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More Obama-Style Economic Growth

Ahh, the Summer of Recovery. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was 2009, and we danced, we sang, and we toasted the stimulus, which was going to pull us off the sickbed and out of the doldrums. And then, the summer went by, and there was no recovery.

For years, we waited. Occasionally, we danced yet again, thinking, at last, this was it, the summer of recovery. But still, it never came.

And then there was 2014. Now, it seemed, the Sumer of Recovery was upon us, despite the fact that the economy actually contracted in the first quarter and never mind that because it was due to the cold weather which BTW was because of global warming you global warming deniers.

And then there was indeed, recovery in the summer. The economy grew at a rate of five percent as the hot months floated by. But then, the Summer of Recovery, as it has done year after year, faded into the Winter of Relapse.

The economy expanded during the last three months of 2014 at an annualized rate of 2.6 percent, the Commerce Department announced today, a middling performance that is the rule, not the exception, for the Obama years. Even with the high growth rates of the second and third quarters, economic expansion for the year is 2.4 percent, just slightly better than the 2.2 percent growth of the previous four years of Obama’s reign.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

The report portrayed a persistently uneven recovery that has yet to fire on all cylinders. Consumers—buoyed by surging job growth and a dive in gasoline prices—boosted spending in late 2014 at the fastest pace in almost nine years. But business investment slowed to a paltry pace, government outlays fell and export growth eased.

What’s more, things aren’t expected to be any better during the first quarter of 2015, the Journal reports.

The White House will make the excuse that we’re doing better than Europe. But Europe is mired in Socialism and has little chance of strong growth. That is, they’ve already achieved the goals Obama is seeking for us. But of course Obama hasn’t yet completely delivered us to our Worker’s Paradise, so we at least, with the right policies, have a shot a doing better. And with gas prices plunging, things should be better.

We should be toasting our Summer of Recovery. If only we could get out of the intensive care unit.

Economy Adds 321,000 Jobs in November

The U.S. economy added 321,000 jobs in November, a robust pace that makes the number of new jobs created this year the highest since 1999, the Labor Department reported this morning.

The numbers for the last two months were also revised upward, showing employers added 243,000 in October instead of the 214,000 previously stated and 271,000 in September as opposed to 256,000.

The unemployment rate remained at 5.8 percent.

The White House immediately seized on the report to try to undermine conservatives who may move to shut down the government.

“Job growth in November was strong, and the economy has now already added more jobs in 2014 than in any full calendar year since the late 1990s.,” said White House Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Jason Furman. “To create an environment in which this progress can continue, it is critical that Congress take the basic steps needed to fund the government and avoid creating disruptive and counterproductive fiscal uncertainty.”

Economy Grows at a Robust Pace in the Third Quarter

The U.S. economy expanded at a robust 3.5 percent rate in the third quarter, the Commerce Department said today, but poor wage growth and a global slowdown still dog the recovery.

The increase, which was broad-based and beat expectations, follows a GDP growth rate of 4.6 percent in the second quarter and a decline of 2.1 percent in the first.

The White House used the poor performance around the rest of the world to tout its own performance. “Since the financial crisis, the U.S. economy has bounced back more strongly than most others around the world, and the recent data highlight that the United States is continuing to lead the global recovery,” said Council of Economic Advisors Chairman Jason Furman.

But the worldwide economic slowdown could bring the United States economy back down. And, that the White House is still talking about a “recovery” six years after the recession ended suggests the failure of President Obama’s economic policies.

What’s more, wages continue to just barely outpace inflation, meaning most Americans are gaining little to nothing back from the losses they incurred during the recession.

Obama: Americans are Better Off than they were SIX Years Ago

President Obama sought to do Ronald Reagan one better during an appearance on 60 Minutes Sunday, asserting that Americans were better off than they were six years ago, as opposed to Reagan’s four.

Obama, in a delusional mood, offered up a litany of benefits he thinks his purview over the economy has wrought.

