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Obama signals he’s given up on the economy

obamanomicsby Glenn Harlan Reynolds

Last week, President Obama gave a much-touted speech on “income inequality.” But while inequality is a valid concern, it’s not so clear that unequal incomes are the biggest problem America faces.

More troubling — as figures as distinct as Slate’s Matthew Yglesias and National Review’s Mark Steyn both noted — is the growing divide between an America where people have jobs, and an America where people live off of government benefits.

As Yglesias observed:

The Washington, D.C., metropolitan area has become an island of prosperity in an ailing country. But D.C. itself has an 8.9% unemployment rate even as it sits at the center of a metro-area unemployment rate of just 5.4%. For people who haven’t gone to college — the kind of people who live in the neighborhood where Obama was speaking — the unemployment rate is 20%. That’s a disaster. And while Obama talked about plenty of things that could help those unemployed families — subsidized health care, better schools for their kids — he didn’t really talk about anything that would get them jobs. The biggest applause line of the speech was about raising the minimum wage, which is great, but also doesn’t help you very much if your current wage is $0. [Read more...]

The Weak Recovery Explains Rising Inequality, Not Vice Versa

button obama tax planObama blames tax cuts that began under Reagan for today’s slow growth. The data don’t back him up.

By John B. Taylor

Last year at this time a debate raged about whether economic growth and job creation has been abnormally slow compared with previous recoveries from recessions in the United States. Now that the growth rate has declined to 1.6% over the past year from 2.8%, the debate is no longer about whether. It’s about why.

The poor economic policies of the past few years is a reasonable explanation for today’s weak economy. Fiscal policy has at best provided temporary stimulus before fading away with no sustainable impact on growth. More costly and confusing regulations—including the many mandates in the Affordable Care Act and the Dodd-Frank Act—have reduced the willingness of firms to invest and hire. The Federal Reserve has employed a variety of unconventional and unpredictable monetary policies with not very successful results. [Read more...]

Obamanomics in decline

obamanomicsFalling income and employment is becoming the new normal

Fewer Americans will be returning to the work force after the traditional Labor Day holiday. Labor force participation is at the lowest point since the malaise of the Carter presidency. President Obama’s economicpolicies have guaranteed a lower standard of living for Americans.

A recent report by Gordon Green and John Coder of Sentier Research paints the disturbing picture. On the whole, we’re less well off than we were 13 years ago. Our median income, currently $52,000, is 7 percent lower than it was in 2000, using constant dollars. It’s an especially tough punch in the gut to our youth, who’ve seen nearly 10 percent of their income evaporate. Nearly every other demographic category — married or single, man or woman — has been hit. [Read more...]

The truth about falling wages

2852.EconomicRecessionThe left and “progressives” love to blame wage stagnation on greedy businesses wanting to gobble a larger share of the pie. But it’s actually a product of businesses’ uncertainty about taxes, regulations and employee-benefit costs — which the Obama administration has exacerbated.

Merrill Matthews, resident scholar at the nonpartisan, free-market Institute for Policy Innovation, notes that fresh U.S. Labor Department data show nongovernment, nonsupervisory workers’ average hourly wages, adjusted for inflation, have fallen 0.9 percent since the recession ended in June 2009 — “since, well, President Obama’s economic policies were put in place.” [Read more...]

Yet another magical economy tour went about as well as you’d expect

Weak Economyby Ed Morrissey

Three weeks ago, Barack Obama launched a cross-country speaking tour to boost his economic policies, a campaign that included an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. The President hoped to build momentum for the fall session and the upcoming budget fight by going over the heads of Congress during their summer recess. Instead, Gallup finds that Obama’s approval ratings on the economy — and practically everything else — sinks the more he campaigns:

Despite President Barack Obama’s renewed focus on the nation’s economy this summer, crisscrossing the country to talk about job creation, he scores worse with Americans on the economy than he did in June. His approval rating on the issue, now 35%, is down seven percentage points, and his ratings on taxes and the federal budget deficit are each down five points. During the same period, his overall approval rating is down three points. [Read more...]

Obama’s Economic Failure

Sluggish Economyby Larry Elder

How’s the left-wing, ivory-tower, we-know-best elitist Obamanomics working for you? Here’s the news.

First-quarter gross domestic product numbers for 2013 were recently revised — downward from 1.8 percent to 1.1 percent. For perspective, four years into the recovery from the last deep recession in ’81-’82, the economy grew at 4.1 percent.

What about the declining “labor force participation rate”?

This counts the percentage of civilians 16 years and older working or actively looking for work. When President Barack Obama took office, the labor force participation rate was 65.7. Today it is 63.4, up 0.1 from April’s 34-year low. Frustrated, many able-bodied and able-minded would-be workers have simply given up looking for jobs. [Read more...]

