"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Unemployment, Deficit Numbers Illustrate Failure Of Democrat Agenda

October 8th, 2010 by mopns · No Comments

According to the latest release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics today, “Nonfarm payroll employment edged down (-95,000) in September, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.6 percent . . . .” The AP adds, “The Labor Department says the unemployment rate held at 9.6 percent. The jobless rate has now topped 9.5 percent for 14 straight months, the longest stretch since the 1930s. The private sector added 64,000 jobs, the weakest showing since June.”

The $814 billion stimulus seems to have delivered little if any of what the Obama administration predicted back when it was passed in early 2009. White House economists Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein claimed that if the stimulus passed, unemployment wouldn’t exceed 8%. Vice President Joe Biden actually boasted, “[T]his is about getting this out and spent in 18 months to create 3.5 million jobs and . . . literally drop-kicks us out of this recession and we begin to grow again.” Yet, unemployment stubbornly remains at 9.6% and 3.3 million jobs have been lost since the President Obama signed the stimulus bill into law.

So what have Americans gotten from the stimulus? For one thing, hundreds of billions of dollars of debt, since none of the spending in the bloated bill was paid for. Thanks in part to stimulus spending, the Congressional Budget Office announced last night that the deficit for 2010 was nearly $1.3 trillion, “the second-worst mark since 1945,” according to Dow Jones. “The congressional scorekeeper said the total deficit recorded in the just completed fiscal year was only $125 billion less than the record high of $1.4 trillion set in fiscal 2009.” In other words, the two worst post-World War II deficits were last year and this year. Dow Jones also notes, “The deficit in fiscal 2010 was equal to 8.9% of U.S. gross domestic product, well above the long-run target of 3% that is considered by most economists to be sustainable.”

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports today on what some of that deficit spending has gone towards. “The federal government last year sent about 89,000 checks of $250 each to dead or incarcerated people through the Obama administration’s economic stimulus program, according to a watchdog report. The Social Security Administration distributed about $13 billion to 52 million eligible beneficiaries in the form of $250 checks as part of the economic recovery program. The program cost a total of $814 billion. Most of the payments were issued properly, but the SSA failed to check all available payment records or was unaware that beneficiaries had died, according to a report by the Social Security Office of Inspector General.” Specifically, the Post reports, “About 71,600 recipients were dead before the SSA certified their payments, receiving a total of $18 million, according to the report. An additional 17,300 inmates received a total of $4.3 million. Most of the inmates were eligible to receive checks because the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act prohibited payments only to people incarcerated in the three months before it passed, which was November 2008 to January 2009. The SSA maintains conviction records and is normally required to suspend payments to incarcerated beneficiaries, the report said.”

So with unemployment higher than 9.5% for the longest stretch since the Great Depression, continuing job losses, and anemic private sector job growth, Americans are being reminded again today that President Obama and Democrats preferred economic solutions, growing government and deficit spending, simply aren’t working. Instead, Americans are faced with record deficits, record debt, and the news that millions of dollars of stimulus money are going to dead people and convicts. As Sen. McConnell said recently, “Americans have had it. They’ve had it with Democrats focusing on their own pet issues at the exclusion of Americans’ top priorities, and they’re tired of being told that if only the Democrats pass their agenda those priorities will be met. The results are in. The Democrat agenda has been a failure for the economy and for jobs.”

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