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Blunt, Akin tie job losses to threat to Bush tax cuts, as part of GOP theme

Roy Blunt, now the GOP nominee for the U.S. Senate, and U.S. House colleague Todd Akin were both swift today to assert that July's jobs figures make clear that A) the federal stimulus spending hasn't worked and B) the Bush tax cuts can't be allowed to expire.

Blunt, R-Springfield, has been highlighting his "Where are the Jobs?" slogan -- with signs as well as talk -- ever since his victory party Tuesday night in south St. Louis.

Both congressmen point to the latest national jobs figures, which show a continued 9.5 percent unemployment rate and 131,000 jobs lost in July. Both assert that allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire at the end of the year would be bad policy; Republicans controlling Congress inserted the sunset date when they approved the cuts back in 2001.

The July job losses are tied largely to the end of the temporary federal jobs for the national census.

The Blunt, Akin statements also come as national Republican leaders end their summer meeting in Kansas City, where national chairman Michael Steele announced today the launch of a campaign bus tour after Labor Day that echoes the party's jobs theme with the title: "Fire Nancy Pelosi."

Pelosi, of course, is a Democratic congresswoman from California and the speaker of the U.S. House because Democrats are in the majority.

So far, no Missouri Democrats -- in Congress or otherwise -- have made any public comments about the disappointing federal numbers.

Blunt is competing this fall against the Democratic nominee, Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan.

Said Blunt in his statement:

"For months, Washington Democrats have hailed their trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ as a job-creator. But the unemployment rate remains stuck at 9.5 percent, and thousands more Americans have lost their jobs.

"Spending sprees, job-killing taxes and government regulation are no way to get Americans back to work and our economy back on track. Month after month, national Democrats push these same policies with only mountains of debt and fewer jobs to show for it. It is time that they admit the ‘stimulus’ is not working.

"While facing these challenging times, Missourians are asking, 'Where are the jobs?’ Missouri families have made clear to me -- during jobs roundtables, individual meetings, and stopping me on the street -- that jobs are their number one priority. They’re wondering when the government will get out of the way and let them return to work. Instead of taxing small businesses and families, it is time to pursue smart policies that don’t penalize job creators, raise taxes on small businesses, or stifle productivity.

"Let’s turn our focus to creating jobs, helping small businesses and getting Missouri and America back to work."

Akin's release was shorter, and to the point:

"It is obvious that the majority's so-called economic stimulus which was passed on the backs of small business and American families is not doing what was promised. Further, American families are facing the potential of an historic tax increases if the majority makes good on their promise to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire."

"These numbers reflect the backward policies being promoted by an economically tone deaf Administration out of touch with the real world."

This article originally appeared in the St. Louis Beacon.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.