Can the U.S. economy descend any further? Let’s recap. Economic growth is non-existent and many believe America is falling back into recession. Private sector investment is minimal and analysts are predicting lower earnings growth for U.S. manufacturers. And official unemployment is stuck at just over 9 per cent.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, family income has descended to 1996 levels and the so-called “poverty level” is now at its highest since 1993, having jumped to 15.1 per cent of the population from 12.5 per cent just three years ago.
The world’s largest economy is stagnant. According to Rasmussen, three-quarters of American voters believe that the country is on the wrong track.
While liberals cheerfully blame President Bush for the state of the economy, they have no plausible explanation for the decline nor any answer that will actually stimulate a recovery.
True, the first recession began in the final months of George W. Bush’s term. But serious economists and financial writers like George Melloan and Gretchen Morgenson have carefully catalogued the affordable housing policies that caused the financial crisis. It was liberal philosophy, applied mostly by Democrats, that systematically brought about the economy to a standstill.
President Obama wasn’t in charge at the time but he backed these policies first as a community agitator, then as a State Senator and finally as an Illinois Senator. As President he has failed to acknowledge the nature of the problem, repeal the damaging laws or reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Instead he has tinkered with housing schemes and signed into law the Dodd-Frank financial services act, which guarantees government support for large banks. Not surprisingly, Wall Street is still in a slumber.
Worse, at a time when government debt was already at levels that discouraged private investment, the President chose to borrow at higher levels than ever.
Even the International Monetary Fund warned in April that United States government spending needed to be brought under control. In August, S&P downgraded U.S. government debt. The Eurozone sovereign debt crisis strongly signals the need for fiscal retrenchment by the world’s major economies.
Not only has the President missed all these economic indicators, he has also failed to notice the change in the political winds. Electoral reversals in gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey, the election of Scott Brown in Massachusetts, the rise of the Tea Party, the 2010 elections that gave Republicans control of the House of Representatives and, this week, the loss of Rep. Wiener’s safest of safe Democrat seats in New York.
In spite of all this, the President has announced more of the same failed policies, proposing new deficit spending of $447 billion.
After telling Congress, “You should pass this jobs plan right away”, the President appealed to an audience in Raleigh, North Carolina with, “If you love me, you’ve got to help me pass this bill!” Really?
It is hardly surprising that President Obama’s calamitous leadership causes dissent in Congress and the nation. In a Parliamentary system, it would be past time for him to go. The leader of the governing party with such a woeful record would be challenged, as happened last year in Australia when Julia Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister. Under the American system, the President is elected by the people and cannot be removed by his party.
President Obama has been revealed as incompetent and unimaginative. In the past few days he has been unabashedly arrogant. Some Democrats are beginning to question whether he is electable. For the sake of all those struggling through economic hardship, let’s hope that he is not.