More bad economic news today, further calling into question the policies of the Obama Administration. New jobless claims rose to 472,000 last week, up 12,000 from the previous week and 22,000 higher than expected. Yet, the government still asserts that the national unemployment rate remains at 9.7%. This comes after yesterday’s bad news that new home sales fell some 10% from last May. In April, new home sales were up 15% from the previous year, but this number was artificially inflated due to government tax credits expiring. Without Uncle Sugar juicing the numbers, the so-called economic recovery just plain isn’t happening.

Yesterday was also a bad day for the Obama Administration as a procedural vote in the Senate to extend such tax credits, like for housing, and unemployment benefits, failed to pass. A dozen Democrat senators, worried about re-election in November, voted with Republicans against new spending measures to add $50 Billion in what Obama and Harry Reid call a “jobs bill”. Actually, the money is a bailout to prop up states and local governments facing budget deficits.

As usual, the Democrats claim that the money is needed to pay teachers to keep children in school and pay policemen to keep us safe. This is far from reality. The ‘jobs’ bill would do nothing to create new private sector jobs, and probably won’t even save public sector jobs in the long run. All levels of government are spending too much money. Just throwing more cash at them will not solve any problems.

In Europe, which Obama always likes to point to as an economic guide, the Debt Contagion is forcing nations to face reality. Bailouts for countries like Greece are only temporary relief. This week, France and Spain passed new austerity measures, slashing the welfare state and reducing government subsidies to floundering industries, like the ‘green’ industry. Cap and Trade, being considered here, has proven to be a failure in Europe, dragging their economies down with excessive taxes, costs and creating only more sovereign debt.

With the actual unemployment rate in America closer to Depression-level 15-17%, if not higher, the Obama Administration and Democrats are doing their best to stay upbeat about an economic recovery till the November elections. In 2006, Democrats played up the National Debt, two expensive wars and an unemployment rate of 5.5% to seize control of the House and Senate from Republicans. So, once again, despite new weekly jobless claims rising, the official government number of an unemployment rate of 9.7% is designed to keep the level below the double digits of 10+% to trick the public into false optimism.