This is the VOA Special English Economics Report.
month more Americans than expected lost their jobs. Job losses had fallen every
month since January. The news raised questions about the strength of progress
toward economic recovery. Unemployment is at twenty-six year highs. The jobless
rate in June was nine and a half percent.
That is already a lot higher than President Obama's
advisers had predicted for later this year, even if Congress passed a stimulus
bill. Congress did that in February with the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act. It contained seven hundred eighty-seven billion dollars in spending
increases and tax cuts to strengthen the economy.
That bill was a compromise between calls for more
spending and concerns about the rising national debt. Most of the money has yet
to be spent. But already some lawmakers and others are saying the economy might
one in the administration is talking about a second stimulus at this
point." Those were the words of Rob Nabors, deputy director of the White
House's Office of Management and Budget. He told a hearing in Congress on
Wednesday that the administration is mainly concerned with the current recovery
Still, even President Obama left open the possibility when
he signed the recovery act into law in February.
BARACK OBAMA: "Now I don't want to pretend that
today marks the end of our economic problems. Nor does it constitute all of
what we're going to have to do to turn our economy around."
concern is the possible effect of additional spending on the budget deficit.
This year's federal deficit is already predicted to be the highest in relation
to the economy since World War Two.
Laura D'Andrea Tyson is on the
president's Economic Recovery Advisory Board. On Tuesday she suggested that the
administration should plan for the possibility of additional aid. Rob Nabors
told the congressional hearing that she did not represent the administration.
Accountability Office reports that state and local governments have received twenty-nine
billion dollars so far. It arrived quickly. But ninety percent has gone to health
care for the elderly and education programs. Only a small part has gone to bridges,
roads and other infrastructure -- projects that can put people to work more
The report led Republicans to say the recovery plan passed by
Democrats is failing. But members of both parties have suggested they might
support new stimulus measures to end the recession.
And that's the VOA Special English
Economics Report, written by Mario Ritter. I'm Steve Ember.