Folks at the White House are probably tidying up their resumes these days as even their bosses have accepted a decidedly pessimistic view of jobs through the presidential election. Thursday the White House budget office forecast that unemployment would remain at 9 percent through the 2012 elections.

The unemployment outlook is projected at a 9.1 percent rate this year, slightly under the 9.3 percent predicted in February and 9 percent for 2012, up from 8.6 percent from February.

The budget office is predicting unemployment will remain above 5 percent until at least 2017, indicative of the depths of the current recession and offering little positive news for either Mr. Obama or congressional Democrats. The press release suggests acceptance of the considerable impediments to Mr. Obama’s re-election.

The Office of Management and Budget said federal budget deficits would be lower for this year and next due to spending cuts that the White House and Congress agreed to this year. For this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, the budget deficit will be just over $1.3 trillion according to current estimates. While the sizable $329 billion reduction may sound impressive, the deficit still represents 8.8 percent of gross domestic product, far beyond the 3 percent economists believe is sustainable.

Mr. Obama’s budget director, Jacob J. Lew, much like members of Congress, likes to point to invisible savings, such as reduced spending in Iraq and Afghanistan, the expiration of the Bush tax cuts and savings to be garnered from the Super Committee, however until enacted all remain pie-in-the-sky. Lew claims the savings from the “planned” reductions would bring the deficit to 2.2 percent of G.D.P. over the next decade; however expected savings assumes zero additional spending beyond inflation over the decade. Neither Congress nor the White House has ever managed to maintain spending increases to inflation for more than a single year since Ronald Reagan was in office.

All the dire news flowing from the administration may just be a precursor to the President’s speech to a joint session of Congress next week. Much like the discussions of the country defaulting on its debt or the massive bank failures predicted if not for the Wall Street bail-outs, the negative forecasts lay the groundwork for Mr. Obama’s new proposals; however any additional spending won’t just be a hard-sell, it’ll be akin to selling wood stoves in the Sahara; there is no stomach for new spending programs in either the House or the Senate.

The Congressional Budget Office indicated that even though annual deficits will decline through the decade as the economy recovers, after 2021 they begin to climb at an accelerated rate due to an aging population and growing health care costs (in spite of Obamacare.)

The White House is promising that Mr. Obama will propose a job creation initiative for the near term, with new and previously proposed ideas for temporary tax cuts, infrastructure programs and retraining the long-term unemployed. Clearly the President knows that getting any spending through Congress will be nearly impossible and many on his political side of the aisle have stated they will not vote for any additional stimulus. Could it be that what Mr. Obama will offer isn’t truly intended to become law? Might the objective be not to create jobs but rather shift blame to an already massively unpopular Congress?

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