by Jordan Zakarin
A day after the Department of Labor reported a 22-year high in unemployment, oil prices soared to record highs and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 400 points in reaction to the devastating fiscal news, President Bush praised the economy, saying it was doing a “heckuva job” for the American people.
The report placed unemployment at 5.5%, with 8.55 million people out of work, including 1.55 million that have been without jobs for longer than 26 weeks, making them ineligible for unemployment benefits. In May alone, the United States shed 49,000 jobs. The statistics, Bush said, were positive indicators for the country’s economy.
“With just 5.5% of our people out of work long term, that’s like 92.5% that have jobs, which is pretty good. We’re definitely ahead of Iraq.” Bush said. “We’re creating jobs every day, and while the doubters point out that many of those jobs are low-paying service industry positions that pay no where near what the old manufacturing jobs we shipped overseas did, slurpees are a vital part of this country’s economy. I know I couldn’t live without my late night frozen drink. Have you tried the various Mountain Dew ones they got now? Awesome.”
As for the 49,000 who were laid off this month, and the millions of Americans seeing their homes foreclosed on Bush offered empathy. “Don’t forget, I’ve got about six months left until I lose my job, and my home. Well, one of my homes. But I’m a positive, optimistic person. I see it as a chance to take some time off and relax, clear some brush and see friends. I think Americans would be served well to adopt that outlook, especially those that have worked as hard as I have.”
When questioned about the record oil prices that threaten to put a damper on the summer travel industry, as well as make it costlier and costlier for people to run their air conditioners in the sweltering upcoming months, Bush lauded the spike in prices.
“Yeah, it’s gotten expensive, and I can sympathize with people having trouble with it. Do you know how much it costs to fill Air Force One? Neither do I, but I can imagine it’s a huge bill for the taxpayers. But, on the whole, this is a good thing. It’s proof that our free market, a market that I have repeatedly insisted must be left to regulate its own devices, is working,” Bush insisted. “Supply and demand, folks. It’s something we learned about Harvard Business School, and it’s just proof that our American system is working.”
Regarding people’s struggles with the high prices, the President said that he had little control over the situation. “Sure, some people may be struggling to fill their tanks, making it impossible to keep the paycheck they earn after their filling up for commutes to work, but that’s we call the invisible hand. And the hand, right now, controlled by oil companies and traders, is reaching into American pockets. Some call that price gouging, even corruption, but my economists and I, we call it ‘trickle down.'”