Don’t Call It the Obama Economy: It’s Not His Fault
Just ask the administration, and the establishment press.
April 6, 2011 - 12:00 am
Okay, I admit it. America continues to endure what has been the worst post-World War II “recovery” ever.
But you people out there who are laying this on our president, who is doing everything he can when he’s not playing golf or picking NCAA tournament brackets, are way out of line. I know this because the establishment press, which sees all and knows all (just ask ‘em), virtually never cites Barack Obama, his administration, or his policies when there’s bad economic news.
I know, seven quarters after the recession officially ended in June 2009, the economy has generated only 245,000 seasonally adjusted jobs. Over 500,000 of those jobs have come from one sector — temporary help services:
All right, so if you take away the temps, the economy has still lost jobs since the recession ended. (Here’s the breakdown of the remainder: the rest of the private sector, up 128,000; the president’s best buds in state and local government, down 429,000; and the federal government, up 38,000.)
But it’s not Barack Obama’s fault. It’s you free-market conservatives who are always whining about uncertainty who are to blame. You’re the ones who are causing employers to resist taking on full-time workers and to avoid hiring the long-term unemployed, and it’s your nonstop negativity which has caused 2.33 million people to leave the workforce in the past twelve months. On Sunday, economic icon Paul Krugman said that “uncertainty is just a myth being made up to blame this on Obama.” Do you ever see the business or economics writers at the Associated Press or elsewhere citing administration-induced uncertainty as a reason why people can’t get jobs? Of course not.
I’m sure you wingnuts can’t wait to crow about how, during the seven quarters after the last serious recession ended in the early 1980s, the economy under Ronald Reagan added 5.29 million jobs, including 5.09 million in the private sector. Big freakin’ deal. Relatively speaking, Reagan had it made. All he had to face was 13% inflation, 21% interest rates, the malaise of the previous administration, and a Congress dominated by the other party. Just because Obama came into office with low inflation, low interest rates, low gas prices, and a Democratic Congress doesn’t mean he had it any easier.
Why, look at the housing mess he inherited: a market awash in foreclosures, underwater mortgages, and moribund building activity. I know what you wingers are going to say next: Two-plus years later, we have 1.9 million homes in foreclosure, 23% of mortgaged homes underwater, and a double-dip in new homebuilding. Well, just ask Julie Schmit at USA Today why this is the case. She’ll say it’s because foreclosed homes are depressing existing-home prices; first-time buyers are being turned down by those mean old bankers who expect to get repaid; and heartless appraisers won’t inflate homes’ values.