Only this president could brag about this economy’s anemic growth rate.
There was President Obama at a recent fundraiser telling his star-struck enablers, look at me, after just two and a half years, I got the economy growing again. He didn’t tell them that the pitiful 1.7% annualized real growth rate in the first quarter compares to 7.1% annualized real growth at the same point in President Reagan’s recovery.
Over the first 7 quarters of the Reagan recovery, the economy boomed at a real growth rate of 7.1%. Over the first 7 quarters of the Obama recovery, the economy stumbled along at a real growth rate of 2.8%, less than half as much, less than 40% as much actually.
Dude, Where’s My Recovery?
President Obama and his party-controlled press at the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times would like you to believe that without his Keynesian magic beans, the economy would have just kept spiraling down. But that does not accord with the historical record in America.
As I have previously explained, since World War II (that covers two-thirds of a century now) recessions in America have previously averaged 10 months. The longest previously in the postwar era was 16 months. Those recoveries weren’t due to brilliant bureaucrats in Washington riding to the rescue each time. The economy naturally returns to growth and recovery, driven by incentive, reward, and competition. That is why they call it the business cycle. Like your finger healing from a cut, the economy naturally wants to recover.
Every morning, business men and women all across the country go to work and throw themselves for the day into making their businesses more effective, efficient, competitive, innovative, profitable. Every morning, unemployed workers get up and go look for jobs. Every day, employed workers are alert to better job opportunities elsewhere. This is what has always led to recovery, not Keynesian central planning.
Yet, the labor report for last month showed that 40 months after the last recession started, unemployment was again rising, up to 9%. That marks the longest period with unemployment that high since the Great Depression.
African-American unemployment was up again to 16.1%, Hispanic unemployment up again to nearly 12%, teenage unemployment up again to nearly 25%, black teenage unemployment over 40%. With unemployment continuing at or near those stratospheric levels for over two years now, these groups have been suffering their own Great Depression under President Obama.
Indeed, the U6 unemployment rate, counting those marginally attached to the labor force who have given up looking in the Obama recovery, and those who are stuck in part time unemployment for economic reasons, was reported last month at still nearly 16%.
As economist John Lott explained in his commentary at FoxNews.com on Monday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that 7.5 million jobs were lost during the recession. Since the recession was technically declared over, the Bureau’s Household Survey shows another 304,000 jobs have been lost during the supposed “recovery.” Even the more optimistic Establishment Survey reports only 535,000 total jobs created under President Obama’s self-congratulatory “recovery.” At the same point in Reagan’s recovery, 6,573,000 jobs had been created, on its way to a record 20 million new jobs.
The official unemployment rate has fallen from its double digit levels only because so many workers are fleeing the work force altogether in Obama’s economy. Lott explains that 5 million non-workers are considered by the BLS to have dropped out of the work force altogether, and are therefore not even counted in the official unemployment rate. That includes 2 million who have left the work force since August.
Alas, the problem is even worse than these numbers indicate. The jobs created from June, 2009 through April, 2011 have almost all been temporary service jobs. Of the 535,000 new jobs [in the Establishment Survey], 500,000 were temporary jobs. Thus, just a measly 35,000 were permanent jobs. To put it differently, up until this last month, there had been no net increase in permanent jobs during the recovery.
Meanwhile, with prices for food and gasoline in particular soaring, real wages for working people are falling. Last year, the Census Bureau reported that the total number of Americans in poverty was the highest in the 51 years that it has been recording the data. This is proof that the Democrats really do care about the poor. That is why they are creating so many of them.
Historically, the deeper the downturn, the stronger the recovery. Based on the long-term historical record, America should be enjoying the second year of a booming economy by now. But instead of President Reagan’s 7.1% real growth rate over the first 7 quarters of his recovery, President Obama’s stunted recovery has stumbled along at less than 40% as much, with the last quarter down to 1.74% on a yearly basis. While in the Reagan recovery the economy soared past the previous GDP peak after 6 months, under Obamanomics it took over three years just to get back to where we were in December, 2007.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online