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In fact, it is the obtrusive arm of government that continues to kill jobs and slow growth by perpetuating uncertainty amongst our innovators and job creators. Simply put: government should get out of the way. The engine of growth is, and has always been, in the private sector.
The degenerative effect of Obama’s government-centric policies acts as a corrosive agent undermining the U.S. economy, imperiling its future competiveness.
Last month, only 54,000 non-farm jobs were created. Woefully short of what is needed to keep pace with those entering the workforce. For recent high school and college graduates this is unwelcome news. But as far as top Obama re-election insider David Axelrod is concerned, the discussion of these figures is “meaningless” to the “average” American. What matters, he claims “is what they experience in their own lives.” With so many struggling, few will buy this sophomoric spin.
It is worth noting that more than half of jobs created in May came from McDonald’s, as many as 30,000, in fact. McDonald’s is a fine corporation, but this figure is representative of weakness, not of recovery.
In key states, such as Nevada, Florida and Michigan, unemployment remains north of 10%—12.5%, 10.8% and 10.2% respectively. In others, like North Carolina, Georgia, California, Kentucky, New Jersey and Arizona, the jobless rate is above or near 10%. How well do you think Wasserman Schultz’s remarks will play in these states? Despite her willful spin, the voters aren’t fooled. As the Wall Street Journal notes, such anemic job growth only adds to the fear “that a more protracted and dangerous downturn could be in the offing.”
For America’s homeowners, the news is also bleak. As it stands, home prices have dropped over 5% in the past year. According to the S&P/Case-Shiller Index, we are now experiencing a double dip in housing. Robert Shiller himself recently warned that an additional plunge of 10 to 25% in home values is quite possible. We haven’t seen the bottom.
Americans have watched their home equity collapse. In fact, as a matter of percentage it is the lowest since World War II. Of the 74.5 million homeowners in the U.S., nearly 25% are “underwater.” In other words, they owe more on their mortgage than their home is worth. In some states, the numbers are much worse than the already unsettling national average.
In Nevada, for instance, 63% of homeowners are upside-down; in Arizona, 50%; in Florida, 46% and in Michigan, 36%. Adding insult to injury, CoreLogic, a real estate research company, notes that an additional 25% of U.S. Homeowners are nearly upside-down on their mortgage. They may be soon as home prices fall further still.
An S&P report makes clear the risks ahead. It suggests that the ill-effect from “rising foreclosures and delinquencies…higher volume of home modifications and redefaults” could “drive credit losses higher by $30 billion to $35 billion.”
On housing, debt, energy and jobs—mostly jobs, President Obama will bring his disastrous economic record before the voters next year. And though he may claim his actions “stabilized the economy,” most Americans do not see stability. Rather, they see decline.
Brendon S. Peck holds a Master of Arts in History and Political Science from the College of Saint Rose and has completed graduate work at Columbia University. He is a freelance writer. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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