choice seemed distinct, but in fact had many similarities,” as ushistory.org explains. “Most had come from Northern and Western Europe. Most had some experience with representative democracy. With the exception of the Irish, most were Protestant. Many were literate, and some possessed a fair degree of wealth.”

Most, but not all immigrants intended to become American citizens. Some, however, returned to their native land after earning money to send home. Not all were good people; some were criminals, mentally ill, anarchists, and alcoholics.

Furthermore, many Americans were not thrilled about immigration, and ushistory.org tells us, “In 1917, Congress required the passing of a literacy test to gain admission. Finally, in 1924, the door was shut to millions by placing an absolute cap on new immigrants based on ethnicity. That cap was based on the United States population of 1890 and was therefore designed to favor the previous immigrant groups.”

Throughout the decades and the problems and controversy that accompanied immigration, diversity came to the US, which had become a nation of primarily peaceful, self-reliant, hard-working people, qualities they generally passed on to the next generation.

However, the concept that America is a nation of immigrants is less and less valid. Today, the USA is a nation not so much of immigrants, but principally a nation of the descendants of people who were immigrants generations ago; a nation of Americans.

Our government has the duty to admit immigrants who want to become good American citizens, as demonstrated in the previously discussed examples of acts affecting immigration. No sensible person would allow people they cannot be virtually certain are good and honorable people into their homes; our government must be every bit as cautious.

But instead we find that the current immigration system is wholly dysfunctional, and the responsibility goes squarely on the shoulders of President Barack Obama and his administration. The idea held by many on the Left – that we are morally obligated to admit any and all who seek entry, legally or otherwise – is not just dumb, it is dangerous. And that concept has no basis in history or in the Constitution.

Nevertheless, that foolish idea has strong support, and it set the stage for what happened in a hearing of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee this past April, when Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, addressed comments to those testifying, including Immigration and Customs Enforcement director Sarah Soldana.

Chaffetz listed some startling facts:
** In a three-year period Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has released more than 86,000 criminal aliens into the American public. These are people who were here illegally, got caught committing a crime, were convicted of that crime, and instead of deporting them, they were released back out into the United States of America. All told they had more than 231,000 crimes of which they were convicted.
** In 2015, 196 of these people were convicted of homicide, and ICE released them back into the public, rather than deporting them.
** One hundred and twenty-four of those who were released between 2010 and 2015 went on to commit homicide.
** In 2013 ICE released 36,007 criminal aliens who were unlawfully in the United States. As of September 2014, 5,700 of those individuals went on to commit additional crimes.
** In March of 2015, the director of ICE testified before this committee that during fiscal year 2014 ICE released another 30,558 individuals with a combined 79,059 criminal convictions, instead of deporting them. Of those 30,558 criminal aliens 1,895 were charged with another crime following their release, including sex offenses, assault, burglary, robbery, and driving under the influence.

“And ICE told us that in 2015 the agency released 19,723 criminal aliens with a combined 64,197 convictions,” Chaffetz said, “including: 934 sex offenses, 804 robberies, 216 kidnappings, and 196 homicide-related convictions. And that’s on your watch.” They were here illegally, committed crimes, were caught, tried and convicted, and then turned loose to prey on the American people again.

He then displayed an aerial photo of Notre Dame football stadium filled with game watchers, and said, “You released more people that were convicted of crimes and should have been deported than you can fit into that stadium. You’d still have people waiting outside in line. Those are the criminals that you released instead of deporting.”

Government’s job is to seal the borders from illegal entry, to thoroughly vet people before letting the acceptable ones in, and to prosecute and punish criminals. Put them in jail, or at the very least deport them and keep them out.

Do these colossal government failures rise to the level of criminal offenses? Should they? Or, is such dangerous and irresponsible behavior “merely” gross malfeasance? Is there no penalty for such wrongdoing, whether criminal or not?


