Our economy created 80,000 jobs overall in June, the third month in a row in which the economy has slowed. The unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2 percent, making it 41 months in a row with unemployment above 8 percent (virtually Obama's entire presidency). We are still down 5 million jobs from the Great Recession, which caused 8.8 million job losses. We have recovered only 3.8 million of those jobs. I'm not even counting the additional jobs we should be creating based on population growth. It takes in the neighborhood of 140,000 new jobs per month just to keep up with population growth. We have a historically low labor participation rate, with millions moving out of the work force or underemployed. And this has all happened as we've run up over $5 trillion in new federal debt on Obama's watch. This year's federal deficit is about $1.3 trillion. We can't even create enough jobs living in this artificial, unsustainable, debt-fueled economy. This is the first recession in my lifetime from which we haven't experienced a robust recovery. Instead, we have merely returned to a weak normalcy, and even that has been fading this quarter. Not good.
So naturally, given all these depressing statistics, President Obama was eager to share the "good" news:
"You know, we learned this morning that our businesses created 84,000 new jobs last month, and that overall means that businesses have created 4.4 million jobs over the past 28 months, including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs. That's a step in the right direction," Obama said.
For purposes of comparison, the last President to inherit a severe recession was Ronald Reagan. Unemployment soared to over 10 percent during Reagan's first term, but the economy recovered and turned around, with 5.3 million new jobs during Reagan's first term (with a significantly smaller population). Obama is still below zero in net jobs created in his first term. At this point in the Reagan recovery, the economy was creating well over 300,000 jobs per month, and economic growth was in the 6 percent range. THAT is economic recovery, and we still have not experienced it under Obama.
The important matter is, how do we get out of these doldrums ? How do we get America back to work without bankrupting the country ? We have two different visions coming from the Democrats and Republicans.
The Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, is proposing lower tax rates to spur demand and investment, implementing a regulatory framework that will promote bank lending and investment, expanding foreign markets for our goods, and implementing a pro-jobs energy policy. These are ideas I can understand from an economic standpoint…but Team Obama hates them. The White House prefers something it calls "from the middle out". I'm not sure what this means, but here's VP Biden to try and describe it:
“[Romney believes] somehow, that those so-called job creators will make everything okay for the rest of us,” Biden said at the National Education Association conference. “We believe that the way to build this country is the way we always have, from the middle out . . . [to] invest in the things that have always made our economy grow: innovation, research, development, infrastructure, and education.”
Oy vey. Biden actually refereed to the private sector, our economic engine, as "those so-called job creators". I fear Joey has been inside the beltway for far too long. He thinks it's the government that creates jobs. This is where I always run into problems with the snake oil the Obamanauts are trying to sell. Even when federal spending is at a historic high, with the accompanying historic rise in debt and deficits, all the Obamanauts can do is propose even MORE spending. What are they smoking ? Let's sweep the White House for crackpipes. Somebody's in denial over there.
Then the Obamanauts pretend raising marginal tax rates on the rich (the up-is-down "fair share" argument) is somehow going to pay for it all, when they know darned well it will not. Liberals talk endlessly about tax increases to pay for all their "helpful" government programs (that are bankrupting us), but they fail to mention that the huge tax increases coming in January 2013 and again in 2014 are one of many reasons employers are hesitant to hire now. Liberals like to reminisce fondly about the good old days of the 1950's, when the top marginal tax rate was 90%, as if that would somehow be a good idea now. What it would really do is kill our economy deader than a doornail. In the 50's, America found itself in the unique situation of being the only economic game in town following WWII. Europe was in a shambles, Japan was decimated, and China and Russia were still closed societies. We succeeded IN SPITE OF those high confiscatory tax rates, not because of them, and those days are long gone…unless we want to fight and win WWIII to recreate that 50's environment. I would definitely recommend against that course of action. Unlike progressives, who ironically prefer to live in the past, I believe we must act like the 21st century globalists we are. It's not going away folks, not even if we close our eyes, kick our heels together three times, and say "there's no place like the 50's, there's no place like the 50's". It would be nice, but it's not gonna happen.
Plus, nobody really paid those 90% tax rates, not even in the 50's and early 60's. I was listening to Harvard economist Larry Lindsey on CSPAN the other day, and he said in 1960, a grand total of EIGHT people paid that 90% rate. Not much of a gamechanger, even if those tax rates were a good idea, which they aren't, other than in the fevered brains of the Occupiers.
Obama likes to condemn tax cuts as "the failed policies of the past" (the "it's Bush's fault" argument), but what Obama fails to mention is that modern supply side thinking began in the early 1960's with JFK. The last time I checked, JFK was a Democrat. That's how long it's been since our country realized confiscatory tax rates were counterproductive.
Btw, when have we ever "built this country…from the middle out", other than in Biden's dreams ? The middle class was created by America's industrial might, which CAME FROM THE TOP DOWN…unless you believe Rockefeller, Carnegie, Seiberling, J. Paul Getty, etc. were middle class fellas who created empires from scratch with no money down. The middle class was virtually created by the money men at the top. It has always been that way, and it always will be that way. It's called "capitalism", and it requires, ta da, CAPITAL. Maybe Biden would know that if he had ever held a job that wasn't paid for by the taxpayers.
About This Blog