As we approach the November election we will soon know if this is a one-term administration or if there will be an encore. Where did President Obama go wrong in “fixing” the economy? He didn’t spend enough money. While the candidates posture and churn and stretch and fabricate, appeal to the outliers, the undecided, and of course the contributors of whom candidacy wouldn’t be possible in this post Citizens United over a half billion dollar campaign world, let’s look at what happened to Obama..
With a work force growing at ~130,000 monthly, job creation must outpace it to get ahead. While we see a continuous trend in job creation, in fact 29 consecutive months, it has yet to significantly exceed the 130,000 monthly mark and make a dent in the unemployment rate. But here is the crux; all additional jobs created have come from the private sector! Good we say as the private sector makes jobs in a capitalist system right? But not always, in fact Ronald Reagan, a conservative’s conservative, allowed public sector jobs to swell during his economic downturn, George Bush did the same. Paul Krugman (Nobel Laureate) addresses the numbers and the impacts to unemployment if Obama had added jobs at the same rate the two “conservatives” had….read more.
But the Debt, the right cried and the Obama administration while knowing what was right 3 ½ years ago, fell prey to the call, they chickened out, they bent under pressure, inexperienced, insecurity, whatever you chose to call it, but they didn’t follow through. Given the liberal gains in 08 the opportunity was there to act decisively, but among the greedy everybody wanted to be in charge, everybody wanted their own piece of the pie, their own hero trophy legislative branch, they squandered the opportunity. Not to mention those who openly stated their goal was to make Obama fail and in turn failed their constituency and country. So he took the RRR approach and shucked public sector jobs faster than I could shuck corn for a Saturday barbeque. In the end we have lots of people still out of work, not buying the things private sector offers, not making the mortgage payments, and not paying much if any in taxes. Back to the debt….well we are paying them anyway. Maybe not as much, certainly not the same way, but in a humane society we have a safety net, so as we kicked them from the public roles, we caught them under means tested welfare and yes, increased the very debt the pundits are howling about. And did I mention they aren’t paying taxes as if they had one of those full up public sector, productive for the common good jobs? Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it the old saying goes. And we are reliving our double dip exit from the great depression, circa 1937 where we cut government too fast and plunged once again.
“In June 1937, the Roosevelt administration cut spending and increased taxation in an attempt to balance the federal budget. The American economy then took a sharp downturn, lasting for 13 months through most of 1938. Industrial production fell almost 30 per cent within a few months and production of durable goods fell even faster. Unemployment jumped from 14.3% in 1937 to 19.0% in 1938, rising from 5 million to more than 12 million in early 1938. Manufacturing output fell by 37% from the 1937 peak and was back to 1934 levels.”
The Irony of it is that he, President Obama, is getting all the credit anyway for a burgeoning federal government, overspending to create a massive deficit, and of course his huge government strong-arming private sector business and is undermining job creation. Great headlines if you’re one of the PACS funding this line of BS, but it is just that, BS, lies, made up, the numbers don’t support the claims and neither did other “conservative” examples (Ronald Reagan, GW Bush) when they faced the same employment numbers. It’s just too bad that Obama didn’t actually do what the $500+ Million worth of campaign advertizing says he did. Because if he had, there would be no argument, we would know. But we could still be divided over other cornerstone issues like women’s health, voter ID, fossil fuel subsidies, abortion, and probably something really important like whether evolution really must be taught in public schools.