Not in the administration of Barack Obama, where apparently the treacherous operation of this immigration system is a matter of celebration by his supporters.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Is the gender pay gap fact or fiction? Depends on how you look at it





“Women all over America deserve a raise,” Hillary Clinton has said, again and again. “There’s no discount for being a woman — groceries don’t cost us less, rent doesn’t cost us less, so why should we be paid less?”

Depending upon which numbers you choose, women in America make 77 cents or 79 cents for every dollar men make. These numbers come from the U.S. Census Bureau, 77 cents to the dollar from the 2010 Current Population Survey, and an increase to 79.5 as of 2014.

What Clinton is saying in essence is that if a male family practice doctor makes $160,000, a female family practice doctor only makes $126,400. If a male schoolteacher makes $56,610, a female teacher only makes $44,722.

An analysis by Colin Combs at the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) tells us; “The claim that women only make 77 [or 79] cents for every dollar a man makes is usually followed by a call for a whole new wave of regulations and pay mandates to stop this discrimination. The gender pay gap is undeniably real; men earn more than women, on average. The question is ‘Why?’”

Partly, it is in how the numbers are determined, which is illustrated by the fact that the Bureau of Labor Statistics determined that women make 83 cents for every dollar men earned in 2014, not 77 or 79 cents per dollar men earned. But there are other factors that must be considered in this assertion.

One of those factors is using the average pay for all men and the average pay for all women as the standard for analysis, about which Combs wrote: “What these statistics reveal is not what people are being paid for the same work, but what the average full-time working woman makes against the average full-time working man. It ignores differences in occupation. The average surgeon makes more than the average librarian, so if more men choose to be surgeons and more women choose to be librarians (which they do), this will be reflected in their average wage.” In reality, it is “unequal pay for unequal work,” Combs wrote.

The fact is that women voluntarily choose lower paying occupations, such as teaching, psychology and nursing, while men head toward computer science and engineering. Married women often reduce their participation in the job market for family reasons, and many other women are self-employed and run their own businesses. When adjusted for these factors, the results show that women do earn less than men, but only 5 to 7 cents less per dollar, not the much-heralded 21 or 23 cents.

The reasons for this smaller difference are not clear, Combs writes. Such things as salary negotiating skills or women being more risk-averse than men are suspected factors.  Since the true factors have not been determined, efforts to correct the difference will likely misfire; to solve a problem you first need to identify the problem.

The NCPA analysis quotes data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Women’s inflation-adjusted wages have been increasing at a rate significantly higher than men’s, or rising even while men’s wages fall.
While the real wages of both men and women without a high school diploma have fallen, this decrease is three times worse for men than for women.
Women’s wages have been rising, even as the wages of men with a high school diploma or associate’s degree have been falling. Women are much more likely than men to interrupt their work for familial reasons, such as maternity leave.

Combs cites a Labor Department study conducted by CONSAD Research Corporation saying the 77 cent figure is misused and overshadows many real gains made by women since the 1970s. This is being done “to advance public policy agendas without fully explaining the reasons behind the gap,” the study said.

Never being one to let mere facts interfere with a good opportunity for demagoguery and pandering, Clinton charges ahead with her pledge to use government to get women a raise that they have largely already gained without her help.

“Our false preoccupation with pay equity is not costless,” said the Hoover Institution’s Richard A. Epstein, “for it leads to bad labor market regulations that hurt all workers.” Regulations imposed to achieve equality ultimately negatively affect the job market for both women and men.

Government tinkering with business elements it really knows nothing about, all to fix a small problem that it doesn’t understand is bad government. But bad government is a product that the Left produces in abundance.

This issue demonstrates how the Left is either unaware of, or simply chooses to ignore economic principles in order to pander to a special interest group to garner votes. Jobs have value based upon the dynamics of each business, and each business has its own dynamics. A government one-size-fits-all solution to this is, to be kind, highly unlikely to succeed.

