Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Speaking in Poland, Ohio on April 6, President Obama said “The stakes could not be bigger” regarding the forthcoming election, adding that “The choice between visions on how this nation moves forward” is the critical issue.
He’s right, but he has a problem. The nation has not moved forward now for some 41 months, stuck at the artificial 8.2% unemployment rate when everyone knows it is far higher, particularly for young people (12.1%), for Blacks (14.4%) and Hispanics (11%). So why would they ever vote for him? If the polls are correct, they will.
On the same day, Rasmussen Reports announced their polling showed that, so far as the economy was concerned, “ratings for the president’s performance in that area are at their lowest level since last November.” A national telephone survey “shows just 31% of Likely Voters believe President Obama is doing a good or excellent job handling economic issues, including 12% who say he is doing an excellent job.”
An excellent job? Nothing Obama has done since taking office has improved the economy and one need only point to Obamacare, the forthcoming January 1, 2013 “taxameggon”, the Keystone XL pipeline veto, the billions lost to failed solar panel companies, three years without a federal budget, et cetera, to see how disastrous his performance has been.
On the day Obama spoke, the employment statistic cited 80,000 new jobs, many of which were temporary, when economists were saying that at least 150,000 new jobs were needed, pointing to the low growth in retail sales, and all the usual indices that spell out still more hardship being felt by Americans.
“Here in America, you can make it if you try”, said Obama. No, you can’t. The burden of taxation and regulation makes it nearly impossible to start a business or employ anyone, so jobs do not get created even if Obama still thinks that government spending creates them.
As Larry Kudlow, an economist and syndicated columnist, noted in June, “You would think $1 trillion in spending stimulus and $2.5 trillion of Fed pump-priming would produce a whole lot stronger than 1.9% gross domestic product, which was the revised first-quarter number. And you would think all that government spending would deliver a lot more jobs than 69,000 in May.”
By July Kudlow would write, “Obama’s goose may already be cooked.”
Who would vote to reelect a President with such a dismal record? Mr. Smooth Talker made no mention of Friday’s job numbers and, since the Supreme Court ruled Obamacare constitutional, he has made little mention of it. Why remind people of this hugely unpopular piece of legislation? Why not just provide a campaign speech filled with empty rhetoric?
The facts, however, cannot be ignored. In June the Congressional Budget Office released a long-term budget outlook on the federal debt—the kind that has to be paid back—estimating that it will surge to 70% of the economy by the end of the year. As the Wall Street Journal noted, “That’s the highest share of Gross Domestic Product in U.S. history except World War II. It’s also way up from 40% in 2008 and from the 40-year average of 38%.”
What are those 31% of Likely Voters thinking? Are they, in fact, thinking about anything other than sports scores and the vacuous television shows and films that pass for entertainment?
They are surely unaware that the economy has a dismal 2% growth rate and the past three “recovery” summers have been anything but. Every way economists measure the economy is failing; employment, retail sales, and factory orders.
When Richard Nixon was running for office, his detractors, in addition to calling him “Tricky Dick”, frequently would ask, “Would you buy a used car from this man?” Nixon actually looked sinister and lacked Obama’s dazzling smile, but the question needs an update. Would you buy a used car from Obama?
Do you think the nation can survive another four years of watching him and Michelle live high on the hog while millions of Americans run out their unemployment benefits, while savings run out, and while he systematically dismantles what was the greatest economic machine the world has ever known?
© Alan Caruba, 2012