Just before his election as president, Barack Obama declared that “we are five days from fundamentally transforming America.” He has made good on that promise. Huge increases in federal spending—up 28% in just three years—were the beginning. Putting health care—17% of the American economy—under Washington’s control was next. Government control of business is expanding too: 379 new government business rules were added in July alone, according to Sen. John Barrasso of Wyoming. Federal government debt held by the public rose from $6 trillion (40% of GDP) in 2008 to $9 trillion (62%) in 2010, The Congressional Budget Office says it could reach 200% by 2037, if the economy doesn’t collapse first.
Mr. Obama’s original budget for fiscal 2012 would have more than doubled the debt held by the public, from 2010’s $9 trillion to $19 trillion in 2021. Politico reports that by the 2013 inauguration, the government will have taken on addition debt to the tune of “$22,500 for every man, woman, and child in the nation” during Mr. Obama’s tenure. Some 45 million Americans, or 1 in 7, receive food stamps, up from less than 30 million a few years ago. Finally, in the previous two years our annual economic growth after inflation has averaged only 1.3% annually, just about half our past 10-year average of 2.5%. In the first half of this year, it was running at an annual rate of 0.8%.
The White House says unemployment will decline to 8.25% this year, though it may well remain above 9%. Looking back at the past 50 years, no president has been re-elected when unemployment was higher than 7.2%.