I thought it might be helpful to remind everyone of the things they may have forgotten (or things they may not know about) the Obama administration before we all vote on Tuesday. While this is not an exhaustive list of the things I find troubling about Obama and his 4-year presidential term, I think it hits most of the important points to consider before voting. Let me be clear: this essay is not an endorsement of Mitt Romney. That being said, we can all be certain that Mitt Romney had nothing to do with any of the things mentioned here.
Lets begin with Obama’s economic policies and their outcomes. In 2009, Obama, and a congress completely controlled by Democrats… passed a 900 billion dollar stimulus bill. Further analysis of the bill has put the true cost at closer to $3 trillion dollars. Never has so much money been spent at once in the course of American history. Obama’s own economic advisors, all of whom believe in the prophylactic power of federal spending to increase demand… promised us all that if we passed this bill, unemployment would be 5.6% (in July ’12). In reality, Obama’s unemployment rate was at 8.3%… a full 2.5 percentage points higher than (according to his own economics team) what it would have been had we done nothing.
Furthermore, in order to break the 8% unemployment mark, Obama and his team have needed to completely distort the unemployment figures by simply re-calculating the number of people in the workforce. By removing the people who have simply given up looking for work, the Obama administration can improve the unemployment percentage because the same number of people as a percentage of a smaller workforce will ultimately result in a lower unemployed percentage.
The workforce decline artificially depresses the official unemployment rate. If we had the same level of civilian participation as we did at the beginning of the recovery in June 2009 (65.7%), we’d be looking at a jobless rate of well over 10%. The employment-population ratio dropped to 58.3% in August, not as low as last year’s 58.2%, but still bouncing along a generational bottom. That measure was 59.4% at the beginning of the recovery.
If the labor participation rate were the same as when Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 10.8%. That is unacceptable. Can you imagine how the left would be behaving if a REPUBLICAN president had run on this record? We would have never-ending stories every night on the mainstream media about the sad state of some family who lost everything and how they were now homeless… we would have had the putrid reality drilled into our minds every waking moment… but we haven’t seen or heard any of those stories because the media has a partisan agenda and are hiding so much of the economic pain from us. That’s a bit of an aside, but still worth mentioning. Put another way: Obama has had unemployment over 8% for 43 months… thats longer than the past 11 presidents combined… and there were at least 3 depressions during those years (perhaps more?) See the attached info graphic for more details:
To add to this depressing statistic, I should mention that the average family income has dropped $4,537 since Obama took office. What a tragedy.
I am reminded at this point of Obama’s response to the question of whether or not he would support higher taxes even if it didn’t bring in more revenue. His response was that he would “look at raising capital gains taxes for the purposes of fairness”. Well, we’ve gotten pathetic economic growth as a result of this huge stimulus bill and Obama has accomplished his goal… he has made the rich less-rich without ANY COMMESURATE GAINS on behalf of the working middle-class and poor. It is fairness for its own sake… and that has hurt the poor far more than it has hurt the rich.
As we look at the results of the stimulus bill, things get worse. Huge amounts of money went to failed green energy companies including Solyndra (535 million), Abound Solar (400 million), Ener1 (118 million), Fisker Automotive (529 million) (among others). In a speech in 2010, Obama said that “It’s here that companies like Solyndra are leading the way toward a brighter and more prosperous future.” We all know how wrong he was in hindsight. Furthermore, as I have written about previously, and as Peggy Noonan has mentioned in a recent column for the Wall Street Journal, much of the stimulus funds went to the President’s political donors – union members and state employees
Books will be written about what happened, but early on the president made two terrible legislative decisions. The stimulus bill was a political disaster, and it wasn’t the cost, it was the content. We were in crisis, losing jobs. People would have accepted high spending if it looked promising. But the stimulus was the same old same old, pure pork aimed at reliable constituencies. It would course through the economy with little effect. And it would not receive a single Republican vote in the House (three in the Senate), which was bad for Washington, bad for our politics. It was a catastrophic victory. It did say there was a new boss in town. But it also said the new boss was out of his league.
Furthermore, it has become quite clear that Obama’s 900 billion dollar stimulus bill was not the one-time Keynesian influx it was supposed to be. On the contrary, massive stimulus-level spending has become the new baseline for the federal government as Obama has racked up 1 trillion dollar deficits every year of his administration. His proposed budgets are so bad that they don’t even get one Democrat vote in congress. Obama doesn’t have the slightest credibility on budget matters at all… he was ushered into the presidency promising to cut the deficit in half (a total lie)… he then put together the simpson-bowles commission to figure out ways to cut the deficit but never once bothered to implement ANY of the simpson-bowles commission recommendations.
Although this is a bit of an aside, but since this is fresh in my memory lets point out that Obama has been one of the most partisan and inflexible presidents in modern history. His inability to work with Republicans is stunning. His stimulus bill was so left-wing he couldn’t garner one Republican vote in the house in support of it. In some of the initial discussions about the stimulus bill, when Republicans offered their suggestions for fixing the problem what was Obama’s response? ”I WON” [so go f*ck yourselves] (my editorial embellishment there). When it came time to do health care reform, again, he and his cohorts in congress stonewalled Republicans — passing the bill only through reconciliation. Not only that, but he also has gutted one of the most impressive bipartisan accomplishments of the past few decades–welfare reform under Clinton and a Republican congress.
And before I end the topic of Obama’s economic record, I think it would be helpful to look at one more chart:
What a pathetic performance indeed. In fact, I would posit that Obama’s unbelievably optimistic and just WRONG diagnosis of our economic ailment has actually harmed the economy as it could not be more clear to every economic actor that future profitability will be hurt significantly as we will necessarily need to raise taxes in order to pay back the debt we have accrued.
I haven’t even dug into the health care law which was consistently opposed by a significant majority of the American people… how costs are still skyrocketing… or fast & furious… or Benghazi (sp?), or Dolores Huetra or Van Jones… or the nonexistance of “shovel-ready” jobs… or how he took our credit rating down a notch… or how he gave Queen Elizabeth an iPod with his speeches on it (what a pretentious jack***)… or the 1200+ Obamacare waivers Kathleen Sebelius has granted — many of which are given to unions… Waivers that shouldn’t be needed if Obamacare is so wonderful… not to mention his assault on religious liberties against catholics… a boldfaced assault on the first amendment. (feel free to add to this list in the comments).
Look. Am i getting my point across? Obama has been a disaster for this country. He can’t name any accomplishments which is why his entire strategy this election cycle is to bash Romney on stupid sideline issues like women’s health and offshore investments. Even if one accepts the premise that he inherited a mess (somehow it wasn’t bad enough for the stock market to go into permanent decline) the entire premise of liberalism is that if we empower the government enough, it can fix all our problems… and it hasn’t… despite record spending and painful invasions into all our lives and decisions.
The past 4 years have been a total disaster for this country… don’t let us waste another 4 years by voting for the same old solutions.
Thanks for your time.