Data of Prosperity Past

2852.EconomicRecessionThe latest GDP revisions underscore how subpar the current recovery is.

The good news is that the Commerce Department’s second-quarter GDP report shows that the U.S. is richer and the economy larger than previously believed. The bad news is that this has nothing to do with anything that has happened lately, and certainly not in the last nine months. The current not-so-great economic recovery trudges on.

* * *

This past week’s second quarter report is especially interesting because it includes economic revisions based on new assumptions that re-measure the size of the U.S. economy going back to 1929. The Bureau of Economic Analysis does this every five years or so, and the crucial change this time is the recognition of intellectual property. [Read more...]

Middle class left behind by Obamanomics

Empty-Pocketsby Timothy P. Carney

“Even though our businesses are creating new jobs and have broken record profits,” President Obama said in his economics address last week, “nearly all the income gains of the past 10 years have continued to flow to the top 1 percent.”

It’s odd that Obama touts these facts, because the facts indict his policies. This is even stranger: Many Republicans want to downplay these facts, even though they provide the GOP with an opening.

Obama’s first term, with all its tax hikes, regulations, mandates, subsidies and bailouts, saw stock markets rise, corporate earnings break records and the rich get richer, while median income stagnated and unemployment remained stubbornly high. [Read more...]

What has Obamanomics brought us?

obamanomicsby Bruce McQuain

As much as the president would like to blame our economic ills on the other party, or George Bush or, well, just about anyone, the fact is he’s been at the helm of the ship of state for almost 6 years.  So his recent pivot toward addressing economic issues is a bit of a laugh, in reality.  For 6 years it simply hasn’t been that important to him.  And there’s good reason.  His record, as Emily Miller, an Editor at the Washington Times, points out, is abysmal:

The economy has never grown much more than by minuscule amounts during the Obama administration. Gross domestic product has grown at an anemic pace since he’s been in the White House, barely sputtering at 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2013. Unemployment under Mr. Obama has averaged a discouraging 8.8 percent and still tops out at 7.6 percent. [Read more...]

Is the President out of ideas?

Obama-upset

In the aftermath of President Obama’s tenth pivot to jobs and economic growth in less than five years, liberal Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank suggests that Obama is out of “fresh ideas” and that his current message is a “turkey” and  a tired “rerun.”

by Dana Milbank

“I don’t normally do this,” President Obama’s senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer wrote in the subject line of an e-mail blast to reporters Sunday night.

This was tantalizing. What would this top White House official be doing? Singing karaoke on the North Lawn? Getting a “POTUS” tattoo on his arm? [Read more...]

Obamacare is slowing economic growth and costing Americans jobs

Weak EconomyWith the recent news that the Obama Administration will postpone the healthcare mandate on employers (but not on individuals) until after the mid-term elections, a new Gallup poll of 603 small business owners sheds some very interesting light on the Administration’s political calculations. The Gallup poll revealed that Obamacare is having a dramatic negative effect on the economy and on the ability of Americans to find jobs.

The Gallup poll reveals that more than 40 percent of small-business owners say that Obamacare has caused them to institute a hiring freeze. Nearly one in five small business employers say that Obamacare has caused them to fire existing employees.  Almost one in five small-business owners said they have already cut back their workers’ hours to avoid adverse impacts of Obamacare. About one in four employers “are weighing whether to drop insurance coverage.” [Read more...]

Sequester Madness: The White House has become unhinged

by George Landrithsequester madness

With the sequester deadline looming, there has been a marked uptick in the hyperbole emanating from Washington. Little wonder, a Pew Research poll says that only about one in four is paying close attention to the sequester.

This must be disconcerting to the White House because it has been full-court pressing the issue — suddenly releasing criminals from prison, falsely claiming that teachers are being pink-slipped, holding campaign style events with President Barack Obama personally issuing overblown and false warnings that firemen and policemen and teachers will be pink-slipped, that air traffic will be at greater risk, that waiting times at airports will increase and that meat will not be inspected and may be tainted. The White House even announced that it won’t deploy an aircraft carrier to a hotspot because of sequester budget constraints.  [Read more...]

The buck still stops with the president

by Nolan Finley  The Buck Stops with Bush, Not Obama

Playing the crisis card won’t work forever for President Barack Obama. At some point, the people will expect their leader to lead.

And the president hasn’t yet demonstrated the will to do so. Instead, he answers monumental moments such as the upcoming sequestration deadline with brinksmanship and blame-gaming.

For now, the approach is working. A Pew/USA Today poll last week found decisively more voters blame [Read more...]

