September 21st, 2009
08:08 AM ET

Dear President Obama #245: Just another manic Monday...

Reporter's Note: President Obama did a little speed dating over the weekend, giving interviews to almost all the major TV news operations. I was pretty busy myself, but still found time to write my daily letters to the White House. Look, here’s one!

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/20/john.king.monday.memo/art.obama.king.cnn.jpg caption="President Obama interviewed by John King on CNN's Sunday morning show, State of the Union."]

Tom Foreman | Bio
AC360° Correspondent

Dear Mr. President,

Sometimes it seems as if I just can’t get everything done that I plan for the weekend before the work bell rings again. You must feel the same way, especially after your round robin of talk shows this weekend. I’m not utterly convinced that was a great idea because the reports that followed focused primarily on A) Why did you do it? And B) Did you get into any trouble in the process? Don’t fret too much about that. Much of it is just the nature of my profession. I know that people always say they want more positive news, but the simple truth is if we report that a president gave a series of interviews over the weekend and everything was peaches and cream, no one will pay any attention. So most of my media brethren tend to focus on what went wrong, or might have gone wrong, or will go wrong if we poke it with a sharp stick long enough.

As a result, the headline that jumped out to me most seemed to be the one where you said even if the economy rebounds solidly, joblessness could remain a serious problem well into next year. I know that is something that people don’t much want to hear in the unemployment lines, and you can’t blame them. I also know that it is terribly, dishearteningly, and painfully true. Every projection I’ve seen says the jobs will be slow in returning.

What is much more troubling, however, is the prospect of a jobless recovery which is something else I’ve heard mentioned a pretty good bit. As I understand it, even economists disagree as to what can make this happen. Some blame automation, and some outsourcing, and some phases of the moon. My theory? Jobless recoveries are born of fear, habit, and greed. Businesses, when they are not convinced a recovery is robust, hesitate to go back to the bigger staffs they had previously. After all, it actually did hurt to dump all those people and they don’t relish doing it again. Secondly, once a shop gets used to doing the job with less help, the boss may not feel inclined to change that. And lastly, if the business owner can make more money, while still spending less on people, I think many say: Why not?

My point is we have to see not only our economy recover, but also our faith in it. And both of those are tough tricks, no matter how many times you sit in the interview chair to say better times are coming. Speaking of which, I’ve got to get busy. Give me a ring if you have a moment. Hey, how about my Saints? Gooooo team!


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Conserve' in USA

    Canada has 33 million people and the average person pays 48% of their income in taxes. America has 300 million people. Do you want to pay 48% of your salary for free health care?

    September 21, 2009 at 11:12 pm |
  2. Dionne

    I agree with the lady from Canada. President Obama has been working overtime trying to get the Health Care bill passed. President Clinton tried the same thing. There is so much money into health care and the people that have stocks and ownership of insurance companies don't want a change. This would mean they would lose millions of dollars. It's just like the oil industry. Eventhough the ozone layer is getting affected by all the chemicals, money is reason we still allow it. In the long run everybody loses but greed keeps corruption going.

    September 21, 2009 at 10:55 pm |
  3. Annie Kate

    A jobless recovery would be terrible and would probably keep the economy from totally recovering. Also, those who decide not to re-hire may find that among the few jobs that do appear, their current employees may be part of the group going after them because their morale is so low from having to do more work on less pay. It's no fun being laid off but it's equally no fun being the one left behind doing two people's work for one person's pay.

    September 21, 2009 at 8:40 pm |
  4. Boomer in Mo

    Homeowners and vehicle insurance is based on the premise that only a few need it each year even though everyone is paying their premium every year. It's shared risk. If everyone has to have a minimum amount of healthcare coverage, they would share the risk and premiums would be expected to level off or at least not go up so fast, provided the health care insurance companies get some true regulation. It's pretty pitiful in MO right now.
    We could quit covering uninsured illegals today. We just have to have the guts to throw them out on the street and let them die. It is as simple as that. Lots of hospitals are doing that now, with non-citizens and citizens alike who have no way to pay. They just declare someone "stable" after minimal care and tell them to get out and go home. They've got the guts to do it. Do you?

    September 21, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  5. Retta

    If the Presdident requires all U.S. citizens to carry insurance will he require this of the illegals too? If not, will they be allowed to use the emergency rooms for healthcare? Who will pay for it?

    September 21, 2009 at 2:07 pm |
  6. johnflyer

    Barack Obama will raise many more TAXES before suddenly dying from natural sickness before mid December 2009

    September 21, 2009 at 12:09 pm |
  7. Ratna, New York, NY

    Dear Tom,

    Those who practice the Law of Attraction give the advice of believing that you already own what you wish for.

    September 21, 2009 at 8:54 am |
  8. bianca

    I'm a single mother of a child with diabetes. I would love for these protestors of healthcare reform,come to my home where I have to choose between food and medicine.

    September 21, 2009 at 8:49 am |
  9. Julia

    Being a Canadian, I can't understand all this craziness about health care. Who in their right mind would argue about healthcare for everyone, and when I listen to the arguments, I can't help but constantly feeling being insulted by some Americans and their views. We here in Canada live with, as they say a Government run healthcare system and I think we are the better for it. Everyone has access to healthcare and we also have extended health coverage for the things that the Government won't cover. The more I watch the more I can't see what makes America the greatest country in the world. Some people there seems so bitter and self-centred. Its all about me, me, me. Where are the people who support doing right by their fellow brothers and sisters all we hear are ignorant views.

    Unfortunately, as usual the negative and ignorant people are always the loudest and most disturbing at the party.

    September 21, 2009 at 8:49 am |