Economy: Obama Brags About Treading Water

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After President Barack Obama said, “The private sector is doing fine,” he later quickly regrouped. “The economy is not doing fine (emphasis added). That’s the reason I had the press conference.” But Obama said he was particularly concerned about losses in the public sector. The cluelessness is absolutely stunning. Obama is wrong about both the private and public sector.

Obama’s assessment of the economy reminds many of 2008 Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s characterization of the economy. In September 2008, the investment firm Lehman Brothers was collapsing. Wall Street was shaking as the yet-to-be-declared recession deepened, but McCain said: “I think, still, the fundamentals of our economy are strong. But these are very, very difficult times.”

The reaction to McCain was harsh. His opponent, then-Sen. Obama, pounced: “We just woke up to news of financial disaster, and this morning he said that the fundamentals of the economy are still strong? Sen. McCain, what economy are you talking about?”

The Washington Post said: “Sen. Barack Obama seized on McCain’s assessment of the health of the economy, blasting the Republican for being ‘disturbingly out of touch’ with the reality that everyday Americans face. ‘I just think he doesn’t know,’ Obama said in Grand Junction, Colo. ‘He doesn’t get what’s happening between the mountain in Sedona where he lives and the corridors of Washington where he works.'”

Let’s look at the facts.

In McCain’s case, unemployment at the time was 6.1 percent and rising. The economy was experiencing “negative growth.” But in Obama’s case, he correctly states we are in recovery. “The truth of the matter is,” said the President, “we have created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months.”

To paraphrase my grandfather, “Is Obama bragging or complaining?”

Last month, the economy produced a pathetic 69,000 jobs. The National Bureau of Economic Analysis revised last quarter’s gross domestic product growth downward to a paltry 1.9 percent.

Economist John Lott points out: “Thirty-six months into the recovery and the private sector hasn’t even made up half the jobs lost during the recession, let alone make up for the fact that there are about 7.6 million more working age people than when the recession started. What about the 4.2 million that were lost between when Obama became president and February 2010? The ‘growth’ just replaces what was lost during the first part of his administration. Let alone the 8.8 million private-sector jobs that were lost between when the recession started.”

Do the math.

It takes 150,000 new jobs per month just to keep pace with population growth, those coming into the market from high school and college. Obama’s 4.3 million jobs divided by 27 months comes to an average of about 159,000 jobs over that stretch. That is treading water, not even close to the number it takes to make a dent in the 8.2 percent unemployment.

What about the supposedly suffering public sector?

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  • ApolloSpeaks



    Thanks to your 1930s stimulus bill (which failed for Hoover, FDR, the Greeks and Japanese) the recession of the Bush years is still with us with millions out of work and no end in sight. Thanks to you we're suffering through the longest economic woes since the Great Depression, which could have ended years ago if we took a different route.

    BTW Mr. President, Romney is a Reaganite who wants to give the 1980s another try when GDP growth reached astounding highs of 8% with 3.9 million jobs created in 1984-the year of Reagan's landslide. Now that's a recovery we can believe in. Where's your recovery Mr. President? It's headed for the craper and your presidency to defeat as you whine and cry about your predecessor whose economy you can't fix with your debt exploding, jobs destroying stimulus tricks.

    Come November 6th


    Click ApolloSpeaks to read the rest of this piece.

    • Oleg

      That reminds me of what a political hack, masquerading as a journalist, said with regard to a tax issue just under a year ago in British Columbia (Canadian Province) that going back to the old tax system would be like going back to that of the 1950s, or 60s, or 70s, depending on what propaganda piece he was writing at the time. Obviously he moved to B.C from elsewhere, or was too young to remember, but the 1950s through the 1970s was boom time in British Columbia, the unemployment rate was 4 or 5% verses 7.5 to 9% , and the growth rate exceeded 5% on average for over two decades. Talk about a failing arguement.

