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Data points don’t support Obama’s claim that we’re ‘better off’

by the Oklahoman Editorial Board

obama reaganBarack Obama has always seen himself as an agent of change, a la Ronald Reagan. His goal was to do for progressive politics what Reagan had done for conservatism.

Thus it was no surprise that he parroted a Reagan trope in recently asking the question of whether Americans are better off today than when he took office — and then answering his own question by concluding that “the country is definitely better off than we were when I came into office.”

For Reagan, it was a campaign strategy drawn as a weapon against Jimmy Carter in 1980. Are you better off, he asked voters, than you were four years ago?

Such comparisons aren’t unique to Reagan and Obama, of course, but Reagan put his own stamp on it — quite successfully as it turns out.

“By every economic measure,” Obama told college students the other day, “we are better off than when I took office.” So not only has this president adopted the Reagan line (even crediting Reagan). He’s turned it into yet another example of repeated, robotic rhetoric in the endless campaign speeches made by a man “who is not running for anything except the exit,” in the words of Caroline Baum, a former Bloomberg News columnist. [Read more...]

Obama’s super slow, trickle-up economy

by New York Daily News

Jobless RecoveryHappy days are not yet here again for American workers, regardless of the cheering generated by the government’s latest report on job creation.

The number of people collecting paychecks rose more than had been expected and the tally of people counted as jobless fell, placing the unemployment rate — 5.9% — at its lowest level since 2008.

While the trends are positive, they offer only distant hope to a middle class that is taking home less pay than it used to and can only watch as the wealthy enjoy ever greater prosperity.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way under President Obama, tribune of ordinary folks who, as he likes to say, play by the rules. [Read more...]

Unemployed by ObamaCare

ObamaCare Sink HoleThree new Fed surveys highlight damage to the labor market.

Wall Street Journal Editorial

Most of the political class seems to have decided that ObamaCare is working well enough, the opposition is fading, and the subsidies and regulation are settling in as the latest wing of the entitlement state. This flight from reality can’t last forever, especially as the evidence continues to pile up that the law is harming the labor market.

On Thursday the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported the results of a special business survey on the Affordable Care Act and its influence on employment, compensation and benefits. Liberals claim ObamaCare is of little consequence to jobs, but the Philly Fed went to the source and asked employers qualitative questions about how they are responding in practice. [Read more...]

Jobs Numbers Tank Showing Obama’s Policy Failures

by Peter Morici    •    FoxNews

joblessThe U.S. economy created only 142,000 jobs in August, down from 212,000 in July, indicating the economy significantly slowed this summer.

Job creation is well below the pace needed to reemploy all the workers displaced during the financial crisis—the economy is in crisis!

Although official GDP estimates indicate the economy expanded in the second quarter at a torrid pace—4.2. percent—much of that was inventory build, as consumer spending continued to drag along at a nonplus pace and capital investment, especially in manufacturing, remains subpar.

The official jobless rate is down to 6.1 percent but real unemployment is closer to 18 percent, because so many prime aged adults are sitting out the party.

[Read more...]

Obama Attacks For-Profit Colleges For Teacher Unions

by Kerri Toloczko     •      Investor’s Business Daily

EducationIn a fit of political pique and campaign considerations, President Obama’s Department of Education is proposing higher education regulations that would deny access to degree programs to nontraditional, low-income and minority students attending for-profit colleges and universities during a time of job scarcity.

The administration has been swinging a sword at this sector since Obama took office, striking through “Gainful Employment” regulations restricting federal student loans based on arbitrary post-graduation employment rates only at private-sector institutions. In 2010, the department proposed similar severe funding restrictions for students attending career colleges and technical schools such as Strayer University, ITT Tech, Kaplan College and University of Phoenix. [Read more...]

A Recovery Stymied by Redistribution

Public policy intended to make layoffs less painful actually made layoffs cheaper and more common.

unemploymentby Casey B. Mulligan

Why has the labor market contracted so much and why does it remain depressed? Major subsidies and regulations intended to help the poor and unemployed were changed in more than a dozen ways—and although these policies were advertised as employment-expanding, the fact is that they reduced incentives for people to work and for businesses to hire.

You probably heard about the emergency-assistance program for the long-term unemployed that ended only a few months ago after running for almost six years. But there is also the food-stamp program. It got a new name and replaced the stamps with debit cards. Participants are no longer required to seek work and are not asked to demonstrate that they have no wealth. Essentially, any unmarried person can get food stamps while out of work and can stay on the program indefinitely. [Read more...]

The Left’s Fake Problems

harry-reidby Jim Geraghty

Ask voters what their top priority is, and the most frequent answer is “the economy,” although that’s a catch-all term for a wide variety of concerns and sub-issues. That March Gallup poll found 59 percent personally worry about “the economy” a great deal; 58 percent said they worry about “federal spending and the deficit,” 57 percent “the availability and affordability of health care,” 49 percent “unemployment,” and 48 percent “the size and power of the federal government.”

Rarely will you find a political environment as golden for a Republican policy agenda as this one. [Read more...]

Fact Free Policy Debates: Part II

unemploymentby Thomas Sowell

Words seem to carry far more weight than facts among those liberals who argue as if rent control laws actually control rents and gun control laws actually control guns.

It does no good to point out to them that the two American cities where rent control laws have existed longest and strongest — New York and San Francisco — are also the two cities with the highest average rents.