Fiscal Crisis: Failing the Details, Math and Leadership Tests

fiscal cliffby George Landrith

President Barack Obama repeatedly chided Mitt Romney’s budget plan during the presidential campaign on at least two grounds: (1) it lacked detail, and (2) the math didn’t add up. Perhaps, we should use these two standards to see how Barack Obama’s plan stacks up. There is more than a little irony in Barack Obama criticizing others for not providing details or for their math not adding up. Obama has always been short on details and his math has almost never passed even the straight face test, much less actually adding up.

Nonetheless, let’s apply these two standards — (1) are there sufficient details? and (2) does the math add up? — to evaluate Barack Obama’s proposals for solving the so-called fiscal cliff. [Read more...]

If Obama Loses, Part II

Part II, Job Prospects?

by Scott L. Vanatter

In part one, I discussed whether racial recriminations or even riots will follow an Obama loss. Short answers, respectively, probably yes, and probably not. American has indeed progressed. Well . . . except certain liberal commentators.

Here in part two, after reviewing a bit of his history and current predicament, I discuss what Obama will do if he loses in November. In part three, I will delve into whether he will run for president again and if so, when?

Barack Obama made history when he was elected the first black man as president of the United States. It was a perfect moment in U.S. history, a perfect storm of a unique set of events, circumstances, and personalities. All combined to set up Obama to essentially coast to an easy victory. “Don’t worry,” he famously said a few weeks prior to winning, “We got this.” Obama is nothing if not confident.

[Read more...]

Obama has no idea how the economy works

If Obama Frownthe last four years were not convincing enough, President Obama proved during Tuesday night’s debate that he has no clue how the economy works. His stated economic proposals are nothing but reheated talking points from 2008, and they are as unrealistic now as they were then.

Despite his falsely professed faith in markets, the President shows by his actions and policy proposals that he really believes the only way economies thrive is when they are directed by government policy-makers and bureaucrats who are empowered to choose the “correct” economic outcomes. [Read more...]

Fact-checking President Obama

by George Landrith

Let’s fact check President Barack Obama’s debate statements. He spent a lot of time since the first debate and during the second debate complaining that what Gov. Mitt Romney said wasn’t true. Yet, the facts do not support Obama’s claims. Here is the proof on Obama’s poor record on truthfulness during the second debate:

The attack in Libya — a terrorist attack? Or a spontaneous protest that got out of hand because of an offensive internet video?

On the issue of Libya, Obama said, that the day after the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi, “I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people and the world that we are going to find out exactly what happened. That this was an act of terror and I also said that we’re going to hunt down those who committed this crime.”

Romney challenged Obama’s characterization that he had identified the Benghazi attack as terrorism on day one. Obama doubled down. Just as Romney was about the snare Obama in his lie,  the the moderator erroneously sided with Obama and claimed that he had identified the attack as terrorism. After the debate, the moderator admitted that she was wrong and that Romney was correct. But let’s not rely on her retraction and correction, let’s go straight to the record. [Read more...]

Debate analysis from around the web

Unequal Time: 

If you want more time to get your message out in debates, it’s good to be a Democrat. According to the CNN debate clock, President Obama spoke at greater length than Mitt Romney during both debates, as did Vice President Biden during his debate with Paul Ryan. In the first debate, Obama spoke for 3 minutes, 14 seconds more than Romney — which means he got 8 percent more talking time than Romney. In last night’s debate, Obama spoke for 4 minutes and 18 seconds longer than Romney, giving him 11 percent more talking time. During the vice presidential debate, the gap wasn’t as wide: Biden spoke for 1 minute, 22 seconds more than Ryan. Still, that gave Biden 3 percent more speaking time than Ryan. [Read more...]

The most divisive President: A presidency wasted

by Victor Davis HansonDivisive President Obama

The Obama narrative is that he inherited the worst mess in memory and has been stymied ever since by a partisan Congress — while everything from new ATM technology to the Japanese tsunami conspired against him. But how true are those claims?

Barack Obama entered office with an approval rating of over 70 percent. John McCain’s campaign had been anemic and almost at times seemed as if it was designed to lose nobly to the nation’s first African-American presidential nominee. [Read more...]

Presidential election: Who can ignite economic and job growth?

By Charles R. Schwab

Every American voter is approaching a critical decision. Of the two presidential candidates before us, who is best suited to lead our nation through the next four years?

The answer to that question is a simple test: can they ignite economic growth? The economic crisis we face is our greatest threat, affecting every American. For investors – and today over half of Americans are investors in some form – this issue is particularly pressing as it impacts not just their financial situation today, but also their retirement and other long-term goals. Economic growth is the only ingredient that will help pull the country out of its present funk and allow us to solve our pressing issues. [Read more...]