First, it was the jobless recovery, where the economy was magically getting better due to the artificial increases in spending fueled by deficit currency devaluation and favoritist handout programs. Then it became the "job loss" recovery, when it became more obvious that the various handout programs and Kabuki Theater money printing and shuffling wasn't actually creating or even preserving any actual jobs. At some point, maybe, in the distant future, some astute historian can berate the current administrations and its other various socialist-leaning philosophical supporters with something akin to "it's all about the jobs, right, and those blithering morons just couldn't get the trivially simple concept into their empty fascist skulls".
The American economy is not going to get "better" without jobs. On the upside, a healthy business and job environment does wonders to cure many economic ills; on the downside, every Democrat policy, thought, and action seems expressly designed to crush job creation and maintenance, and the blithering morons are running the country currently. Government jobs (explicitly, as in all the people directly employed by various government agencies, or implicitly, as in all the people employed as a result of the government printing money and/or subsidizing various industries above and beyond their normal competitive capacity) are a net zero: they don't help, but there are far worse things the government could be doing as it strips the remaining remnants of economic prosperity from our children (eg: creating a nationalized health care nightmare).
This goes along with another facet of the same problem: handouts. Handouts (subsidization, stimulus, support, etc.) are the antithesis of jobs; not only do they supersede the will/need to create/have jobs, but they encourage a national philosophy of begging for more handouts, which is even more destructive to economic prosperity. It has become more obvious to me, recently, that the whole handout mindset is likely the #1 long-term ailment of the US economy, and the enormous psychological damage which handout programs inflict on the US is downplayed, or outright ignored, when handout programs are considered. Americans have moved beyond asking what their country can do for them, and now are upset when their country does not do enough for them, and we will not be able to recover economically until or unless we somehow halt the progression of this crippling philosophical disease. Yes, it really is that bad.
If our esteemed leaders and "public servants" has any interest at all, in the slightest, in helping the people of the country, they would be focused nearly-entirely on private sector job creation, and on eliminating handouts. The day I hear the beggar on the street change his pitch from "can you spare some money" to "anything I can do to earn some money from you" is they day I know we have succeeded in reversing the tide of national sentiment. Instead, all the US people seem capable of debating is who should get what in the latest handout programs, and it's a road to ruin.
It doesn't matter as much who gets what benefits in Obamacare, or how much banking executives are allowed to pay themselves out of government subsidization, or how long unemployment benefits are extended, or how much money the government gives to the housing industry to reward them for the bubble: they are all, every one of them, symptoms of a greater, more insidious, and immensely more destructive meta-problem. We, the people, should not be asking how we can mold the latest handout program to be less detrimental; we need to be thinking about how we can eliminate the root scourge of political malfeasance which continues to doom the American people to a life of servitude and begging for scraps from the master's table. If we can free ourselves from this latest crushing evil, economic recovery, prosperity, and freedom from government oppression would come along for free.