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Ed Driscoll

The Leitmotif of the Obama Era: ‘Less Than Expected’

July 6th, 2012 - 12:32 pm

In 2004, the unemployment rate averaged out at 5.5 percent. In June of that election year,  Obama, running for the US Senate that year (where he would would later stop in for a cup of coffee on the way to his now fateful presidential bid) attacked President Bush over his job record. As Drew at Ace of Spades’ blog writes, let’s compare how the two presidents stand up at identical points during their tenures in office:

How many jobs did the economy created in June of 2004? 112,000 (pdf). This was actually down from previous months. It’s actually impressive considering the unemployment rate was…5.6% and had been for much of that year (it’s harder to get big job growth when unemployment is relatively low).

Obama actually said that today’s awful job numbers are “a step in the right direction”.

So to recap…112,000 jobs and 5.6% unemployment was killing the middle class but 80,000 jobs (when there’s clearly a job shortage) and 8.2% unemployment is “a step in the right direction”.

Buzzfeed has the audio; the transcript of Obama’s speech reflects this classic “we can do better” moment:

America needs a strong, vibrant middle class. And until middle class families get their heads above water, we can’t declare victory.

The President attacks those who make this point as “pessimists.”

He apparently believes that this is the best we can do.

We believe that we can do better.

As the folks at Twitchy.com quip in response today, “5.6% unemployment was attacked as weak. What, pray tell, is 8.2% unemployment, then? Answer: ‘Shut up, racists.’”

Obama has had his chance to put his sclerotic early 20th century theories to the test, and the result was identical to the 1930s. Other than the ability to spend the taxpayers’ money like there’s no tomorrow (which Greece, Detroit, and several California towns can tell you is true — there is no tomorrow), the entire Obama administration’s performance has been “less than expected.” Except perhaps by those of us who weren’t expecting much all along.

Which means that for the nation to have any hope, it’s now time for a change.

In other words, “It doesn’t have to be this way,” at Mitt Romney said today in response to the president’s “less than expected” employment numbers.

Update: As James Pethokoukis of the American Enterprise Institute notes in a killer chart atop a Drudge-linked article today, in 2009, the Obama administration predicted that unemployment would be at 5.6 percent today as a result of his economic “stimulus” program, passed that year at the height of hopenchange, when Democrats controlled all branches of the Federal Government, and as Newsweek boasted at the time, “We Are All Socialists Now:”


More: If “unexpectedly” is the verbal tic that defines the media’s self-imposed amnesia, then cutting and pasting the phrase “Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available” at the end of economic reports from the Obama White House’s Website every month since January is the administration’s equivalent.

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