As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: economics

Really? Obama Has “Scratched and Clawed” for the Middle Class?

One moment of unintended – and unnoticed – levity occurred near the end of the White House briefing Tuesday, when White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest claimed that President Obama has been “a president of the United States that for the last six and a half years has scratched and clawed to protect the interests of middle-class families all across the country.”

Not sure about who or what he has scratched and clawed. Because the markings are difficult to discern.

The White House is careful to dress up its policies as “middle class economics.” Because the middle class is where the votes are. But the Obama presidency is not about the middle class.

You can agree or disagree with Obama’s methods and policies. But his chief enthusiasm has been helping the lower classes by expanding the welfare state and regulating businesses. The middle class stuff is camouflage for the real agenda.

The proof is in the pudding. Here’s the pudding.

According to Reuters:

Barack Obama enters the final two years of his presidency with a blemish on his legacy that looks impossible to erase: the decline of the middle class he has promised to rescue.

Federal Reserve survey data show families in the middle fifth of the income scale now earn less and their net worth is lower than when Obama took office.

In the six years through 2013, over the recession and recovery that have spanned Obama’s tenure, jobs have been added at the top and bottom of the wage scale, a Reuters analysis of labor statistics shows. In the middle, the economy has shed positions – whether in traditional trades like machining or electrical work, white-collar jobs in human resources, or technical ones like computer operators.

Between 2010 and 2013, as recovery took hold and stock markets soared, the average net worth of families in the top 40 percent of income earners grew. For all others average net worth shrank, declining 19 percent for the middle fifth.

These results stem from specific policies. Obama’s chief domestic initiative, Obamacare, is not a middle class program. It’s an effort to get health insurance to the lower class, including a massive expansion of Medicaid. Expanding health insurance is a good goal, but the way he has done it involves turning insurers effectively into wards of the state and raising the price and lowering the quality of healthcare for everyone else.

Among his other battle cries are raising the minimum wage and legalizing illegal immigrants. He pushed and signed legislation containing massive new regulations on the banks, wants to regulate carbon emissions by fiat, and has enlarged the government’s share of the economy while running up trillions in debt.

4190808427_20401a14bc_z

Meantime the WEALTHY have benefited during Obama’s tenure for the zero-interest rate Fed policies needed to keep the economy afloat in the absence of any serious presidential leadership on expanding the economy. The low rates have grandly goosed everyone’s stock portfolios and made the rich richer.

These things he scratches and claws for. Not private sector expansion and business-friendly policies that would promote middle class expansion.

And the results speak for themselves.

Obama Touts “Inclusive Capitalism”

In an interview with Ezra Klein of Vox, President Obama said traditional market forces that used to redistribute income are failing and the time for government to do it instead has arrived. The interview, which ran today, was conducted January 23. Touting what he referred to as inclusive capitalism, Obama made the case for what… Continue Reading

The Redistribution Recession

There are reasons why five and a half years into the Obama presidency things are still crummy and uncertain. As I’ve mentioned before, specific statist and redistributionist policies have kept a lid on growth. It’s not an accident that President Obama has been unable to bounce the economy out of recession like Reagan or either… Continue Reading

Why Employment is Really Declining

Every month, we get some kind of increase in the jobs numbers – often lackluster and barely ahead of population growth – and every month, the White House effuses that we’ve seen 20 months in a row of job growth while carefully adding, in case those without jobs start bitching about it, there’s more work to… Continue Reading

White House Fails Econ 101. Seriously.

Oh no. I knew that at the root of the failure of President Obama’s economic policies is a failure to understand fundamental economics. You remember a few days ago when the Congressional Budget Office found that Obamacare will induce people to work fewer hours and quit their jobs because with the new benefit – basically… Continue Reading

Economy Posts Modest, but Deceptive Growth

The economy expanded at a rate of 2.8 percent during the third quarter, but the higher-than-expected growth is not as good as it seems because the improvement from the previous quarter was due to inventory building. From the Wall Street Journal: The stronger overall growth was a result of businesses restocking their shelves, a factor… Continue Reading

Obama Wins; Market Tanks

Because people who have skin in the game understand economics. The country voted for higher taxes – including higher capital gains taxes – and more regulation. And so, the stock market reacted rationally, plummeting 350 points in the first two hours of trading. As of 11:35 am ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at… Continue Reading

Boy, This is Getting Old

From the White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman: The Employment Situation in May Posted by Alan B. Krueger on June 1, 2012 at 9:34AM EDT Problems in the job market were long in the making and will not be solved overnight.  The economy lost jobs for 25 straight months beginning in February 2008, and over… Continue Reading