As much as the president would like to blame our economic ills on the other party, or George Bush or, well, just about anyone, the fact is he’s been at the helm of the ship of state for almost 6 years. So his recent pivot toward addressing economic issues is a bit of a laugh, in reality. For 6 years it simply hasn’t been that important to him. And there’s good reason. His record, as Emily Miller points out, is abysmal:
The economy has never grown much more than by minuscule amounts during the Obama administration. Gross domestic product has grown at an anemic pace since he’s been in the White House, barely sputtering at 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2013. Unemployment under Mr. Obama has averaged a discouraging 8.8 percent and still tops out at 7.6 percent.
Gas prices are rising again, but Mr. Obama spent a long stretch of these speeches touting the doubling of “clean energy” production on his watch. He claimed to have “saved the auto industry,” but didn’t mention that Detroit has gone bankrupt.
Most absurdly, he cited as a point of pride that “our deficits are falling at the fastest rate in 60 years.” He left out two key points: The congressional Republicans demanded spending cuts for increasing the debt ceiling, and the rate of decrease is high because the deficits themselves have been the largest red ink in U.S. history. Spending was $1.4 trillion more than revenue in 2009 and $1 trillion more in 2012.
The Congressional Budget Office projects a $642 billion deficit for this fiscal year, but that’s mostly because Mr. Obama hiked taxes on Jan. 1 to pay for his spending habits.
Despite years of promises to the contrary, to this point, President Obama and his administration have been economically underwhelming. In fact, they’ve been downright inept. All of the important economic markers that indicate recovery are still down. The recession ended in 2009 and yet we still see unacceptably high unemployment, record debt and very poor economic growth.
Of course, Mr. Obama would tell you, as he has for just about every failure since his presidency began, that it is all everyone else’s fault and if Congress would just cede him king-like powers, he could fix it, jiffy quick.
But it is actually the policies of his administration, Obamanomics, which is a large part of why we continue to bang along the bottom of the recovery as Tim Carney explains:
Obama’s first term, with all its tax hikes, regulations, mandates, subsidies and bailouts, saw stock markets rise, corporate earnings break records and the rich get richer, while median income stagnated and unemployment remained stubbornly high.
The irony? Mr. Obama’s policies have been the main driver of the widening income gap he loves to condemn. Meanwhile that middle class he’s so worried about? Well, here’s what he’s managed to do for them in 6 years:
Median household income has fallen by 5 percent since 2009 — when the recession ended and Obama came into office — as the Wall Street Journal pointed out after Obama’s speech.
And if anyone has ever been a champion of “Voodoo economics”, it would be our President:
Government grows, the wealthy, the big, and the well-connected pull away, and the rest of us struggle.
One reason: Obamanomics leans heavily on trickle-down economics. How does Obama promise to create jobs? With more loan guarantees to sell jumbo jets and more subsidies to make solar panels — taxpayer transfers to the big companies with the best lobbyists, with some crumbs hopefully falling to the working class.
Also, Obama’s regulations crush small businesses, protecting the big guys from competition. This hurts Mom & Pop and would-be entrepreneurs, but it also hurts the working class. New businesses are the engine of job growth, but new business formation has accelerated its decline in the last few years, hitting record lows.
Econ 101 might have helped educate Mr. Obama a bit, but he was more interested in community organizing. The result? Horrific economic policy which has, unsurprisingly, yielded horrific economic results.
The new normal as long as he remains in office.