2016: Presidential candidates, both announced and prospective, used Labor Day to fire off some pretty harsh criticisms of President Obama’s economy. That’s not news. What is news is who was doing the firing.
Just listen to some of the heated rhetoric about the results that seven long years of Obamanomics have produced:
“I am hot. I am mad, I am angry.”
“There is something profoundly wrong when … the average American is working longer hours for lower wages and we have shamefully the highest rate of child poverty of any major country on earth.”
“It used to be when productivity went up in America, everybody got to share.”
“Every month government comes out with a statistic on unemployment. Last statistic said that official unemployment was 5.3%. But what they forgot to tell you is that statistic doesn’t include those people who have given up looking for work, those people who are working part time. Add it all together and real unemployment is over 10%.”
“How many people in your own neighborhoods are in trouble, can look their kids in the eyes and say with heart, ‘Honey, it’s going to be OK?’ Not enough! Not enough!”
“I’ve got the vision, the policies, the skills, the tenacity and the determination to get us back on the right track.”
This is all just typical Obama-hating rhetoric from hard-right Republicans, right? And besides, isn’t the economy doing just fine? That’s what we keep reading in the mainstream press, anyway.
Well, not exactly.
Every single one of those scathing attacks came from Labor Day remarks by Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Vice President Joe Biden.
Their prognosis is dead-on. As we’ve pointed out repeatedly, the recovery that started a few months after Obama took office has been the worst since the Great Depression, with GDP and employment growth far below the average post-World War II recoveries.
Median family incomes have declined, millions are working part-time jobs because there isn’t full-time work, 13 million have dropped out of the labor force entirely. Millions more are poor and on food stamps. And the latest IBD/TIPP poll shows 46% think we’re still in a recession and 52% say it’s not improving.
Naturally, neither Biden, Clinton nor Sanders mentioned Obama, much less blamed him for the current state of affairs. But lest they forget, it was Obama who presided over the largest Keynesian stimulus in history and signed the job-killing ObamaCare law.
And it was Obama who succeeded in getting multiple tax hikes on the “rich.” And it was his administration that has imposed massive regulations on banking, health care, energy suppliers, employers and just about every other corner of the private economy.
Still, give these Democrats credit for recognizing what’s going on, and acknowledging that voters aren’t happy about it. That’s more than the mainstream press has been willing to admit.
It’s just too bad Obama’s would-be successors are all proposing to prescribe more of the same.