Gene Sperling, President Barack Obama's director of the National Economic Council, came to Detroit today bearing good tidings about the U.S. economy, which he said has created 5.1 million jobs in the past 2 1/2 years.
As if we expected a glum report less than six weeks before Election Day, right?
Sperling, an Ann Arbor native who has held high-level economic policy posts under both Obama and President Bill Clinton, said in a speech to the Detroit Economic Club that new Labor Department numbers today showed that nearly 400,000 more jobs have been created in the past 12 months than previously reported. But he added, "We have a long way to go. Nobody should be satisfied with where we are."
With the U.S. jobless rate stuck around 8 percent, Sperling offered little in the way of new ideas for accelerating the sluggish pace of growth in his speech before the Detroit Economic Club. Rather, he blamed Republicans for refusing to compromise on Obama proposals for a "balanced" plan of spending cuts and some revenue increases to trim while boosting jobs growth.
In what might be considered a precursor of Obama's debate positions when he faces off with challenger Mitt Romney next week, Sperling pointed repeatedly to the comeback of the U.S. auto industry and Obama's get-tough policy with China on trade enforcement actions.
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