Nor does it make a dent on them when you point out evidence, from both sides of the Atlantic, that tightening gun control laws does not reduce gun crimes, including murder. It is not uncommon for gun crimes to rise when gun control laws are tightened. Apparently armed criminals prefer unarmed victims. [Read more...]

Wall Street Advisor: Aactual unemployment is 37.2%, ‘misery index’ worst in 40 years

unemployment-numbersby Paul Bedard

Don’t believe the happy talk coming out of the White House, Federal Reserve and Treasury Department when it comes to the real unemployment rate and the true “Misery Index.” Because, according to an influential Wall Street advisor, the figures are a fraud.

In a memo to clients provided to Secrets, David John Marotta calculates the actual unemployment rate of those not working at a sky-high 37.2 percent, not the 6.7 percent advertised by the Fed, and the Misery Index at over 14, not the 8 claimed by the government.

Marotta, who recently advised those worried about an imploding economy to get a gun, said that the government isn’t being honest in how it calculates those out of the workforce or inflation, the two numbers used to get the Misery Index figure.

“The unemployment rate only describes people who are currently working or looking for work,” he said. That leaves out a ton more. [Read more...]

What about jobs?

unemploymentThe country needs jobs, not more jobless benefits. Congress and the White House have completely lost sight of this.

One blessing of the holiday season is upon us: The prospect that members of Congress will actually stay away from Washington for a few weeks, leaving what’s left of our liberties and livelihoods alone until the new year.

Glory, hallelujah, amen.

Of course, lawmakers will be back at it soon. And we’re already seeing signs that they have no idea how to address the serious problems average, struggling Americans face every day. [Read more...]

Minimum Wage Hammers Youth

youth unemploymentby Phil Kerpen

With Democrats cratering in the polls over their collapsing health care law, they are trying to pivot to the only part of their policy agenda that still enjoys broad public support: the minimum wage. But their advocacy and its popularity rest on the incorrect belief that a significant number of families live on the minimum wage. Instead, the primary impact would be to exacerbate a crisis of youth unemployment spurred largely by the last minimum wage increase.

A recent analysis by Ben Gitis of the American Action Forum found that just 1.9 percent of all wage and salary earners make the minimum wage or less. Just 0.3 percent of people in families with incomes below the poverty line make the minimum wage or less — and just 1.5 percent make less than $10.10, the level that Democrats have suggested for the next hike. Applying the most recent academic research, Gitis also found that such an increase would reduce employment by more than two million jobs. [Read more...]

Did the White House know about the false job numbers?

unemployment-numbersby John Crudele

Let me be the first to ask: Did the White House know that employment reports were being falsified?

Last week I reported exclusively that someone at the Census Bureau’s Philadelphia region had been screwing around with employment data. And that person, after he was caught in 2010, claimed he was told to do so by a supervisor two levels up the chain of command.

On top of that, a reliable source whom I haven’t identified said the falsification of employment data by Census was widespread and ongoing, especially around the time of the 2012 election. [Read more...]

The US job market is dead in the water and not getting better

US Jobs Graph

 

How do you know the August jobs report was pretty bad? When the best thing you can say is that it might have met Wall Street expectations if not for a temporary shutdown in the porn industry last month. (The motion picture and sound recording industry lost 22,000 jobs in August, according to the BLS.) Sure, the White House can argue, as economic adviser Jason Furman did right after the report’s release, that the “incoming economic data broadly suggest that the recovery continues to make progress.” But consider the following:

1. This was the jobs report that was supposed to reflect an economy kicking into higher gear. Goldman Sachs, for instance, was looking for 200,000 net new jobs. And whisper estimates were even higher. Instead, the economy added just 169,000 jobs vs. the 180,000 consensus forecast. [Read more...]

Worse than Carter

carterThe “labor force participation rate” hit a record low hit at 63.2 percent. This represents the percentage of Americans over the age of 16 who have jobs (even if it is part-time or just a temporary job), or are looking for a job. That is according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job numbers released this past Friday.

So after Barack Obama has been in office for 4 and 1/2 years and spent trillions on stimulus, we have a record low number of Americans over the age of 16 who have any job at all or are even optimistic enough to be looking for a job. Almost 40% of the American population over the age of 16 is unemployed or so depressed that they’ve given up looking for work. That is not good news, despite Obama’s claims that we are heading in the right direction.

Jimmy Carter must be smiling because before last Friday, he held the record for the worst labor force participation rate. [Read more...]

The Unaffordable Careless Act

ObamaCare Side EffectsSmall businesses won’t grow, and more employees will work fewer hours. That’s just for starters.

by Karl Rove

Harvard (and later Columbia) sociologist Robert K. Merton wrote in 1936 about the “unanticipated consequences of purposive social action.” Pity that Barack Obama, an alumnus of both universities, either never read or took to heart Merton’s warnings. It would have saved Americans a lot of misery.

The president certainly did not promote the Affordable Care Act by promising it would mean more part-time and fewer full-time jobs. Yet that is one of its unanticipated consequences.

A major provision of ObamaCare requires companies to provide health insurance to any employee who works more than 30 hours a week or pay a $2,000 per-person fine. Not surprisingly, the number of hourly employees working 30-34 hours a week dropped by an average of 146,500 a month over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number working 25-29 hours rose by 119,000 a month. [Read more...]