Just when America needs a boost, we're stuck with Dr. Doom

The jobless rate, officially 7.9%, is almost twice that if you include those who have stopped looking, work part time, or are only “marginally attached” to the workforce. “The labor force participation rate . . . has dropped to the lowest level since 1984,” Mr. Zuckerman noted. “It is harder to find work today than it has been in any previous recession.”

Meanwhile, the president is stuck in his games and his history. He should have seen unemployment entering a crisis stage four years ago, and he did not. At that time I was certain he’d go for public-works projects, which could give training to the young and jobs to the experienced underemployed, would create jobs in the private sector and, in the end, yield up something needed—a bridge, a strengthened power grid. He instead gave his first term to health care. And now ObamaCare is being cited as a reason employers are laying people off and not hiring, according to a report from the Federal Reserve.

What a mess. …

Barack Obama really is a study in contrasts, such as aloof and omnipresent. He’s never fully present and he won’t leave. He speaks constantly, endlessly, but always seems to be withholding his true thoughts and plans. He was the candidate of hope and change, of “Yes, we can,” but the mood of his governance has been dire, full of warnings, threats, cliffs and ceilings, full of words like suffering and punishment and sacrifice.

It’s always the language of zero-sum, of hardship that must be evenly divided, of constriction and accusation.

It’s all so frozen, so stuck. Just when America needs a boost, some faith, a breakthrough.