If Barack Obama is allowed to “finished what he started,” government dependency is all that we’ll have left.
Barack Obama and his supporters at the Democratic National Convention will mostly avoid the topic of unemployment, as unfavorable a subject as that is for Democrats’ reelection chances. Still, we will inevitably hear a mantra like “the trend is in the right direction even if slower than we’d like” as an argument to give Barack Obama another four years so he can “finish what he started.”
Beside the illogic of suggesting we give a failure four more years to fail further, one approach to unemployment data offers a very different lesson from the positive spin Democrats will give it.
In particular, the Obama team wants you to look at this chart, showing his entire term thus far, hoping that you focus on the modestly declining unemployment rate over the past 20 months.
Instead, I offer a tale of two time periods, as shown in the next two charts. The first is from Obama’s inauguration month, January 2009, to the month that includes the subsequent federal elections, November 2010, when Republicans took control of the House of Representatives and ended the Democrats’ filibuster-proof majority in the Senate.
The second chart starts in November 2010 and continues through the end of July 2012, the most current data at the time of this writing. It is also worth noting that the election of 2010 all but guaranteed that the Bush tax cuts would be extended, as happened just one month later despite President Obama’s saying that he was “sympathetic to those who prefer a fight over compromise…”
In short, the unemployment data does not show a president whose policies are finally gaining a foothold and need a little more time to work, but rather an unemployment rate that only stopped increasing after American voters took away President Obama’s ability, with then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to shove more doomed-to-fail Keynesian economic policy down our throats.
Unfortunately, before the American electorate could remedy their 2008 error, these politicians — combining radical leftist views with complete economic ignorance — wasted over a trillion dollars (if you include interest costs) on “stimulus” and passed Obamacare (which a majority of Americans still want repealed), the latter being thought by some analysts as the single biggest drag on American employment, with other federal regulation not far behind.
Democrats, including the president himself, in a remarkable combination of political masochism and narcissism, occasionally compare Barack Obama to Ronald Reagan. They are not fooling anybody but themselves and MSNBC employees. But as long as they want to go down that road, let’s accompany them, comparing the path of unemployment and employment under The One versus the path under The Gipper.
Ronald Reagan “inherited” a worse situation than Barack Obama did, with Jimmy Carter leaving behind — the way moronic pranksters leave a burning bag of a particular substance on an unlucky neighbor’s porch — nearly 15 percent inflation and 20 percent interest rates. Sometimes you have no choice but to step in it because the fire danger is worse than the inevitable stench. Complaining about the delinquents — the way President Obama daily blames George W. Bush — is a waste of time when you should be trying to make sure your house doesn’t burn down (and then how to clean your shoe.)
The unpleasant but necessary action required to stamp out Carter’s inflationary fires led to unemployment peaking late in Reagan’s second year in office as compared to late in Obama’s first year; in other words, Obama’s policies have had longer to gain traction following the peak in unemployment than Reagan had going into his re-election. Nevertheless, Reagan’s economic performance by this time in his presidency was far better than Obama’s.
If you want to understand the impact of Reagan’s pro-growth policy versus Obama’s no-growth policy, look at how jobs recovered once unemployment peaked. Under Obama, during the 33 months between when unemployment peaked at 10 percent and the July prior to his reelection attempt, it has fallen only 1.7 percent, leaving the rate 0.5 percent higher than when he took office. In only 20 months between when unemployment peaked under Reagan at 10.8 percent and the July prior to his reelection, unemployment plunged 3.3 percent, twice as much as it has fallen under Obama, to the same rate as during Dutch’s first month in office.
Over the rest of Reagan’s presidency, unemployment fell to 5.3 percent. Does anybody who has watched the results of the current administration think anything vaguely resembling that would be our fate if we re-elect the Alinsky-inspired community organizer cum brewer and his tax-cheat Secretary of the Treasury to “finish what they started”?
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.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?