Dismal Economic News Haunts Dem Convention

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


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Far from unexpected is the reality, despite every effort by the mainstream media to label such an appellation as “racist,” that Barack Obama is indeed the “food stamp president.” Recently released data reveal that a record-breaking 46.7 million Americans are getting government help with their food purchases. Spending on food stamps has also reached a record, costing American taxpayers $75.7 billion for FY2011, a number that represents a doubling of costs in just four years. “Unemployment is stubbornly stuck,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in an interview last month. “While people are going back to work, and there are jobs being added, they aren’t being added at a clip that is as robust as anybody wants.”

Vilsack is likely to be taken to the Democrats’ political woodshed for stating the obvious, given the Obama campaign’s penchant for claiming the president created 4 million jobs during his term. Technically, there is a grain of truth in this. Unfortunately, 4.316 million jobs were lost during the same period. Thus, the administration has presided over an official loss of more than three hundred thousand jobs, with the key word being “official.” Official jobs statistics do not factor in how many American are under-employed, have given up looking for work completely, or have moved from collecting unemployment benefits to collecting disability benefits. The number of Americans collecting such benefits has also skyrocketed, from 7.1 million in December 2007, when the recession began, to 8.7 million as of last April.

And while George W. Bush was president at the beginning of the upsurge, it bears repeating: Democrats have had majority control of the federal government for the past six years. The most they can accuse the Republicans of since then is “obstructionism”–as in obstructing even more deficit spending. More accurately it was the American public who obstructed Democrats in 2010, when they put 63 House seats held by Democrats back in Republican hands. The “inconvenient reality” of millions of Americans collectively voting to “stop the madness” is one Democrats are undoubtedly determined to ignore this week.

Finally, Democrats should be thankful their convention ends on Friday, because there is yet one more reality that is quite likely to blow a hole in their carefully constructed political narrative. That’s the day the August job totals will be released, and no one is predicting anything better than a 125,000 to 150,000 gain that does nothing more than keep pace with job-age population growth. Nor does any reputable economist expect the unemployment rate to fall below 8 percent between now and the election.

It remains to be seen if the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), whose birth/death model of job creation is based largely on educated “guesstimates,” is willing to politically “massage” those guesstimates for a president and Democratic Party in dire need of anything to obscure this trifecta of bad economic news. Even if they do, the economic component of this election comes down to a simple reality: are Americans going to believe what Democrats tell them about the economy — or their own “lying eyes?”

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  • davarino

    If all Biden has to rebut the, "are you better off than 4 years ago", with, "we got Binladen and we saved GM" then they are truely sad indeed. Of course this is all they have, and its great they got Binny, but that doesnt create jobs, and I dont care about GM cause they are a microcosym of the economy and their losing jobs anyway. So, as the dems grasp at straws its very telling how the media is covering for them, hoping against hope that their man gets another 4 years. If he gets another 4 years, I wander what his excuses would be then. It wouldnt matter cause all of us will be broke.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      If BHO got another 4 years, all his failures would STILL be blamed on GWB.

      It's Time For A Change.

    • Asher

      GM is also needing another bailout to save their sorry company, and BinLaden was taken out by our brave Navy Seals…not apostate Obama.

  • Schlomotion

    Just like the issue of whether Israel is the politically prettiest amongst the Middle Eastern "allies," this article is trying to make Bush look like the less debt-ridden and big spending of our Presidents. One salient characteristic of all Likud propaganda is that we ought to view the least ugly as the most beautiful. This fallacy has contaminated our elections for at least the past 20 years, as our candidates have become largely indistinguishable figureheads.

    Specifically to this article, Bush is allegedly the thrifty President, and we should therefore support the even thriftier President, Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney was my governor. Mitt Romney's thrift and fiscal wizardry are as overblown as the thrift and fiscal wizardry of the Fed. The man inherited all his money and squirrels it away in offshore bank accounts, just like the people who bribe him into office. He is not better than Obama, he is merely superficially, more pro-Israel than Obama. If you are a citizen of America, that is no reason to vote for him.

    • SCREW SOCIALISM

      Shariamotion,

      Happy Eternal Nakba!

