In a long interview this week with New York Times Magazine columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin, President Barack Obama laments the reality that most Americans do not appreciate today’s economy, eight years after the last recession.
The President uses figures on Gross Domestic Product growth, unemployment at 5 percent, and the reduced deficit as figures that support his contention that the economy really is doing much better. He then blamed Republicans for the public perception that the economy isn’t so great by stating “if you have a political party — in this case, the Republicans — that denies any progress and is constantly channeling to their base, which is sizable, say, 40 percent of the population, that things are terrible all the time, then people will start absorbing that.”
Mr. President, if the economy were such a smashing success and was really improving, there isn’t anything the opposing party would be able to say that would dissuade the public in enjoying the fruits of a true economic recovery.
To say it plainly, if the United States economy were “out of the woods” per se, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.
The President takes credit for reducing the deficit. Great. Mr. President, you only reduced the deficit because you grew national spending dramatically in your first year in office through an $800 billion stimulus package that ballooned spending well beyond the Bush years then raised taxes to lower it later. And while the economy has improved at a recovery rate lower than any in national history, you raised taxes through Obamacare and other mechanisms strangling real economic opportunity for the nation, while continuing to grow the girth and power of a massive Federal bureaucracy.
This is the reason that, while the deficit appears to be shrinking, the National Debt has exploded to double the debt left by all 43 prior Presidents combined over the last 240 years of this great nation.
The President takes credit for reducing unemployment to 5 percent, while ignoring that over 90 million Americans have dropped out of the workforce altogether and are conveniently no longer part of the unemployment figure. As a percentage, that is higher than at any time since Jimmy Carter was President. A recent survey by the National Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 1 in 5 American families no longer have ANYONE who works.
Then let us take a look at Gross Domestic Product (GDP). During most economic recoveries GDP climbs above 5 percent. The Reagan recovery hit nearly 8 percent and the Clinton recovery was around 5 percent. The Obama recovery has never in 8 years managed to hit the 3 percent mark and has averaged 2 percent over 8 years, the lowest recovery rate in United States history. This last quarter was revised down to a half percent growth.
And the final statistic that is a reality for most Americans away from Wall Street, Washington D.C., and Silicon Valley is this: The average American family’s income is $4000 a year less than when Bill Clinton left office.
All this good news comes on the heels of Obamacare’s massive tax increases and rising premiums (where did that $2500 per family savings go?), higher energy costs, and the lowest home ownership rate since 1967.
No Mr. President, the American people and every Presidential candidate are not wrong to be disappointed with our national economy. From both right and left, young and old, poor and middle class they are furious that their children won’t have it as good as they did.
The only question now is whether voters will continue the policies of this economic malaise by electing another Democrat in November, or decide to change direction.