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Memo To Obama: It's Your Economy, Stupid
GrassTopsUSA Exclusive Commentary
By Don Feder
Here are a few possible explanations for Obama’s Did-he-really-say-that? comment at his Friday press conference (“The private sector is doing fine” at job creation):
1. The president is delusional – or is that pathological? 2. The president is so programmed by his handlers that he’ll say anything on cue, no matter how bizarre or illogical. 3. Obama is a pod person – an extraterrestrial sent to earth to destroy the U.S. economy. Recall that the aliens in “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” had the same emotional flatness, combined with a maniacal drive for destruction, as the president.
There was POTUS Pod Person telling us that hiring by business was “fine” and occurring at “a solid pace.” The challenge now,” he said, is to “make sure we continue to have a strong and robust recovery.” Custer’s last words: “I’ve got the Sioux surrounded. Now I have to make sure the 7th Cavalry stays strong and robust.”
But, even in the
fantasyland he’s created, the president sees a storm cloud on the horizon.
While “our private
sector has been doing a good job creating jobs … The big challenge we have in
our economy right now is that state and local hiring has been going in the wrong
direction” – which for a doctrinaire leftist is anywhere but up, up and away.
Yes, tragically, teachers “police officers, cops (sic.) and firefighters”
have been laid off. When liberals wail about government layoffs, it’s always
public safety that’s taking the hit, not welfare workers, school administrators,
IRS agents or the bureaucrats who enforce the 1001 mindless regulations that bedevil businesses and individuals.
We need more teachers for more functional illiteracy and classroom indoctrination (also lavish pensions and fringe benefits)!
The public sector is the only sector the president really cares about. He wants to see robustness in this sector alone – a growing government workforce which will soak up more of the nation’s wealth and whose unions will dutifully fill Democratic campaign coffers. The National Education Association (the teachers’ collective) gives 93% of its political contributions to Democrats.
Growth of the public
sector is the health – not to mention the wealth – of the Democratic Party. That’s why the White House orchestrated the Scott Walker recall election, then threw the Democrat in the race under the bus when polls showed Walker winning.
The unemployment rate is now 8.2%, up from 7.8% when Pod-Person-In-Chief took office. That’s after $831 billion in stimulus spending – which Obama’s corporate cronies, union supporters and interest groups like Planned Parenthood found very stimulating.
Abortion and condoms (fewer workers and taxpayers) – that's the way to keep an
The 2009 stimulus bill was guaranteed to take unemployment below 8%. Under the man who never held a real job before he took office (unless you count his stint as a community organizer – that’s a laugh line) we now have the longest sustained period of 8%-plus unemployment since the Great Depression.
When he began his impersonation of a president, long-term unemployment was 2.6 million. Obama
more than doubled that to 5.6 million .
The labor force participation rate – the percentage of potential workers actually
employed – has fallen to 64.3%, the lowest level since 1981.
Under Obama, 5 million workers have given up hope of finding employment. Their numbers grew by 164,000 in March. Writing in Forbes, economist Peter Ferrara says the real unemployment rate is actually 11%. But our recovery is robust and everything’s coming up roses, roses, roses.
In May, 69,000 new jobs were created nationwide – the fewest in nearly a year. To give you an idea of how pathetic that is, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy must create between 100,000 and 150,000 jobs a month just to keep up with population growth.
Job growth has averaged 89,000 a month for the entire Obama (quote) recovery (close quote). By comparison, in 1983-84, the last two years of his first term, and also coming out of a recession, under Reagan, job growth was 292,000 a month. Adjusted for population growth, that would be 375,000 a month today. But we’re doing just fine – got that Sioux war-band right where we want ‘em.
For those who have jobs, hourly compensation has been increasing at around 2% annually, half the pre-recession rate. In 2011, hourly wages inched up 1.4%, which Keith Hall, a senior research fellow at George Mason University, says is “the slowest rate of growth
(in hourly wages) in 45 years.” We’re doing better than fine.