An electorate that does not investigate issues and votes instead on emotion will help usher in more harmful policies like those that have prevented the U.S. from recovering from the recession that ended seven years ago.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Americans depend on accurate, balanced information from the media




After seven months since her last press conference in December, Hillary Clinton appeared before journalists last Friday. As Slate.com reported, “Clinton spoke at a joint convention being held by the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ).” This lengthy hiatus has brought heavy criticism from Donald Trump’s campaign, and even from the mainstream media.

Clinton held what many called a press conference in Washington, DC, last Friday that was open only to members of the NABJ and NAHJ – two ethnic groups that are generally friendly to her – according to a press release for the event. “It is notable that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has recognized the 2016 NABJ-NAHJ Convention as a vital gathering to discuss her platform and the issues impacting black and Latino communities,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover in the news release.

While the Slate piece was generally not complimentary of the responses Clinton gave to questions from the journalists, it did not mention the positive reaction she received to campaign positions prior to the question/answer period. Slate suggested the questions were submitted in advance for approval. A campaign appearance at a minority journalist organizations’ convention, with attendance limited only to members of those organizations, does not a press conference make.

It isn’t difficult to understand why Clinton, or any candidate, would want to speak at such an event, but it is fair to ask why objective journalists of any description would allow that, let alone invite it.

The Media Research Center outlined the fondness of CNN’s “New Day” for Donald Trump issues over the issues surrounding Iran and the payment of $400 million in possible ransom money for four hostages held by the Islamic nation. MRC’s Newsbusters.org detailed the allotment of time on the two topics: “CNN set aside nearly half of its air time on Wednesday's “New Day” to various recent controversies involving the Trump campaign — 1 hour, 24 minutes, and 18 seconds over three hours. By contrast, the program clearly didn't think much of the Wall Street Journal's Tuesday revelation that the Obama administration secretly airlifted $400 million in cash to Iran. John Berman gave a 27-second news brief to the report, but didn't mention that the payment was sent on ‘an unmarked cargo plane.’ ‘New Day,’ therefore, devoted over 187 times more coverage to Trump than to the millions to Iran.”

No matter what you believe about the Iran hostage release and potential ransom payment, no matter what actually transpired, the utter clumsiness of making a payment for any purpose that way on that date warrants more than a half-minute in a three-hour program that spent 84 minutes on the Trump issues.

All major media organizations spent hours of broadcast time and dozens of printed pages on the Republican and Democrat nominating conventions. At each of these events one speaker addressed the delegates about the loss of a child.

At the Republican convention the mother of Sean Smith, one of the four American heroes killed in the terrorist attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, spoke movingly about losing her son, and laid responsibility for it at the feet of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Pat Smith also noted that when her son’s body was brought home, Clinton “looked me squarely in the eye and told me a video was responsible.”

The following week at the Democrat convention Khizr Kahn and his wife Ghazala appeared and Mr. Kahn talked about the death of his son, Marine Capt. Humayun Khan, who died in Iraq heroically protecting his men. Kahn described himself and his wife as “patriotic American Muslims, with undivided loyalty to our country.” He then criticized Donald Trump for his comments about Muslims, and said, “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.” Predictably, Kahn’s comments about Trump triggered a response.

“While all the grieving parents deserve sympathy, the Big Three (ABC, CBS, NBC) network evening and morning shows seemed to only care about the parents that showed up at the Democratic Convention,” Newsbusters.org reported. “Khizr Khan and his wife Ghazala’s DNC appearance earned 55 minutes, 13 seconds of Big Three network coverage, nearly 50 times more than Pat Smith, whose RNC speech honoring her son earned just 70 seconds of airtime.”

The First Amendment protects free speech, and that includes newspapers, television and radio news operations; they are free to say what they like, bound generally by the same restrictions as individuals. The difference is that the public depends upon media sources for information upon which people base important decisions, such as deciding whom to elect to important positions.

Therefore, news organizations have a solemn duty to provide balance to the news they cover and how they cover it, and news journalists – as distinguished from opinion journalists – should be proscribed from injecting bias and opinion into their work.

