Four years ago, a little-known United States Senator named Barack Obama ran for president of the United States against two of the most well respected politicians in the country. Running on a message of “hope” and “change,” he promised pretty much everything under the sun to his devoted followers. The deficit would be cut in half by the end of his first term, the stimulus package would keep unemployment under 8 percent, millions would be able to renegotiate their mortgages and keep their homes, the economy would be growing again and everyone would be as happy as the people in his 30 minute policy infomercial. Eternal sunshine and rainbows would fill the sky, and cute critters would follow us as we rode around on our unicorns.
Perhaps the president should get in the business of selling paintings to the blind or records to the deaf — based on his ability to sell his economic program to the country, I imagine he’d be making millions doing it. Simply put, it is utterly inane for anyone to argue — based on the facts of our desperate economic and fiscal situation — that the president has fulfilled any of his past promises of economic recovery.
Despite the celebration by the White House and Democratic leadership over the “economic recovery” we are apparently undergoing — ironically, as indicated by the Dow Jones Industrial reaching over 13,000 points — the economy is still in absolute shambles. According to Gallup, one of the nation’s premiere polling and information gathering organizations, unemployment — the number of people who don’t currently have a job but who would like one — stands at 9.1 percent. When the underemployed, those who have part-time jobs but would rather be employed full-time, are added in, the figure jumps all the way up to 18.9 percent. Furthermore, neither of these numbers includes all the people who have lost their jobs and have stopped looking.
Sadly, President Obama has empirically proven that it’s possible to make such a dismal economic situation even worse. He promised the $787 billion stimulus package would keep unemployment under 8 percent; at no point, save his Inauguration Day, has that ever been the case. He boasted that his mortgage relief plan would save millions of homeowners; it’s saved many thousands, but not that much. He claimed that the trillions spent on economic stimulus, health care reform and financial reform would get the American people back to work and protect them from the vicissitudes of the “evil capitalists” on Wall Street. Instead, all that these things have wrought is greater debt, rising health care premiums, economic slowdown, higher poverty rates and a fiscal crisis.
As much as he likes to blame President Bush for all the country’s problems and for accruing greater debt — something which no fiscal conservative liked — President Obama has only exacerbated our problems. He has utterly failed at making good on his promises of economic recovery, and now — due to his profligate spending — the economy will shut down in 20 years to boot. If this is economic recovery, our country cannot afford four more years of an Obama presidency. Should he win in November and continue to guide the United States down this path, I advise you, dear reader, to get ready for Armageddon, because the road to “economic recovery” might just destroy us.
— Jeffrey Robin is the Daily Nexus conservative columnist.
In Response, Left Said:
It’s not surprising that the recovery has been slower than expected, because the recession was incredibly worse than expected. The estimates cited above (8 percent unemployment, 50 percent deficit reduction, etc.) are from before the full depth of economic collapse had really been made clear. On top of that, there is widespread agreement among many economists today that the recovery hasn’t been as good as expected because the stimulus package was too small: $787 billion was a figure that could be pushed through Congress, not the level of spending needed to fill in the $2 trillion “output gap” in the economy. As for the deficit, the increasing severity of the recession required far greater spending than ever expected — added onto the bills Obama had to sign when he entered office, such as TARP ($350 billion), funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq ($100 billion) and a spending bill stuck in Congress ($450 billion). Tack onto that the impeding collapse of the domestic car industry and the housing market, and you have a deficit-raising economic climate.
The recovery is underway, and things are getting better every month. Unemployment is 8.3 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (not the higher figure cited above), and GDP is steadily rising. The economic crisis we’re in is bad — but it’s not going to be solved by ending safety net programs, deregulating the financial industry, cutting taxes for the wealthy or raising payroll taxes. Herbert Hoover 2012? Your choice.