In Obama-land, 15.1% of the population (one in seven families) lives in poverty, the highest proportion since 1993. Among blacks, it’s 27%, up from 25% in 2009. Since Inauguration Day 2009, the ranks of food-stamp recipients have increased 43%
– from 31 million to 46 million. If we were doing any better, there would be guys selling apples on every street corner.
The president keeps breaking records. In his first term, federal spending averaged 24.4% of GDP. As a percentage of Gross Domestic Product, deficits are at the highest levels since World War II.
David Axelrod, one of the administration’s senior schnauzers, charges that, as a corporate corsair, Romney took over companies, loaded them with debt, and left investors and workers holding the proverbial bag.
Loaded them up with debt? Coming from the spokesman for a president who increased the national debt from $10.6 trillion to $15.6 trillion, this is Comedy Central stuff. It took Bush (no deficit hawk) 8 years to add $5
trillion to the debt. Our little overachiever in the White House accomplished the feat in just three years.
We’ve only had four deficits in excess of $1 trillion – all under the man who
promised, early in 2009, “And that’s why today I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first year in office.” The deficits of his predecessor averaged $410 billion a year, roughly a third of Obama’s $1.29 trillion average deficit.
The average Bush deficit was 3.2% of GDP, compared to 8.3% under Obama.
The president has put us on a trajectory that could take the national debt beyond the earth’s orbit. The CBO says that if current trends continue, by 2022, the national debt will hit 90% of America’s total economic output that year (200% of GDP in 2037). By then, we’ll make Greece look like a model of
When he’s not playing Professor Harold Hill shaking his straw boater at voters, Obama’s election strategy has been, “Hey, look at the Mormon dude, over there! He’s big trouble.”
First, there was the Bain-of-my-existence attack. Supposedly, as a partner in Bain Capital in the 1990s, Romney’s MO was to buy businesses, sell off the profitable parts and leave workers collecting unemployment.
This scenario hasn’t gone over huge, even among Democrats. Clinton says the GOP
nominee-to-be had “a sterling business career” – unlike the president, who never had any career outside of
political office and political agitation.
By investing in businesses like Staples, Sports Authority and Domino’s Pizza, Bain has been a net job creator, in the 100,000-range.
The new strategy has been to heap scorn on Romney’s record as Massachusetts governor. “Under Gov. Romney, the Massachusetts economy was not at the top or even in the middle, but close to the bottom of all the states,” says Axelrod. Why elect a man whose state was 47th out of 50 in economic development, when he ran it?
While true, this omits a few significant details. For his first two years in office, Obama had a Congress with Democratic super-majorities. In other words, he could do whatever
he bloody well wanted – and did with Obama-care.
When Romney was governor, he had to work with a state legislature that was roughly 10% Republican. Years of Democratic dominance left the Massachusetts
economy gasping for air. Think of Mike Dukakis, Tip O’Neill and Ted Kennedy.
Still, Romney managed to take the state’s economic ranking form 49th to 47th, lower unemployment from 5.6% to 4.6%, close a $3 billion deficit he inherited and leave the state with a $2 billion surplus, without raising taxes. (He did raise fees.) During his tenure, 48,000 jobs were created.
At least the president is consistent: He lies about his opponent’s record as well as his own.
Obama’s actually thinks the voters will care more about the economic ranking of Massachusetts five year ago than about our basket-case economy today – that Romney’s career as a venture capitalist can be used to distract the electorate from a 50% increase in the National Debt or the price of gas up over 100% since the national disaster took office.
The president doesn’t get it. In the most crucial election of our lifetime, Barack Obama isn’t running against Mitt Romney. He’s running against himself – against his record –
which increasingly looks like Custer's regiment after the Battle of the Greasy
Memo to Obama: It’s
your economy, stupid.
Don Feder is a former Boston Herald writer who is now a political/communications consultant. He also maintains his own website, DonFeder.com.