The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


President Obama is already in full campaign mode, traveling the country and blaming the poor economy on pre-existing circumstances, the hated-Republicans, and world events. It’s only fair to state that the President did not have a healthy economy when he took office, in fact, a combination of poor public policy going back to the 1990s and Wall Street malfeasance led the 2008 crash. President Bush had culpability for this, but so did many prominent congressman and senators from the President’s party.

Many of the President's supporters—DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz comes to mind—have already begun delivering an oft-repeated message that under this President the economy has “turned the corner” and is significantly better than it would have been if George W. Bush was still in office. Obama supporters buttress their claims by citing that anywhere from 1.6 to 2.2 million jobs have been “saved”—convenient, because that number cannot be realistically measured and has never before been used as a metric for economic health.

Given that this argument will get a lot of air time and print in the coming months, it’s only reasonable to look at a few other numbers. Milton R. Wolf does this when he writes:
Under Obamanomics, the unemployment rate has increased from 7.8 percent to 9.1 percent, and underemployment has increased from 14.0 percent to 16.2 percent. The average length of unemployment has increased from 19.9 weeks to 40.3 weeks. Median income has dropped from $52,029 per year to $49,445.

Since Mr. Obama has taken office, the total number of jobs in America has decreased from 142.2 million to 139.6 million. Most schoolchildren with a calculator would say that’s a loss of 2.6 million jobs, but not Barack Obama. The White House has claimed that the stimulus created - or saved - 2.5 million to 3.6 million jobs. Off by 6 million, but close enough for government work, I suppose.

On President Obama’s watch, $835 billion dollars were squandered on a stimulus that didn’t create enough jobs. Now, the President insists that doing more of the same, but only half as much, will create 1.9 million jobs. Luckily, even with Democratic control of the senate, his jobs legislation was rejected. The President bashed Republicans, even though they are in the minority.

And even after the expenditure of almost a trillion dollars, much of it going to programs to help those at the low end of the income scale, Wolf reports:
Under Obamanomics, the poverty rate has increased from 13.2 percent to 14.3 percent. The number of Americans living below the poverty level has increased from 39.8 million to 43.6 million. The number of Americans on food stamps has increased from 31.9 million to 45.2 million.

And finally, there’s the small matter of the debt. Again from Wolf:
Since Barack Obama and his Democratic allies in Congress took control of the national checkbook, annual spending has increased from an already mind-blowing $2.9 trillion to $3.8 trillion. The annual deficit has increased from an already shameful $438 billion to an unbelievable $1.5 trillion. Meanwhile, the national credit card balance has increased from $10.6 trillion to a maxed-out $14.7 trillion.

In 2008, Sen. Obama complained that President George W. Bush “added $4 trillion by his lonesome, so that we now have over $9 trillion of debt that we are going to have to pay back - $30,000 for every man, woman and child. That’s irresponsible. It’s unpatriotic.”

Irresponsible, he said, before he tacked on another $17,000 for every man, woman and child. Unpatriotic. It’s hard to disagree.

I suppose it's possible to explain away some of these numbers, but it will be difficult to explain away all of them. In fact, it’s the numbers, plain and simple, that will be the President’s undoing.