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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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