Saturday, July 7, 2012

An uncredible recovery

What’s New Today
Story #1 looks at what moving in the right direction actually looks like (hint it isn’t the right direction).  #2 looks at the Obama excuse machine and wonders if it isn’t time to take some responsibility? #3 looks at the political significance of the latest jobs report.  #4 wonders if time is running out for Obama.  #5 questions the role the Press ISN’T playing with the Obama Administration.  #6 finds Obamanomics to be the exact opposite of what the economy needs. #7 is a new campaign ad on the hypocrisy of Obama-Biden on debt. 

Today’s Thoughts
"Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives." Ronald Reagan

Back in 2004, then-Senator Obama attacked George W. Bush for creating 310,000 jobs. Today, he is boasting about 80,000 jobs.  How times have changed.  

Obama also boasts of creating 4.4 million jobs.  At the same point in the 1981 recession recovery Reagan had created 9.5 million new jobs and that was with a smaller workforce.

The NYTimes admits today that the economic outlook for the election is pretty much what today looks like.  

1.  What 2012 is all about

This year’s presidential election is shaping up as the starkest choice since 1980, a year with which 2012 has much in common. (OK, 1984 was a stark contrast too, but with a foregone conclusion.) The Obama administration tells voters that 8% unemployment and 15% underemployment is the new normal. Monthly job reports that indicate regression–80,000 jobs are not enough to keep up with new entrants into the job market, so a report like today’s means that we are sliding backward, not moving forward–constitute “a step in the right direction,” according to Barack Obama. We have been taking such steps in the “right direction” for going on four years, and the result has been economic disaster. It is no surprise that only 30% of the likely voters say the U.S. is heading in the right direction.

If you think “the private sector is doing fine,” then you probably also think that steadily losing ground, with more and more Americans facing economic distress, means “moving in the right direction.” Actually, the only ones who think we are moving in the right direction are those who want to increase dependence on government….

I think Obama is going to regret his choice of words in trying to soft pedal the latest employment numbers.  It’s too easy to make fun of what he said.

2.  Obama’s excuses wearing thin

President Obama’s response to the latest dismal federal jobs report was as predictable as it was weak. Speaking on his bus tour of Ohio, he repeated the theme we’ve heard so often since January 2009: It’s not his fault. Only this time he not only heaped blame on the administration of his predecessor but also claimed the problems dated to the Clinton administration, which heretofore Democrats have spoken of as a golden age of prosperity:

“We’ve got to deal with what’s been happening over the last decade, the last 15 years….”

…As even a liberal stalwart like Robert Reich pointed out today at the Huffington Post, the excuse that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression is “wearing thin.” In fact, it has already worn out, a fact made all too clear by the president’s obfuscations about the jobs numbers that Reich was honest enough to report.

Though the president preferred to take a “glass half full” approach to the jobs numbers, as the New York Times delicately described his rhetoric, Reich was more frank about Obama’s excuses. Far from the creation of 84,000 new jobs being a hopeful sign, the truth is very different:

Remember, 125,000 new jobs are needed just to keep up with the increase in the population of Americans who need jobs. That means the jobs situation continues to worsen….

I saw an AP article that said Obama has three months to turn this around.  That isn’t true.  He has four months to get three improving job reports to have any chance of being able to say we are going in the right direction without looking like one of the three stooges.

3.  Obama’s goose is cooked

Obama needed a filet mignon in the June employment report. Instead he got a rubber chicken.
Only 80,000 new jobs were created last month, way below Wall Street expectations. It’s the fourth consecutive monthly disappointment. For a few months last winter, jobs were rising at an average of 225,000 a month. But that has sloped way down to only 75,000. The unemployment rate continues at 8.2 percent, which is the forty-first straight month above 8 percent. The U6 unemployment rate, which includes discouraged workers, is just under 15 percent.

As voters finalize their election impressions this summer, all of this is bad news for the Chicago incumbent.
At a campaign stop in Ohio on Friday, Obama actually said we’re still “heading in the right direction.” Is he kidding? As a stagnant GDP drops below 2 percent, employment falters, retail sales decline, and the ISM index for manufacturing drops below 50 (signaling contraction)? No objective observer can deny that the economy is headed in the wrong direction.