    • Advocatus

      Ah, the good old Pavlovian reflex just can't let you breathe easy eh, Flippo. On and on you blather about Israel, Likud propaganda, and what have you, again when to all intents and purposes the subject of the article above is the soon-to-be-crippling US debt. But seeing as you clearly don't know squat about trifles like economics and history, you just fall back on your favorite default position: regurgitating the tired old "it's all those Zionists' fault" line. Wow, what an original thinker you are, Schlomo, hats off!

      Meanwhile, a niggling little detail: the US happens to be up to its neck in debt to Communist China, not to the hated Zionist entity. So what's your line gonna be? That it's them evil Joo-wish capitalists that are pulling the strings behind their hapless puppets in Beijing? Come on, mate, out with it. Clearly, spouting anti-Zionist nonsense has a therapeutic effect on you, so don't let me stop you.

    • Guest

      Schlomo! I'm very proud of you. You waited at least several hours after the new articles came out to leave your manifestos. That must have taken a lot of will power. But sadly I was not able to time them!! I'm as sad as a stalker facing a restraining order :( But I see you missed a few articles anyway. So you wouldn't have won the prize.

      I have looked very deeply into these Likud conspiracy theories of which you speak. Pored and probed. Likud's secret plan with Frontpage is to lure all of the anti-Israel trolls on the Internet to this site so that they are preoccupied when the final protocols are put in place and Likud takes over the world. It's true! I read it in the Arab media. Would Arab media lie? We have been played for fools!

    • Asher

      Stuart Varney said it best: (The 16 trillion in debt will grow more rapidly now bringing down the economy,)factories are producing less and there will be more lay offs. Gasoline $3.82 now, was $1.84 when Bush left office. 8.3% unemployment now, below 8% when Bush left office. A lower proportion of people are working, we are worse off, and we all know it. The issue is the Obama neglegency and failed economy..He Owns It, plus Bush strengthened national security as Obama has weakened it…All in all a very bad record for the Obama administration.

    • Ghostwriter

      Why don't you get the hint,Schlomind? We're getting tired of your idiotic anti-Jewish rants. They are vile and are stupid. Why can't you ever get that through your thick skull?

      • BS77

        He cannot get the hint…he has OCD .

  • Jim_C

    I would make the same argument if I were a Republican, but keep watching the convention and you'll see how it's answered. Watch as the pride in Obama grows and his accomplishments are spelled out.

    Then compare what you've seen to the doom and gloom of the GOP convention, its pining for some nonexistent time in America's past, and the lukewarm feeling for the guy who shelters his huge pile of cash outside the country, and tell me who America is going to go for.

    • Knucklehead

      You're joking, right? You really believe all that crap? Wow, are YOU gonna be surprised come election day! I'm so happy! :)

    • JoJoJams

      Wow! Sometimes your posts have some semblance of sanity, but this one is one of your more deluded posts. Keep dreaming. I love to chat and debate with anyone, and the overwhelming majority of those I chat with are NOT voting for the big O. With the exception of some rabid Paulbots, who are mad and refuse to vote at all, it's Romney all the way – you can take that to the bank. Older people remember Carter – and know the big O is Carter on steroids. And intellgent younger people just know they have a lot of college debt and no jobs. They're as disillusioned with Obama as anyone else. Barring a national emergency, martial law, and a postponing of the elections, Obama is a one-hit wonder – and the wonder is that he got elected in the first time.

    • guest

      They should keep the debt clock running onscreen when Michelle Obama shows up on David Letterman.

  • Choi

    Shielding Schlomo, are you adminstrator?

  • cynthia curran

    Well, unlike the Dems some Republicans can say that people can do othe jobs than manufactoring sometimes it takes a while to make up the wages. The Dems are all on envy once reason you hear the anti-free trade speech. I thought this thru and some trade agreements are poor and need to be look at closer but lots of jobs like Manufactoring and Call Center work are no longer done just in one country.

    • Jim_C

      You articulate the Republican position. But think politically: when all people hear from Republicans are "You'll get jobs as soon as millionaires get more tax cuts," and the same vague bromides about "hard work" (yes the democrats use 'em too), do you think they'll opt for "trickle down" or "manufacturing jobs?"

