Obama’s Summer Jobs for Youth

Since President Barack Obama took office in 2009, he has guided the nation through rough times and has enacted many policies aimed at spurring economic growth. Trillions of tax dollars were spent in an attempt to revitalize the economy and bring back jobs.

Recently, the White House has announced it will help create over 180,000 jobs over the summer for youth aged 16-24. The plan calls on companies like Jamba Juice, Wells Fargo, Viacom, AT&T and others to increase the amount of young people they will hire this summer for temporary jobs.

The plan also calls for departments within the Federal Government to increase the amount of young people they will hire over summer. The plan is expected to cost $1.5 billion according to the White House’s website.

The plan will be an executive action that would be implemented without the approval of Congress because as President Obama put it, “We can’t wait for Congress to act.”

It seems that Obama lost faith in Congress after his proposed American Jobs Act was stopped in the Senate. Now he wants to use executive power to bring about his economic plan even though it might be unconstitutional. The constitution gives the power to regulate inter-state commerce solely to Congress and not the president in Article 1 section 8 clause 3. But the president can get around this clause if he only acts as moderator for the plan and doesn’t use government funds to pay for it. He could also petition Congress for funding or find another way around the commerce clause.

The fact that the plan was unveiled this year should come as no surprise. In 2008 Obama’s campaign promised “Hope and Change,” but now many Americans are not happy with the president’s performance. The average approval rating for President Obama for the year 2011 was 44 percent according to the Gallup poll, although it did rise to a high of 53 percent in May of 2011. In case anyone can’t remember, that’s the same month as the Osama bin Laden raid by Seal Team 6.  However, that was still lower from his average approval rating of 57.2 percent in when he took office in 2009.

The plan is a way for the Obama administration to reconnect with college voters. In the 2008 election, college voters constituted a large block of the support base that got him elected; now he wishes to rekindle the support he received in 2008.  Obama knows that the state of the economy will be a major factor in the coming election. After all, it was in large part to the bad economy in 2008 that got Obama elected in the first place.

I personally hope that this new plan will go better than other plans that many of the other plans Obama put into action.  These include the loan to the solar panel company Solyndra before it went bankrupt, bailing out failed banks after he pledged not to, preventing Boeing from moving its factories to South Carolina, and blocking the construction of the Keystone oil pipeline, to name a few.

I do believe that the plan will be beneficial for college students in the short run, but it obviously won’t fix the recession we are still in. It will give us a much better chance at temporary employment and the benefits it brings, including pay, job references and perhaps most importantly, job experience.

Even if you don’t like our current president or his policies, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t benefit from them. This plan will only be a temporary fix and will only affect a small group. 180,000 jobs aren’t a lot when you consider that millions of Americans are currently unemployed and are looking for work. Also consider the fact that youth unemployment stands around 50 percent.

If you were planning on waiting to get a job you might want to look for a job over the summer because a chance like this might not come again for some time, or at least not until someone wants to get re-elected, that is.

Braden Buckel is a first-year literary journalism major. He can be reached at bbuckel@uci.edu.