These recent examples show decision-making by journalistic organizations in selecting a convention speaker that raises questions about objectivity, and a clear, undeniable lack of balance in reporting on important events that Americans will use in deciding their choice for the presidency and other offices.


Surely the U.S. media can do better than this.

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Democrats renew gun control measures for the campaign and beyond




The New York Times sees a renewal of Democrat’s efforts to increase restrictions on guns. The newspaper says that after 20 years of holding back on the gun control initiative, “a string of mass shootings involving high-powered weapons, rising anxiety about domestic terrorism, and killings of and by police officers have emboldened Democrats. They say the shootings are intensifying support for gun control, elevating weapons policy to a top-tier issue, with particularly strong appeal to suburban female voters.”

Democrats, The Times says, will press the case for new restrictions in political races across the country that will include expanded background checks, new limits on gun purchases and increased scrutiny on gun makers and dealers, all of which is buoyed by polls they say show strong support for these measures.

National Rifle Association (NRA) spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said, however, the American public would ultimately reject added gun control because Democrats, while cloaking their gun agenda in the language of “common sense,” really want to go much further. “The political elites and D.C. politicians don’t understand Middle America,” she said. “They don’t understand that voters support the Second Amendment and the individual right to self-protection.” The NRA says Clinton would put an individual’s right to self-defense at risk.

Connecticut Democrat Senator Christopher Murphy agrees that Clinton and other gun control advocates are committed to making the issue a major theme of the campaign, and should she win the November election will continue it in her presidency. “This issue is a core value for Hillary Clinton and it is good politics,” Murphy said. 

Clinton’s running mate, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, also supports the idea that gun control will be a presidential initiative. Kaine has long been an advocate for stricter gun laws, moved by the mass shooting at Virginia Tech in 2007 when he was Virginia’s Governor. The shooting, in which a South Korean student with mental health problems killed 32 students and faculty, prompted Kaine to seek to bar the mentally ill from acquiring guns. 

This idea has merit, but is fraught with potential danger in the hands of liberals, who so often fail to use due care in creating policy, and create as many problems as they solve. Liberals have the bad habit of indulging in what Dr. Thomas Sowell calls “stage-one thinking,” which ignores possible downstream results in order to rush through some “wonderful” idea.

In fact, the 2016 Democrat Party Platform states: “While responsible gun ownership is part of the fabric of many communities, too many families in America have suffered from gun violence. We can respect the rights of responsible gun owners while keeping our communities safe.” 

One of the favored talking points in support of restricting the rights of law abiding citizens to protect themselves and their families, and restrict their use of firearms for sport and recreation is that 30,000 people die in America each year from guns.

For the sake of discussion, let’s accept that 30,000 figure, which – taken all by itself, without context – is shocking. That’s a lot of people. 

However, when context is applied, that number seems substantially less damning. Considered as part of the roughly 320,000,000 total population of the United States, it represents just .0001 percent. That means each American has a one in ten thousand chance of dying from a gunshot each year. And that doesn’t dig down into the details of gun deaths, showing how many are accidents, suicides, or justified shootings.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 20 times more people die from heart disease each year than from guns, and nearly that many die from cancer. More people – 42,700 – die from “intentional self-harm (suicide)” than from gun violence. 

In 2013, according to DrugWarFacts.org, which cites data from the CDC, motor vehicle deaths totaled 35,369, all homicides were 16,121, and in 2014, drug overdoses claimed 47,055 lives. 

Gun deaths do not appear on the list of the top ten causes of death in America. In fact, The Times quotes FBI data showing slightly more than 8,000 gun homicides in 2014, quite a difference from the overhyped 30,000 figure.

Conspicuously missing from the liberal tirade is that guns are inanimate objects, incapable of doing anything on their own. Like such things as hammers, kitchen knives and automobiles, guns are under the control of their user. Is this simple concept too complex for liberals to understand?

