‘Bin Laden Bump’ a Blip on the Radar

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Reminding us of the timeless wisdom of the 1992 campaign slogan, “it’s the economy, stupid,” Barack Obama’s poll numbers are tanking. A new Washington Post-ABC News poll shows the president’s so-called “Bin Laden bounce,” which had elevated his approval rating to 56 percent immediately following the terror master’s elimination, is down to 47 percent, with 49 percent of Americans disapproving of the president. With respect to his economic performance, the numbers are even more ominous. 59 percent of Americans disapprove of the way he’s handling the economy in general, and a staggering two-out-of three dislike his approach to the nation’s deficit. And for the first time in a long time, a Republican presidential candidate is polling in a dead heat with Mr. Obama.

None of this should surprise anyone. Despite relentlessly upbeat predictions by this administration for the past two years, from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s “green shoots” of recovery in March of 2009, to Joe Biden’s “Recovery Summer” a year ago, the economy remains saddled with high unemployment, a moribund housing sector and creeping inflation reflected most sharply by rising food and fuel prices.

None of it is lost on ordinary Americans. A full 89 percent recognize the economy is in bad shape and 57 percent say no recovery has begun. Even more importantly, 66 percent are convinced the United States is “seriously” on the wrong track. Thus, it is no coincidence that Mitt Romney, who announced his presidential ambitions last week with the statement, “Barack Obama has failed America,” and who promised to make economic recovery the centerpiece of his campaign, is the Republican in a statistical tie with the president. Each man garners a 47 percent share of the vote in general, while Romney gets the nod — 49 percent to 46 percent among registered voters.

Despite this reality, the president remains outwardly unconcerned. “Obviously, we’re experiencing some headwinds,” Mr. Obama said during a joint news conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But he insisted the country was not headed for a double-dip recession. “I’m not concerned about a double dip recession. I am concerned about the fact that the recovery that we’re on is not producing jobs as quickly as I want it to happen,” he added.

Yet once again, the president retreated to the familiar territory that is rapidly becoming his fallback position should the economy show further signs of deterioration: he “inherited a recession,” in an obvious reference to the Bush administration, even as he once again reminded Americans that his administration “created or saved” more than 2 million jobs. “Recovering from that kind of body blow takes time,” Obama declared. “And recovery is going to be uneven.”

Perhaps one could take this president more seriously if it weren’t for his ability to completely contradict himself without the slightest acknowledgement or remorse. “I think it is important though to recognize that if we keep on adding to the debt, even in the midst of this recovery, that at some point, people could lose confidence in the US economy in a way that could actually lead to a double-dip recession,” said the president in 2009, during a trip to Asia. “One of the trickiest things we’re doing right now, is to on the one hand make sure the recovery is supported and not withdraw a lot of money either with tax increases or big spending…at the same time, making sure that we’re setting up a pathway for long term for deficit reduction. It’s about as hard of a play as there is,” he added.

How sincere was the president then? In the last two years, the administration has engaged in a second round of Quantitative Easing (QE2), an odious combination of “big spending,” as in $600 billion of added liquidity to the monetary system, and a de facto “tax increase” caused by the subsequent weakening of the dollar which has fueled inflation. Even more incredibly, the president submitted a 2012 budget of $3.7 trillion containing $1.4 trillion of deficit spending, which was so out of whack with the reality of “long-term deficit reduction” that the Senate rejected it by a vote of 97-0.

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  • MarkRich

    The fact is NO MATTER how high the defict gets, and no matter how high unemployment goes or gas prices or food prices- for the dems its always going to be: "It would be a lot worse if we hadn't done what we did". This is all they have left in their playbook. Keynesian policies don't work- never have and never will. In the 40's FDR was a disaster until WW2 and Carter was a disaster until Reagan and Clinton was a disaster until the '94 mid terms and Conservative policies were instituted (Clinton being more convuluted because of the end of the cold war and the tech revolution). They all will never admit that what doesnt work- doesnt work. Its insanity stupid.

  • BLJ

    1) Blame Bush for EVERYTHING.
    2) Play the race card.
    3) Keep up the bread and circus act for the American Idol crowd.

    I would put in "pray" as number 4, but Comrade O and his friends think they are bigger than God.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    How strange to look at the National Debt, the National Clock refleted a debt
    of $89,019.00 for every American family in 2008. I was looking at headlines
    yesterday of a National Debt which considers off budget spending and the
    Debt is $62,000,000,000,000.00 yes, trillion dollars…………

    This works out to $500,052.00 for every American Family, how nice to know.
    Considering there is no such amount of money and I have no idea who it is
    owed to or how the political elites expect to pay it or continue to cover it up.
    Everyone should send in a personal check for their share and laugh when it
    bounces. This means we have been done in by our Criminal Political elites
    for quite some time.

    It would be nice to round up every Senator, Congressmen and President
    extant and their crews and put them all in jail pending the outcome of a
    grand investigation into monetary subversion, treason and worse of all
    and absolute and abhhorent disrespect of each and every American citizen.
    Hell is big enough for all of them……….This makes Obama small change
    but part of the big picture which is a horror movie………….William

  • WilliamJamesWard

    To bring back and old saying which was misapplied but apropo today of our
    Political class……………."Off the Pigs"….but with tea………………William

  • Jim

    It is discouraging to think that only Romney has a chance of beating Obama. I would have thought Howdy Dody would have had a good chance.

    The public has not forgotten Bush If they run Romney he will be Bush ll .to the electorate. Many people will stay home.

    In California the Chief Republicans rammed through Meg Whitman and Carley to oppose the Democrats.A lot of people stayed home. The stay at homes defeated the two chosen ones.The stay at home voters have seen it all before.

    "The Evolving Structure of the American Economy and the Employment Challenge" published by the " Council on Foreign Relations" is something the US Chamber of Commerce might want to consider.

    The Republicans in congress do not seem to grasp the issues. The public seems to suffer no such handicap. All the name calling ex "populist" will just provoke hostility and guarantee a strong third party or a lot of stay at homes.

  • Dennis X

    bush cut the tax rates for the rich/ everyone , but the cuts for the rich were suppose to create jobs that was 6 years ago, where are the jobs? The rich don't hire they just buy another bmw and that doesn't create jobs.