“What’s a six-letter word that describes what you get when you combine spiking jobless claims and rising inflation? Answer: M-I-S-E-R-Y,” Investor’s Business Daily notes in an op-ed. “And as new reports show, Obama is dishing out heaping portions of it:”
The two reports out of the Labor Department are troubling enough on their own. Jobless claims hit 428,000 last week, up 11,000 from the week before, the highest level in months and, naturally, unexpected. And inflation in August was up 3.8% over last year, also higher than forecast.
These reports also point to a more worrisome trend. With unemployment stuck at a stratospheric 9.1% — and giving no signs of coming down soon — inflation is now climbing. The current annual rate is more than twice where it stood in January. Combine the two, and you have a Misery Index of 12.9 — up 21% this year and a stunning 64% since Obama took office.
To put the current index in some historical context: (1) it’s higher than any time in the past 28 years, (2) it’s 36% higher than the post-World War II average of 9.5 and (3) there have been only nine years in the past 63 when the annual Misery Index topped 12.9 — all in the inflationary 1970s.
The only thing surprising about today’s miserable economic picture is that so many economists continue to be surprised by it. Don’t they remember what happened the last time we indulged in rampant government spending, regulatory hyperactivity and endless federal meddling in the economy back in the ’70s?