Or perhaps it just gets in their way: They know and understand that a disarmed populace is a compliant populace.

The Patriot Post notes, “This year’s [DNC] platform doesn’t even bother to mention the words ‘Second Amendment’ … Drafters opted instead for the meaningless tripe about how ‘gun ownership is a part of the fabric of many communities.’ Fabric can be changed. Rights endowed by our Creator cannot.”

The actions of average Americans tell a story different from Democrats. Townhall.com reports that women obtaining concealed carry permits increased at twice the rate of men from 2012 to 2016. And the Crime Prevention Research Center notes that the murder rate fell by16 percent between 2007 and 2015.


Yet again Democrats are wrong about what Americans think.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Politics frequently involves making mountains out of molehills



A YUGE controversy arose over Melania Trump’s Republican convention speech, when she repeated some things that Michelle Obama had spoken eight years earlier. Melania was roundly accused of plagiarism.

The Oxford Dictionaries online defines plagiarism as “the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own.”

Approximately one minute of her roughly 14-minute speech dealt with some tried and true values that Americans have revered and promoted for the last 200-plus years, and that parents have worked hard to instill in their children, such as:
Be prepared to work hard to get what you want
Honesty and integrity are critical; it’s important to keep your word
Treat others as you want to be treated, with courtesy and respect
Her expression of those ideas was much the same as Michelle’s in 2008.

What Melania is being chastised for, however, happens pretty often – people frequently say or write things in a similar manner as other people – and it wasn’t an attempt to take credit for some unique ideas, as these ideas did not originate with Michelle Obama. Using phrases someone else used to express common ideas is hardly criminal.

Consider this: If you are driving 27 mph in a 25 mph zone, are you speeding? Technically, yes, but from a practical viewpoint, it is essentially irrelevant. You may have broken the letter of the law, but you have not broken the spirit of the law, which is to cause people to drive slowly. 

At its core, the issue really is whether it makes any significant difference in the long run, and it doesn’t. 

Here is what Michelle said: “And Barack and I were raised with so many of the same values: that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond and you do what you say you’re going to do; that you treat people with dignity and respect, even if you don’t know them, and even if you don’t agree with them. And Barack and I set out to build lives guided by these values, and pass them on to the next generation. Because we want our children — and all children in this nation — to know that the only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

And here is what Melania said: “From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life; that your word is your bond; that you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son. And we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

The two excerpts inarguably share ideas and some of the same phrases. Could Melania and those helping write the speech have done a better job of expressing these ideas without sounding so “familiar,” and should they have? Obviously. 

But for this use of a few phrases to be truly relevant, those phrases would have to be special, like “four score and seven years ago …” Those phrases do not “belong” to Michelle; they are not her property. They are ideas common to many/most Americans. And First Ladies or hopeful First Ladies Nancy Reagan, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush and Ann Romney all expressed some of those same ideas before under similar circumstances.

If, on the other hand, Melania had said, “An important idea came to me the other day: Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” using those famous words spoken by President John F. Kennedy at his 1961 Inaugural without attribution would have certainly been over the line.

What many or perhaps most people do not know is that according to some of Kennedy’s classmates, the headmaster at a school they attended years before spoke those words originally. Was JFK a plagiarist? 

Laura Bush talked about being determined and working hard at the convention in 2004. Did Michelle plagiarize her speech four years later? In 2014 Hillary Clinton also used a phrase spoken by Michelle in 2008 about hard work and passing those values to her daughter. Did Hillary commit plagiarism? 

There are only so many ways to express an idea or thought, and the more people that write or speak about an idea, the greater the number of times someone will write or say a phrase, a sentence or a paragraph the same way that someone else wrote or spoke it, either verbatim, or in a very similar manner. These similarities may not have been intentional, and are therefore not plagiarism.