  • dmw

    Apparently, GW Bush's Presidency was so bad that even Commandante Sub-Zero can't disentangle the country from the Bush woven web, despite the fact that the Commandante had majorities in both Houses of Congress for his first two years. And what did he do? Stimulus (primarily to bolster public sector jobs and really nothing to show for it, as in Where's the promised infrastructure?), Obamacare, takeover of Student Loans, Financial Reform legislation (with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac unaddressed), new regulations from the alphabet agencies to slow down just about everything for real growth in the private sector, and scandals in the alphabet agencies. In other words, GW Bush was so devilishly genuis and the Commandante is just so so thoroughly competent that he can unravel just about anything if given four more years. Not!

  • wagemyths


    I would like to suggest a deep intellectual gap exists across all three parties.In short, the gap has persisted for 200 years since Adam Smith penned his subtly flawed work which is now coming home to roost in America in the form of free trade. Karl Marx suggested free trade as the fastest means to destroying capitalism, while Daniel Webster claimed the primary reason we have our US Constitution was to stop the economic chaos unleashed by free trade with Britain under the Articles of Confederation. Yet, astonishingly we have three political parties which have adopted unwittingly Karl Marx's advice, while the Chinese have adopted Webster’s advice. The Tea Party seems to be oblivious to Webster’s claim, and the average Republican has no idea that Lincoln was a protectionist, and that his party remained protectionist until the 1960s. The reason for this, as the new website suggests, is that there has never been a sound theory of economics. Explaining the intricacies of this failed progression of ideas is the goal of the website’s associated book, “The Un-Republican”, by Geldstone (preview available on Amazon).

    • Oleg

      Than how do you explain the outcome and consequences of the Smoot-Holley act during the 1930s, that replaced trade with massive tariffs on imported goods and materials, which set off series of retaliatory tarriffs by other countries cutting off the import of U.S goods throwing most of the industrialized world into the great depression. If free trade is so destructive then how come all of those countries with protectionist policies are not booming (IE Europe, Japan) while those with free trade waffle and spiral downward? The fact is that one country cannot produce everything that the market demands and even if it can doesn't mean it can do it as well as someone else can, you cannot grow coffee and bananas on U.S soil, except maybe in Hawai. I don't care what Karl Marx said, he formulated an incomplete theory whose ideas continue to fail every where they are tried, (quite spectacularly i might add) very little of what the man formulated works in practice.
      Now if you mean that China engages in currency manipulation and other forms of unfair economic gamesmanship I agree. However even their formula for economic success is close to hitting the wall due to their junk banking system, too much loose credit, and the failure of Europe.
      If you want to create manufacturing jobs end the trade union monopolies which reduce productivity and artificially increase costs with little benefit to their members. It would also do a great deal more to create jobs by bringing down energy costs and reducing excessive government regulation.

  • Jonathan Gal

    20 Year Study Compares Job Growth & Living Standards in Conservative Texas versus Liberal Massachusetts. Texas trounces Massachusetts, even during high tech boom of the 1990's.

  • mrbean

    Hay dar, dah Prez dun beez mah black messiah, yassah. He dun gonta gits meh mah rseparations fum dah honkay crackas. yonowatahmsayin' ….metttttt….metttttt….mettt….

  • wagemyths

    Oleg Thank you for the critique. Smooth Harwley was one many many tarrifs. Google for American tariff history. The first major piece of legislation after the creation of the Constitution was a tariff act. Japan, Korean, China, Germany, England, America, all became superpowers under protectionism. No country became a super power under free trade. Fair trade is impossible because wealth cannot be measured (see website/book). Marx got just about every thing wrong in terms of theory, except this observation. Webster observations supports Marx's claim. Read the work of David H. Mason A Short Tariff History of the United States (free on Google books) to get an idea of the economic chaos that free trade unleashed under the Articles of Confederation. Economic theory out of England (roots of free theory) was erroneously based on subsistence wages (workers near starvation wages)…because exporting your wealth makes your workers poorer, but not necessarily the factory owner who can maintain his profit by foreign sales. This is precisely why the pre-civil war South was pro-free trade. The slaves could not afford to buy the cotton that was produced. Took me 4 years to see the light. Best regards.