Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.
Washington is the only city in America where housing values are going up. That may help explain why the political class is so divorced from the nation’s agonies. Sure, the entire nation celebrated the dispatch of Osama bin Laden, but when it comes to the economy, the Beltway is a world unto itself.
Two years from the official beginning of the “recovery,” America continues to suffer a deep and punishing jobs crisis. One in six Americans of working age is unemployed or underemployed. College students, laden with record levels of debt, are graduating into the worst jobs market since the Great Depression. Long-term unemployment is at unprecedented levels. At current rates of job growth, we won’t return to pre-recession employment levels until 2016. And the jobs that are being created — largely in the service industry — tend to have lower pay and benefits than the jobs that were lost.
Republicans won big in 2010 elections with now-House Speaker John Boehner bellowing coast to coast, “Where are the jobs?” But since coming to Washington, the Tea Party-dominated House has focused on everything but jobs — moving to repeal health-care reform, cripple financial reform, assail the Environmental Protection Agency, defund Planned Parenthood and NPR, and enact savage cuts in domestic spending.
Perhaps the reason is that the party is bereft of ideas on how to create jobs.
Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.