The economy added 155,000 jobs last month, about the amount needed to keep pace with population growth and too few to bring down the unemployment rate, which was revised upward to 7.8 percent in November and pegged at the same level for December.
What does this mean? Four years into the Obama presidency, the economy is not producing enough jobs to even come close to gaining back the millions that have been lost since 2008.
Welcome to the new normal: crummy GDP growth, and high unemployment.
And in the short term, it’s more likely to get worse than better. You, for example, will be spending a bit less since your taxes just went up : As of New Year’s, the Social Security rate returned to 6.2 percent from 4.2 percent.
And gosh, those rich people whose rates rose to 39.6 percent might just decide to cancel their daughter’s piano lessons. That is, they’ll be participating a little less in the economy too. Believe it or not, Mr. President, they have a lot of money, but not unlimited money.
If President Obama gets his way, more tax increases are coming. And spending cuts needed to avoid Fiscal Cliff Part 2 in a couple of months will also take a morsel out of economic growth.
It’s hard to keep the American entrepreneurial spirit down, but this president is succeeding where all since Jimmy Carter have failed.