The one-year anniversary of the inauguration of Barack Obama is upon us. After only 12 months he is struggling for political survival. The cause is his economic policies. The anniversary is a bitter pill for many unemployed workers to swallow. The jobs he promised, and many voted for, have proved to be a fleeting fantasy. The reality is that Obama’s uncontrolled spending and reckless borrowing have plunged us deeper into the worst recession since the Great Depression. The dire economic situation has only been exacerbated by Obama policy. The situation is only going to get worse if his new, expanded stimulus plan goes into effect.
Obama loves to blame former President Bush, claiming he inherited this horrendous recession. However, the facts show this just isn’t true. While the housing bubble burst in 2008, and a slight recession began in the Bush administration’s last year, it was nothing compared to the past year.
Since Obama took office, the nation is distressed watching more people lose their jobs. This spiraling recession has gone from mild downturn to disaster. Obama cavalierly declared during the early days of his term, that if Congress failed to pass his economic stimulus plan, the unemployment rate would climb above 8 percent. Congress believed him, giving him all the new spending he demanded by passing the $787 billion pork-laden stimulus bill. Yet the unemployment rate then promptly climbed to over 10 percent.
In December 2008, Bush’s last full month in office, unemployment stood at 7.4 percent. Actually, the picture under Obama is even bleaker than it appears. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the real unemployment rate is 17.3 percent when you take into account those discouraged and disheartened folks who have giving up on looking for work. And if unemployment figures were still calculated as they were in 1981, the first year of the Reagan term, unemployment now would be 21 percent.
To counteract his rapidly declining job-approval ratings, Obama has frantically started pushing a second spending package. This time he won’t call the bill a stimulus package or say where the spending will go. Obama and his press secretary are now selling it as a package of “targeted ideas that will have a positive effect on private hiring.” Americans know big government spending plans don’t work. Obama is in a sticky predicament, and rather than openly running on his unpopular ideas, he is attempting to deceive the American people with new names for failed policies.
One of the unreported results of the original stimulus package is that it has wreaked havoc on state government budgets. It earmarked $200 billion in bailout cash to help balance state budgets. This policy is akin to giving an alcoholic a year’s supply of beer money. Yet, here we are a year later, and the combined deficit for states has reached a staggering $260 billion. Rather than using federal dollars to repair their balance sheets, states used the money to fund temporary fixes. Now these states are hooked like a drug addict and begging for another quick fix from Obama. If Obama bails these states out again, he will prolong the waste and forestall necessary reforms.
Obama is so preoccupied lobbying for his health care bill; he is neglecting to focus on job creation. Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson, who has supported Obama’s healthcare bill to the scorn of his constituents, has even expressed, “I think it was a mistake to take health care on as opposed to continuing to spend the time on the economy.”
As Obama considers this new spending package, which increases the debt burden, he is ignoring the advice of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Remember, this year Bush’s growth-promoting tax cuts are set to expire. The Chamber says if Obama allows the tax cuts to expire, then he will be setting up the stage for a double-dip recession. Obama is already stressing a weak economy.
If Obama wants to create jobs and improve the economy, he needs to create a stable and secure environment for companies. If Obama doesn’t realize the folly of his policies soon, his party will rightly deserve a strong rebuke from the American people in this November’s elections.