I don’t like playing the pessimist, but the numbers are the numbers. This is exactly what former Clinton advisers James Carville, Doug Schoen, and Stanley Greenberg have been warning Obama about. People just don’t believe the economy is getting better. So he’s gotta change his message….

Obama has to do more than change the message; he has to change the direction he’s going.  As much as the left likes to talk about the failed policies of the past, the electorate is worried about the failed policies of the present.   It’s not working and is costing us a fortune.

4.  Jobs report frighten the left

From the White House to the State House, dejected Democrats were singing the blues over yesterday’s bleak unemployment report, and acknowledging that the sluggish economy could doom President Obama’s chances to keep his own job.

“I’m concerned, and I talked to people at the White House who are concerned,” Phil Johnston, the former Massachusetts Democratic Party chairman, said of Obama’s dimming hopes for re-election if the jobless rate remains above 8 percent.

“It’s not helpful for anyone to deny it. It’s politically important that the president point out that the economic conditions aren’t his fault, but at some point people don’t want to hear that,” Johnston added.

The U.S. economy added just 80,000 jobs last month, less than the growth of the eligible workforce, leaving the unemployment rate at 8.2 percent with the clock ticking down to the November election. Andy Smith, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire, said Obama has run out of time to claim an economic victory before voters head to the polls.

“The economy drives all these elections and there is not much the president can do in the short term. In this case, I think he’s eventually going to get the blame,” Smith said….

Time is running out on Obama.  All the numbers have Obama around 46%.  This is likely to be his high point.  People are tired of the excuses the left is putting forward. 

5.  Not a peep, not a sound, not a word

Other than his rather bizarre wistful recalling of how great things were in Nixon's America, yesterday in an off-teleprompter stump speech, President Barack Obama told two humongous whoppers. First, he distorted the Clinton years, as though those years in any way resembled, well, what the Obama years look like this very day. Secondly, he twisted his very first campaign, the most Chicago-style of Chicago-style campaigns, into some sort of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington struggle -- when he ran unopposed.

And what have we heard from a media currently obsessed with fact-checking? Not a peep, not a sound, not a word.
Over the airwaves and on the stump, Obama is currently running around the country portraying his opponent Mitt Romney as an outsourcer. This is a proven lie.
And what have we heard from a media currently obsessed with fact-checking? Not a peep, not a sound, not a word.
Obama told students that a bill to freeze student loan interest rates would save them $1,000 a year when it will only save them $87.
And what have we heard from a media currently obsessed with fact-checking? Not a peep, not a sound, not a word….
It appears Obama has changed from Hope and Change to “Who are you going to believe?  Me or you lying eyes.”

6.  Atlas is still shrugging

The only mystery over the release of unemployment statistics was not whether it was going to be bad — everyone can sense the stasis in their own community first-hand — but whom would Barack Obama blame: Bush? The Republican Congress? The E.U. meltdown? The recent hot weather or summer in general? ATM machines? Hurricanes on the horizon?

After sharp recessions, we usually get more robust than average recoveries, but since June 2009, things have not recovered at all really, and we are in a sort of permanent European-style slowdown — sort of a recession, sort of a weak recovery.

If one wanted to ensure permanent 8 percent to 9 percent unemployment, one might try the following:

1. Run up serial $1 trillion deficits
2. Add $5 trillion to the national debt in three and a half years
3. Impose a 2,400-page, trillion-dollar new federal takeover of health care, with layers of new taxation, much of it falling on the middle class and employers, even as favored concerns are given mass exemptions….

I saw a spokesperson for Obama claiming all the ideas Romney has are longer term ideas about creating jobs.  He went on to claim we needed a stimulus (one bigger than the last one) to help the economy right away.  What he doesn’t take into account is that with President Romney’s inauguration we will see a surge of confidence come back to the economy and all the money that businesses have hoarded over the past few years will be invested in the economy.  It will be the biggest stimulus we could have and all it costs is Barack Obama and a number of Democrats their jobs.

7.  Campaign Ad:  Obama Biden Hypocrisy on Debt

Quoting Joe Biden while the debt clock runs is effective.

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