Debt, Unemployment, Disability: Obama's 1st Term Legacy

Posted by Brian

Obama's first term has come to an end with a thud. On the economy and jobs, one would have to, as Hillary Clinton might say, suspend disbelief to argue that Obama's economic policies have worked.
Here are several stories from CNSNews which chronicle the complete failure of those policies:

First Term: Obama Increased Debt $50,521 Per Household; More Than First 42 Presidents in 53 Terms Combined
(CNSNews.com) - During Barack Obama’s first term as president of the United States, the debt of the federal government increased by $5.8 trillion, which exceeds the combined debt accumulated under all presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton (my emphasis). Continue Reading

First Term: Americans ‘Not in Labor Force’ Increased 8,332,000
(CNSNews.com) - The number of Americans age 16 or older who decided not to work or even to seek a job increased by 8,332,000 to a record 88,839,000 in President Barack Obama’s first term, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.    At the same time, the number of retired workers collecting Social Security increased by only 4,234,480. Continue Reading

First Term: Americans Collecting Disability Increased 1,385,418—Now 1 for Each 13 Full-Time Workers
(CNSNews.com) - During President Barack Obama’s first term, the number of Americans collecting federal disability insurance increased by 1,385,418 to a record 8,827,795. As a result, there is now one person collecting disability in this county for every 13 people working full-time. Forty-two years ago, in December 1968, there were 51 people working full-time in this country for each person collecting disability. Continue Reading

After all the pomp and circumstance of tomorrow's swearing-in ceremony and the multi-million-dollar galas, President Obama and Congress have one hell of a job ahead of them.  Economists are expecting "sub par growth" for 2013, with the $17T debt being the chief drag on the economy. Businesses are hesitant to expend capital due to the uncertainty in the economy, which will also create uncertainty in the markets.  Both indicate slow growth, to near stagnation.   One of the biggest fears for business is changing regulations from the government and the EPA.  While Obama and the Democrats blame "Big Business"  for hoarding profits, it is the actions and words of Barack Obama himself which is creating the fear.
On both the debt and the regulations, Barack Obama gives no indication of changing course on either one.  He has been unwilling up to this point to even consider a reduction in spending which would lower the deficits below $1T.  His entire budget is based on tax increases for the "rich", which nearly every economist agrees will not provide any significant increase in revenue to the Federal government, and which over the long-term would yield less revenue.  Any reduction in spending has been met with stubborn resistance, or a plan to delay spending cuts until some unforeseen period in the future.
This inability to deal in any meaningful way with the debt is combined with the uncertainty of what new regulations and meddling the Feds have in store in the future.  The EPA is like a virus, constantly mutating what standards that business must meet. They have unilaterally mandated more and more stringent air quality standards on the power industry, which costs the companies millions of dollars in upgrades to to individual plants.  For those who don't meet the unrealistic time line imposed for some of these changes, the companies are assessed multimillion dollar fines and penalties, and ordered to prop up "green energy" companies more millions.
Then there is the NLRB,  which has been wracked by allegations and resignations of corruption within its ranks. Of course, there is the case of the NLRB suing Boeing after the company announced it was moving the production of its Max 737 to South Carolina (a right-to-work state) from its Washington facility (a union shop). It was a clear case of union retaliation, which the Obama NLRB went along with. The case was later dropped, but not before it had a chilling effect not only Boeing, but across the business community.

If Obama stubbornly refuses to change course on his economic policies we will continue to see the kind of pathetic economic numbers produced in his first term. Worse, if and when the Fed is finally forced to increase the interest rate, well, you ain't seen bad yet.

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