      When people find out they're not going to be rejected for insurance due to pre-existing conditions and that their president put all his capital behind making sure everyone gets insurance coverage, do you think they'll care about the supposed (but b.s.) "increased choice" and "self-reliance" rhetoric of Romney–a guy trying to run away from the one achievement in government (Mass. health care) of which he can be proud?

      • guest

        Obama's shower buddy Jeffrey Immelt's company, the one with a substantial share in NBC Universal, pays no tax. They receive federal subsidies in hair brained green energy schemes, along with Westinghouse aka ViaComm Disney for tourism and Ted Turner for charity work which is just grafting. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan want to lower the effective rates along with compliance costs and tort costs for everyone and make Obama's corporate gangster butt buddies pay THEIR fair share.

        The costs of lawsuits arranged by scumbag lawyers like John Edwards seancing the voice of dead babies in front of juries certainly does "trickle down" in the form of higher costs, more red tape for compliance, unnecessary procedures, and unavailable services.

        Oblunder-care will greatly reduce the availability of medicine especially for old people. Guaranteed issued medical insurance already exists. Medically underwritten will just be phased out and we will all be forced to pay into the patient dumping, throw grandpa into a wheelchair instead of a giving him a new hip scam brainstormed by a bunch of ex-Chicago gangsters. It does nothing to address Medicare compliance, tort, doctor shortages, or the ever fattening of America.

        Please. Throw these thug slimeballs out of the birthplace of freedom and back into their Chicago rat's nest. They're either so drunk off their own ideology they now possess absolutely no awareness of the extremely critical issues facing free people, or they cling to power to hide their own criminality while destroying America in the process. My guess is probably both.

        • Jim_C

          I'm sorry, I should have listened to the Republican plan for health care which was…oh that's right, there was no plan. Things were apparently just fine. Now, it's "Oblunder-care." When it was proposed by the Heritage Foundation, it was…what? When it was proposed by the Nixon Administration, it was…not strong enough for democrats.

          Oh, the nightmare apocalyptic scenarios! Every industrialized nation in the world looks on in confusion as we squabble over health care. When they get sick, when they have an accident, they know they don't have to worry about it–they'll be cared for, and no go bankrupt. And in places like Switzerland, the private sector still plays a big role. You know what that gives them? Freedom and peace of mind.

          When they need to go to college, they don't worry about it. If they have money, they still go to a posh college; if not, they still go to college. You know what that gives them? Freedom and opportunity.

          It costs society money, that is true. But their society agrees these are the important things.

          These things, and the national security in which they figure, should be priority one for any nation.

          You want to talk about the fattening of America? I'm all ears. You have a better plan for our education system? I'm all ears. How unions hold industry back? I promise, I'm listening.

          I find your newfound concern about government corruption, which Obama apparently invented, very touching, indeed. But you want to go back to the Bush years? You don't think those years had anything to do with "destroying America?" You think tax cuts on the wealthy, which we've already had, are going to magically jump start the economy? You have nothing to say about banking deregulation that precipitated this crisis worldwide? You don't have to demonize bankers–I agree that's immature–but you have nothing to say on the matter? Really? Pardon me if I question your credibility.

  • Mike

    That's plenty of reason to vote for Mitt, anything would be better than BHO!

  • jose

    Most of these democrats dont even know what the 'national debt ' means or is. So just forget about this sort of logic. It does not apply to them.

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Loyal, strong, resolute, always on guard, faithul, loving and without fault, has the good sense
    to come in out of the rain, is not self serving, egotistic, or given to false pride. No I am not
    describing Obama, not in the least, Obama has none of these attributes, I see that my dog
    is better than him, old Duke is better and says more with "Arf" than anything coming off of
    a telepromter and is trustworthy, won't leave you in trouble and on and on, forget the Democrats
    they have fleas and worse much worse…….My hamster Naoleon loves the convention and has
    all of the pets laughing like crazy, when listening to Pelosi they laughed so hard they couldn't
    breathe, that was it, had to go football.
    ………………..William

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