At least give the president credit for consistency. No matter the issue, the president blames America’s economic and military decline on the Republican Party.
He did it against yesterday following the release of the “official” unemployment report that saw 242,000 jobs created in February and the unemployment rate remaining at 4.9%.
“The plans that we have put in place to grow the economy have worked,” the president declared in the Oval Office. “They would work even faster if we did not have the kind of obstruction that we’ve seen in this town to prevent additional policies that would make a difference. And there is going to be a debate going on around the budget in the coming months.”
The president entered office in the midst of a severe economic downturn which has since been referred to as the Great Recession — a time period sparked by the subprime mortgage crisis and the financial crisis of 2007. The recovery took years to begin and has since been incredibly slow.
“Republicans in Congress are, sadly, trying to cut some of the investments that could spur additional growth,” the president continued. “They are blocking things like an increase in the minimum wage, or more robust investment in jobs training, infrastructure, education that can continue to lift up wages and incomes.”
Obama has proposed a number of policies that are highly debated. His opposition has noted concern that his platform may actually be hindering growth as opposed to helping it. The minimum wage for instance could help lower-income individuals receive more pay, but it could also force businesses to cutback on their workforce to overcome the added cost of labor. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found any increase of the minimum wage will likely result in at least some job loss.
Education funding is another highly debated policy topic because much of the budget doesn’t actually go to teaching children. A significant percentage of school budgets often go to huge pension funds. Teachers unions are some of the most powerful labor groups in the country, making pension reform incredibly difficult.
If the president can’t grow the jobs market and the economy when government spent north of $4 trillion over the last year, how is it possible that spending more will make a difference? This myth that only government can grow the economy and create jobs ignores the reality that government policies that stifle business investment and creation have more to do with slow growth than the trillions of dollars government hasn’t spent during the Obama administration.
Obama may blame Republicans, but voters are unmoved. It’s the president who gets the blame – and the credit – for the state of the American economy, and there are millions of people out of work and out of luck under the president’s stewardship of our economic fortunes.