Via Daniel Halper at The Weekly Standard, CNBC’s Jim Cramer dimly sees that today’s jobs report isn’t about the sequester or the end of the payroll tax cut.
“Look, I’m struggling here,” said Cramer. “I’m struggling to find anything good about it. I’m trying to figure out exactly how worried we were three, four weeks ago. The president was on TV pretty regularly saying that look, there’s going to paralysis in the country. We did believe that sequester could shut down this country. Maybe it’s under that guise that we got this terrible number. But it is a terrible number. It’s really kind of amazing that–frankly, it looks like it’s a permanent unemployed level.”
This is what I was arguing in my column this week for The Fiscal Times as well. We are not building an economy that will put America back to work; we are building an economy that will send more Americans into poverty, and already have. Over a four year period, we have created one job for every 100 Americans that fell into poverty:
Besides the aforementioned stagnation at the 32-year low in civilian workforce participation, an enormous expansion of aid has now doubled food-stamp and disability rolls in twelve years to 59 million people, nearly one in every five Americans, Stockman points out. Food stamp rolls alone have increased 70 percent since the end of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported separately last week. It now stands at a record high of 47.8 million Americans.
The WSJ blames easing of access rules for part of that expansion, but that doesn’t entirely explain the increase. Neither does fraud, although that’s growing faster than the food-stamp rolls themselves. The main driver for expansion of food stamp recipients is the reason for the program’s existence in the first place – poverty.
Over 50 million people now live in poverty, according to a recent release by the US Census Bureau. At the end of 2010, after the passage of the $800 billion stimulus bill and eighteen months of technical recovery, that number was 46 million according to Census Bureau statistics. At the end of 2008, at the depth of the Great Recession and as President Obama first took office, that number was below 40 million.
We have added 10 million people into poverty since Obama took office, most of whom fell into poverty after the stimulus and the technical recovery began. In comparison, we have only added 123,000 jobs over the same period, according to the BLS Current Population Survey, which showed a seasonally-adjusted employment level in December 2008 of 143.369 million, compared to 143.392 million in February. (The BLS’ Current Employment Survey data looks almost as bad, with a gain of just 621,000 jobs in the same period.) The civilian participation rate in the workforce has dropped from 65.8 percent to 63.5 percent during that time, equaling August 2012 for the worst since September 1981.
Even if you grant the White House its most friendly calculation of jobs growth, one that starts thirteen months after he took office, the American economy has only added 4.66 million jobs while sending 10 million into poverty under his economic policies. Using the original calculation of December 2008, the month before Obama took office, we have now lost 83,000 jobs on Obama’s watch overall while sending 10 million into poverty. In just the past 15 months, we have added only 2.39 million jobs (averaging 160,000 a month, barely exceeding population-growth requirements) while adding more than 3.7 million to the poverty rolls. We aren’t recovering from the Great Recession — and in fact, we’re losing ground.
Michael Ramirez similarly sees the essence of Obamanomics, and depicts it brilliantly in a single panel for Investors Business Daily:
Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history. Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here. And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.