This kerfuffle illustrates the extremes to which the Left and its media lackeys will go to focus voter attention on irrelevant minutiae to distract them from the voluminous failures and shortcomings of Hillary Clinton.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

South Carolina Senator Scott discusses being a black man in America



“Mr. President, I rise today to give my second speech this week discussing the issues we are facing following last week’s tragedies in Dallas, Minnesota, and Baton Rouge. This speech is perhaps the most difficult because it’s the most personal,” said Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC, in the Senate Chamber last week.

Scott has a long, distinguished record of public service, serving 13 years on the Charleston County Council beginning in 1995. In 2008 he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives, in 2010 he elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and was appointed to fill an unexpired U.S. Senate term in 2012 and was elected to retain that seat in 2014. He is the first southern African-American senator since the late 1800s.

Scott said that in his first speech “I talked about how the vast majority of our law enforcement officers have only two things in mind: protect and serve. But as I noted then, we do have serious issues that must be resolved. In many cities and towns across the nation, there is a deep divide between the black community and law enforcement, a trust gap, a tension that has been growing for decades. And as a family, one American family, we cannot ignore these issues, because while so many officers do good – and we should be thankful, as I said on Monday, we should be very thankful and supportive of all those officers that do good – [but] some simply do not. I’ve experienced it myself. And so today I want to speak about some of those issues.”

Recalling his first encounter with the police, he said: “The very first time that I was pulled over by a police officer as just a youngster,” the officer came up to the window, “hand on his gun, and said, ‘Boy, don’t you know your headlight is not working properly?’” Scott said he was embarrassed and ashamed. And “scared, very scared.”

That was not the last time he was stopped by police, he said; he has been stopped seven times in the period of a year, and admitted that he was speeding a couple of times, but usually he was stopped for things like driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood, or some other equally trivial reason. “Imagine the frustration, the irritation, the sense of a loss of dignity” each of those times, he said, capping the story off with an incident that happened while he was serving in the U.S. Congress.

After having been in Congress for five years, and at the time in the Senate, an officer challenged him as he entered a government office building. “The pin, I know,” the officer said, referring to Scott’s U.S. Senate lapel pin. “You, I don’t. Show me your ID.” Later that day he received an apology from the officer’s supervisor, but the damage was done. Again. That was the third such apology he had received since entering the Senate.

Police question millions of Americans of all races every year in their effort to “protect and to serve,” and they should always have a legitimate reason for doing so. Obviously, they don’t always have a good reason, as Sen. Scott illustrated. But often they do have reasons, and sometimes it is at least partly due to the behavior of some of those in groups that are often the focus of police bias.

Chicago serves as a prime example, a place where black Americans are most often killed or attacked by other black Americans, not white Americans or police officers. In neighborhoods where back people routinely commit violence and murder against other blacks, why are we surprised that blacks receive greater police scrutiny?

Columnist Peggy Noonan recently wrote a column titled “Three Good Men Talk About Race” in The Wall Street Journal, all of them black Americans. They are Tim Scott, Dr. Brian Williams of Parkland Memorial Hospital, who fought to save injured Dallas police officers ambushed by a black man, and Dallas Police Chief David Brown.

“We’re asking cops to do too much in this country,” Brown said recently. “They’re paying the price for every societal failure. “Not enough mental health funding? ‘Let the cop handle it.’ Not enough drug addiction funding? ‘Let’s give it to the cops,’” he continued. The chief said that society must get in the game.

In response to blacks being killed by police we now see black men assassinating police officers. The shooter in Dallas who killed five officers and injured seven others was black. In Baton Rouge, six officers were ambushed last Sunday, and three of them died. Police killed the shooter, a 29 year-old black man who, according to The Daily Caller, was a former member of the Nation of Islam.

As Scott said, the country is deeply divided; there is a very tense trust gap. Police sometimes unfairly target black people. Many black people assume every death at the hands of police is a wrongful death.


