Monday, January 24, 2011

The True State of the Economy

By Alan Caruba

The mainstream media will fall all over itself to put a good face on the President’s State of the Union speech. Time was when Presidents simply sent a written message to the Congress (Article II, Section 3) to be read in chambers, but we must now suffer through an hour and a half of madcap Democrat applause and frozen Republican silence.

Great television, it isn’t. The worst part, even before the speech, is that everyone knows it will be filled with boldfaced lies about “investments”, i.e., more spending, and other fictions. Thank goodness that all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives (Article I, Section 7). Since Republicans now control the house those “investments” are not likely to be approved or authorized.

In recent days, AmericanThinker.com, has posted excellent articles that provide the cold hard numbers regarding the first two years of the Obama administration and past four years of Democrat rule. A sampling tells the truth.

The prices of selected commodities, all of which translate to what you pay at the gas pump or in the supermarket, have all risen in the past two years.

#Crude Oil, European Brent (barrel) was selling for $43.49 in January 2009. It now sells for $99.02, an increase of 127.7%

#Corn, No. 2 yellow was selling for $3.56 a bushel in January 2009. It now sells for $6.33, an increase of 60.5%. Corn is an important indicator because much of it, by government mandate, must be turned into a gasoline additive called ethanol. The result is that the cost of food is increased as corn which is widely used to feed livestock and in countless other ways in the food chain is diverted to make fuel.

#Sugar, cane, raw, world price per pound was $13.37 in January 2009. It now sells for $35.39, an increase of 164%,

# Unemployment, non-farm, overall was at 7.6% and is now at 9.4%, an increase of 23.7%. The number of unemployed in January 2009 was 11,616.000 and has since risen to 14,485,000, an increase of 24.7% despite the promise of “shovel ready” and “Green” jobs. The number of people on food stamps increased 35.1%. The number of people receiving unemployment benefits increased 22.2%

# The national debt in trillions was $10.627 in January 2009 and now stands at $14.052, an increase of 32.2%.

Do you see a pattern here?

By December 2010, more than fifty percent of Americans said they were worse off than they were two years earlier when President Obama took office. The Bloomberg National Poll showed that two-thirds of Americans believed the nation was headed in the wrong direction.

None of this is surprising, given that the nation is struggling to recover from the longest recession since the Great Depression. There is no indication that Obama can, will, or even wants to correct the current recession. Recessions are cyclical and most presidents have encountered one while in office.

No amount of speeches, State of the Union or otherwise, will improve the economy if the past policies of the Obama administration continue. The nation has suffered unemployment at more than 9% for the twentieth month in a row as of January. That is a post-World War II record!

The Obama administration has done nothing useful to turn the recession around. Instead it has wasted billions bailing out General Motors to save the auto union, followed by an idiotic “Cash for Clunkers” program. At the same time, it has insisted that GM turn out $41,000 electric cars while raising the mandate for ethanol levels in gasoline, thus reducing the mileage per gallon while increasing its cost to consumers.

The housing market, brought to its knees by two horrid government entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is still in the basement. The government had to seize both of them and is billions in debt as a result. “Social justice” was the excuse given for the government’s intervention in the mortgage loan marketplace instead of leaving it to the normal prudence of lending institutions.

Instead of focusing on ways to encourage the growth of small businesses, the administration spent its time and energy on passing Obamacare, taking trillions out of Medicare while at the same time adding more people to its rolls. This is the Obama definition of “saving” Medicare. More than half of the States have joined a suit to abrogate Obamacare as unconstitutional.

Obama’s is an utterly failed administration. In an effort to be reelected, Obama will apply a Clintonian approach, appearing to move to the middle, be more fiscally prudent, et cetera, but this is one leopard that will not change his spots. He is a committed Marxist and one who gives every indication of deliberately crashing the economy. In that respect, he is succeeding.

© Alan Caruba, 2011

8 comments:

Desertrat said...

I'm still puzzled by the startlingly high numbers of those who still believe in the Big O and his purported omniscience. His track record in life prior to election was well-hidden, but has been quite obvious since his coronation: Failure. And, sadly, his failure was predicted by many more than just me.

Ronbo said...

@Alan:

....and you say we don't need a French style revolution?

How about a small military putsch and General Jack D. Ripper as president?

I know...I'm an incurable romantic!

TexasFred said...

It's like a train wreck, you just can't turn away, and there will be some *drama* tonight.

ANY so-called Conservative GOP Senator or Congress Critter that crosses the aisle just placed a TARGET on their seat.

I don't want non-partisan BS in the Hallowed Halls, I want a damned DOG FIGHT, and I want the GOP to kick ass and take names, not make a date for drinks and dinner...

These clowns are acting like it's high school and they want to be sure and sit with the popular kids, well, my experience has been, the popular kids went on to be drunks, dopers and multi-divorced losers...

Conservative INTEGRITY! Maybe they ALL need to look that up. And ANY that cross the aisle tonight need to be damned sure to look it up, their constituents need to MAKE THEM look it up...

Alan Caruba said...

@Fred:

DITTO!

cmblake6 said...

Take those figures back to 2007-8, note the trend from that point. Obama was assuredly a massive catalyst to the radically increased decline, but the D Congress certainly got that ball rolling.

Rich Kozlovich said...

Alan,

The figures are truly frightening, but one of the things that I only heard mentioned once as a cure for all of this is a comment made by Brit Hume. He said that the U.S. Economy was a force of nature. Meaning that if allowed to excel it didn't need government aid to become exceedingly powerful once again. If they need more money then sell that 40% of the land mass of the U.S. that the government owns.

Open up for drilling all...and I mean all....areas where oil can be found. If that single thing was done we would become energy self-sufficient in no time. Repeal environmental laws that allow the greenies to sue for every tiny issue that prevents refineries from being built.

There were over 300 in the 70's and now there are a little over 150, if I recall correctly. But no matter the numbers are, there are far too few refineries to meet our needs because of the greenies.

Those three things alone would start an avalanche of growth that would turn everything around overnight, and it would increase the revenue to the government tremendously.

Rich.

Alan Caruba said...

@Rich: At this point I consider the US economy unsustainable so long as we continue to ignore extraction, refining and sale of the vast natural resources we have in oil and natural gas, etc.

It would not surprise me to see the US economy implode as early as this year because we have folks in DC that want to make that happen on behalf of our enemies.

Rachel P said...

This, along with another commentary I read on the SOTU address (which I personally didn't waste an hour and a half of my time watching), only served to confirm & summarize what we already know about the Obama administration. I believe (and hope fervently) that the numbers you write about are, in fact, accurate, regarding the number of Americans who disapprove of the job he is doing, making it severely unlikely that he will have any chance of being reelected in 2012. However, when I posted the other commentary I read on Facebook, the only comments I received were from a couple of liberal-minded friends who raved about how wonderful the speech was and what a "fine man" Obama is. It really scared me, because I thought, "is it truly possible that there are relatively intelligent, non-entitlement-driven people out there who can still be deluded into thinking that he is actually doing GOOD for this country?" If so, and there is ANY chance that he could be reelected, then I'm truly frightened for the future of this country. It's bad enough that he gets to remain for an additional 2 years, and only God knows how much more damage he can do in that time, but another term? I told my husband that I would seriously seek to move out of this country; to which he replied (sadly), that around the world it is only worse. God help us all. Please reassure me again, Alan, of the unlikelihood of his getting reelected.