After the government announced June 6 that last month’s jump in the unemployment rate was the worst in more than 20 years, a few corporate mouthpieces admitted that the economy might have “stalled.”

Their modest admission was based on the loss of 49,000 jobs in May following a loss of 28,000 in April, bringing the official number of jobless to 7,626,000 or 5.5 percent.

The labor movement correctly responded by pointing out that when “underemployed” and “discouraged” job seekers are added, the real figure is 14,260,000 unemployed. Even that figure doesn’t include the many millions of first-time job seekers for whom there is no work.

Even if the jobless figures were all we had to worry about, it is absurd to say the economy has merely “stalled.”

The tanking job market comes on top of 30 years of evaporating wages, the out-of-control price hikes for everything from fuel to food, and the credit, home equity and affordable housing and mortgage crises.

Workers know that rather than being “stalled,” they are swimming in a toxic brew that amounts to nothing less than full-fledged disaster. They also know that the disaster is the result, not of “cyclical” or “random” events, but of Bush administration policy beholden to corporations and lobbyists who line this president’s pocketbook.

These are the same people who line the pocketbook of Republican presidential candidate John McCain. How else can one explain McCain’s economic program, which calls for continuing and even expanding tax breaks for the rich, and for taxing workers’ health insurance? It’s the same poisonous mix that created the disaster workers now face.

The only other possible explanations for the McCain approach are that he is from another planet or that he is badly in need of a reality check.

If the people have their way he will get that reality check in November.