We need leaders to calm the tension, not pour gasoline on emotional embers, to wait for details before reaching a conclusion. And we must make sure that all who do wrong are punished.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Lipstick on a pig: Administration putting a spin on the U.S. economy



It is natural for politicians to put things in the most favorable light, and the worse the general situation, the greater the need to do so. That serves as an appropriate introduction to the White House’s June economic analysis, which is summarized thusly: “The economy added 287,000 jobs in June, as labor force participation rose and the broadest measure of labor market slack fell.” As far as that statement goes, it is true.

That new jobs number is a decent number – the best jobs figure since October – and miles ahead of May’s revised number of only 11,000 new jobs. But it is not an outstanding number, and is only one of several really significant numbers.

Back in December 2009, six months after the end of the recession and 11 months into Barack Obama’s first term, economist Paul Krugman said that 300,000 new jobs each month were necessary to make up the job losses of the recession over the next five years, so the June figure falls short of that number. In the weak Obama recovery new job production has only met or exceeded 300,000 six times in 89 months. The last was in November of 2014 at 331,000.

Whether the 287,000 number holds up after revision we won’t know until August. May’s preliminary number was revised down by more than two-thirds to a mere 11,000; therefore August may show a downward revision, an upward revision, or a number that is pretty close to the preliminary figure.

Other relevant numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data set for June include an increase in the U-3 unemployment rate, the one President Obama prefers to cite, from 4.7 to 4.9 percent. Despite the increase, the U-3 rate still looks good because it discounts all those marginally attached to the labor force that involuntarily work part-time instead of full-time, or have given up looking for work because they cannot find a job. Those workers are included in the U-6 rate, which more accurately represents reality, and stood at 9.6 percent in June, and improved one-tenth of a percent since May, as some of the previously disaffected workers started seeking employment again.

Even so, the Labor Force Participation rate was still at the late-70s level of 62.7 percent. From 66.0 percent in December of 2007 when the recession began, the trend in the participation rate has been steadily downward and has been below 63 percent since March of 2014. The labor force is made up of those age 16 and older that are working, looking for a job, and not in prison or in the military, and totaled 94,517,000 people last month. That means that 56,228,000 working age Americans are not working, and not in the military or in prison.

In June, 1.8 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force. These are individuals who wanted to work, were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months, but were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.

Another 5.8 million individuals prefer full-time employment, but are working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they haven’t been able to find a full-time job.

The BLS reported, “Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates [U-3] for adult women (4.5 percent) and Whites (4.4 percent) rose in June. The rates for adult men (4.5 percent), teenagers (16.0 percent), Blacks (8.6 percent), Asians (3.5 percent), and Hispanics  (5.8 percent) showed little or no change.”

The 9.6 percent U-6 rate tells one part of the story, but the actual harm of the administration’s policies that keep the economy from cranking up are another story.

“Today’s jobs number can’t hide the ongoing struggles facing the country’s main jobs producers – small businesses – which are overwhelmed by over-taxation, over-regulation, and a lack of access to credit,” said Jobs Creators Network (JCN) president Alfredo Ortiz. “And it shouldn’t distract us from an underwhelming labor force participation rate—still the lowest figure since the 1970s.”

National Federation of Independent Business president and CEO Juanita Duggan commented, “Each month our survey shows that small business owners are trying to hire qualified workers,” and, “The job openings are there, but owners are not going to invest in new employment when labor costs are becoming insurmountable, and the political climate is wildly uncertain.”

All the way back in November of 2010 President Obama was already claiming a “new normal” for the economy: “What is a danger is that we stay stuck in a new normal where unemployment rates stay high,” he said on CBS “60 Minutes.”

Today, with a real unemployment close to 10 percent, Obama may be viewed as a pretty good prophet. However, rather than seeing the future, he engineered it, and the term “new normal” is much less a reality than an excuse. As the JCN’s Ortiz noted, high taxes, rampant and intrusive regulation and limited credit do not a good recovery make.

America deserves better. November’s election provides the opportunity to elect as president someone who understands job creation.