Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Stagnant Economic Growth Weakens Obama’s Credibility

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President Obama commenced his weekly address on Saturday by subtly blaming sluggish economic growth and high unemployment on his predecessor — the Bush administration. In prototypical Obama fashion, he reminded the American public that the economic plunders of today did not strike on his watch, and that his administration inherited "the worst recession since the Great Depression."

"I wish I could tell you there was a quick fix to our economic problems," the President lamented in his weekend dialogue. "But the truth is, we didn't get into this mess overnight, and we won't get out of it overnight. It's going to take time."

This is a far cry from the bombastic slogans of Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign — "Vote for change!" "Change we can believe in!" "Our time for change is now!" Understandably, the President is in panic mode now that the only "change" the country has observed over the past couple years is a massive government intervention in healthcare and deficit spending that has broken every historical record in the book.

Twenty-eight months ago, on February 13, 2009, the Democrat-controlled Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a $787 billion economic stimulus package that Obama enthusiastically signed while claiming it would save or create 3.5 million jobs. Such "jobs," he declared, would put "Americans to work doing the work that America needs done, in critical areas that have been neglected for too long; work that will bring real and lasting change for generations to come." At the time of the legislation’s passing, the unemployment rate stood at 7.8 percent.

Obama, persuaded by his allegiant economic advisors, predicted that the ARRA would ensure an unemployment rate below 8 percent while he coaxed the public into believing that without the stimulus the U.S. would be risking an economic apocalypse. Obama asserted that the stimulus would revive the foreclosure crisis, innovate the healthcare industry, invest in infrastructure projects, and tame the unemployment rate. The President professed that only the government can revive the U.S. economy, and unless the government takes "bold action," unemployment could reach double digits. "Our nation could lose the competitive edge that has served as a foundation for our strength and our standing in the world. In short a bad situation could become dramatically worse." Obama made this assertion over two years ago.

The Congressional Budget Office has reevaluated the true costs of the 2009 stimulus package, finding that it has in fact cost taxpayers $830 billion, $43 billion more than originally intended. Even more revealing, a CBO analysis found that since its passing, the number of jobs the stimulus will have created by the end of June — well over two years later — is 2.9 million.

According to the CBO, "The effects of ARRA on output peaked in the first half of 2010 and have since diminished ... The effects of ARRA on employment and unemployment are estimated to lag slightly behind the effects on output; CBO estimates that the employment effects began to wane at the end of 2010 and continued to do so in the first quarter of 2011."

CNSNews expounded on the CBO's economic figures, contending that the "number of jobs on average that Obama can claim were created or saved by the stimulus will range from a low of 200,000 to a high of 700,000. Even if you take the CBO’s high-end estimate of 700,000 jobs, that works to more a cost of $1,185,714 per job."

Today, despite Obama's championing efforts of pumping hundreds of billions of dollars into the U.S. economy, or some might say, pumping hundreds of billions of dollars down the sewer drain, the unemployment rate still exceeds 9 percent. When factoring in the caustic burden of the mountainous federal deficit, and a potential future of crippling inflation and a devalued currency, the state of the U.S. economy is arguably worse than it was before Obama took office. And as unemployment retains its comatose state, the President’s credibility gap continues to widen.

Picture: President Barack Obama addresses workers after his tour of Chrysler Group’s Toledo Supplier Park in Toledo, Ohio, June 3, 2011: AP Images

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