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WSJ On The Economy: "Team Obama Claims These Woeful Results Were The Best That Could Have Been Expected"‏ | Missouri Political News Service

WSJ On The Economy: “Team Obama Claims These Woeful Results Were The Best That Could Have Been Expected”‏

September 28th, 2012 by mopns · No Comments

The Wall Street Journal has a must-read editorial today on the failures of President Obama’s economic policies. The editorial opens by noting an exchange where former President Bill Clinton, making the case for Obama, is lecturing CBS’ Bob Schieffer that “I don’t know a single serious economist who believes that as much [economic] damage as we had could have been healed [in four years].” “Well,” the WSJ editors write, “let’s see. We can think of several serious people who said we could heal the economy in four years. There’s Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Christina Romer, Jared Bernstein, Mark Zandi, and, most importantly, President Obama himself.”

The editorial explains, “Mr. Obama told Americans in 2009 that if he did not turn around the economy in three years his Presidency would be ‘a one-term proposition.’ Joe Biden said three years ago that the $830 billion economic stimulus was working beyond his ‘wildest dreams’ and he famously promised several months after the Obama stimulus was enacted that Americans would enjoy a ‘summer of recovery.’ That was more than three years ago.

“In early 2009 soon-to-be White House economists Ms. Romer and Mr. Bernstein promised Congress that the stimulus would hold the unemployment rate below 7% and that by now it would be 5.6%. Instead the rate is 8.1%. The latest Census Bureau report says there are nearly seven million fewer full-time, year-round workers today than in 2007. The labor participation rate is the lowest since 1981.

“So it has gone with nearly every prediction the President has made about where the economy would be today. Mr. Obama promised that the deficit would be cut in half in four years, but the fiscal 2012 deficit (estimated to be above $1 trillion) will be twice the 2008 deficit ($458 billion).”

And of course in the last two weeks, there has been an avalanche of more bad economic news. We learned yesterday that “[t]he U.S. economy grew even slower than initially reported in the second quarter” and that “student debt has stretched to a record number of U.S. households – nearly 1 in 5 – with the biggest burdens falling on the young and poor.” And “[b]ecause of the sluggish economy, fewer college students than before are able to settle into full-time careers immediately upon graduation.” Last week it was reported that “[t]he income of the typical U.S. family fell or was flat in almost every state last year, with the drop particularly steep in places where the economy has been hit hard by the housing bust.” Meanwhile, “Unemployment rates rose in more than half of U.S. states last month, the latest evidence that hiring remains tepid across the country.”

The Journal editors write, “There’s nothing unusual about candidates making grandiose promises that don’t come true. . . . The bad faith wasn’t then. It’s now. Mr. Obama really believed that government spending would unleash a robust recovery in employment and housing—an ‘economy built to last.’ Now that this hasn’t happened and with the Congressional Budget Office predicting a possible recession for 2013, Team Obama claims these woeful results were the best that could have been expected. The problem with this line is that every President who has inherited a recession in modern times has done better. Under Mr. Obama, measured on the basis of jobs, GDP growth and incomes, this has been by far the meekest recovery from the past 10 recessions.”

They conclude, “When campaigning to be President in 1960, John F. Kennedy denounced slow growth under Eisenhower and Nixon and said ‘We can do bettah.’ Growth was 7.2% in 1959 and 2.5% in 1960. Since the recession ended under Mr. Obama, growth has been 2.4% in 2010, 1.8% in 2011 and, after Thursday’s downward revision for the second quarter, 1.7% in 2012.

“Mr. Obama is running for re-election trying to convince Americans that an economy limping at less than 2% growth, 8% unemployment, real incomes down 5.7% since the recovery began, and deficits of more than $1 trillion is the best we could achieve. We liked it better when he stood for hope and change.”


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