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July 7th, 2012
09:18 AM ET

Letters to the President #1265: 'Jobs, jobs, jobs'

Reporter's Note: President Obama has been trying to explain away the continuingly weak jobs numbers.

Dear Mr. President,

I didn’t bring up the latest jobs report yesterday because I figured you’d already had a long week and probably didn’t want to think about it. I suppose that is still true today, but it is the biggest issue in the headlines, so there is no avoiding it forever.

Of course the numbers are disappointing. In rowboat terms, even with 80-thousand jobs created, the boat is sinking faster than we are bailing and that is a problem.

Which brings me to a bit of a sore point. I realize that when anyone is trying to get re-elected, he or she wants to emphasize all the positives and minimize the negatives of the passing term in office. But it drives me crazy to hear any politician, Democrat or Republican, cite only half of an equation and call it evidence. You and your campaign folks have been trotting all over the place talking about the 4.4 million jobs you’ve created in the past 28 months. Fair enough. But making that claim over and over without, each time, acknowledging how many jobs we’ve lost since you took office seems misleading.

I know that you blame a lot of the negative momentum on Bush administration, and so do most voters. That too, is fair enough. But it is precisely because so many people understand that, that I find it odd for you to keep steering around the whole truth as if it is a bomb. Just say it. Each time you mention how many jobs have been created since you took office, complete the thought by saying how many have been lost. I think it would show a greater faith in the intelligence and integrity of the American people, and a greater commitment to honesty and transparency on your part.

Simply put: When any politician gives only half of a story, it always looks as if he or she has something to hide. My advice to any of them: If you are proud of your accomplishments then don’t be afraid to hold them up to the full light of scrutiny and have faith that voters too will judge them to be good.

Hope your weekend is going well.

Regards,
Tom