When I came into office, our economy was in crisis. We had unemployment up at 10 percent. It’s now down to 6.1. We’ve had the longest run of uninterrupted private sector job growth in our history. We have seen deficits cut by more than half. Corporate balance sheets are probably the best they’ve been in the last several decades.

We are producing more energy than we had before. We are producing more clean energy than we ever had before. I can put my record against any leader around the world in terms of digging ourselves out of a terrible, almost unprecedented financial crisis.

Ronald Reagan used to ask the question, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” In this case, are you better off than you were in six? And the answer is, the country is definitely better off than we were when I came into office, but now we have to make…

In the video below, he looks defensive which, of course, he should be.

Unemployment has declined so much because people have taken themselves out of the workforce. The deficit remains at historic highs, and he’s added more than $7 trillion in debt. The failure to enact entitlement reform ensures the balance sheet will get much worse. Economic growth remains slow and unpredictable.

And people don’t feel any benefits because incomes are stagnant, which Obama acknowledges. But there’s a solution to that: Raise the minimum wage!

If we raise the minimum wage, if we make sure women are getting paid the same as men for doing the same work, if we are rebuilding our infrastructure, if we’re doing more to invest in job training so people are able to get the jobs that are out there right now, because manufacturing is coming back to this country.

Lowering taxes and reducing regulation, which under Reagan helped set off a quarter century of strong economic growth? Not in the cards.

Economy Grows at Four Percent Rate

The U.S. economy bounced back nicely in the second quarter, growing at an annual rate of 4 percent, while the previous month’s contraction was revised upward from decline of 2.9 percent to 2.1 percent.

The growth, along with a string of monthly job gains ranging over 200,000, suggests the possibility of sustained growth. But the Obama Recovery has been marked repeatedly by signs of real growth followed by bitter disappointment.

We’ll see. You can’t keep the U.S. economy down forever, no matter how bad a president’s policies are.

I hope.

Forecasters Slash Second-Quarter Growth Forecasts

President Obama has been running around like a child who just got a dollar from the tooth fairy, trumpeting the latest jobs numbers as evidence his master plan has been working all along.

“The economy has built momentum!” the president exclaimed during an impromptu appearance in Washington Friday. “We are making progress!”

Actually, he looks more like Chamberlain waving the promise signed by “Herr Hitler” and exclaiming, “Peace in our time.”

Turns out people whose job it is to forecast the economy are noticeably less sanguine than our suddenly jubilant president.

The Wall Street Journal notes that here are disturbing signs of weakness amid the admittedly robust addition of 288,000 jobs to the economy that occurred last month:

Consumer spending remains weak, a consequence of a labor market delivering new jobs but skimpy wage growth . . .

The number of people working part time because they can’t find full-time work rose, and the share of the population either working or looking for work remains around 30-year lows. June’s labor-force participation rate was 62.8%, unchanged from the prior month.

And while U.S. workers’ earnings have been climbing about 2% annually—just enough to cover inflation—wages show few signs of breaking out of that range as an abundance of idled labor allows firms to keep payroll costs contained.

These signs of trouble suggest the massive 2.9 percent contraction in GDP the first quarter of the year wasn’t just due to global cooling:

Amid this weakness, hopes for a big second-quarter rebound are now beginning to wither. Forecasting firm Macroeconomic Advisers on Thursday lowered its estimate of second-quarter growth by 0.6 percentage point to an annualized 2.7% after new trade data showed stronger imports than expected, subtracting from domestic output. J.P. Morgan Chase pulled its estimate down to a 2.5% pace from 3%.

Other economists’ second-quarter forecasts are running only slightly ahead of the 2.4% pace averaged from mid-2009, when the recession ended, through the end of last year.

The economy is trying to plow ahead, but the headwinds whipped up by Obama – like massive regulation, taxes that are too high, scary levels of debt, and high gas prices resulting from antipathy to carbon fuels and from a world in a state of disorder – will prevent a return to the either roaring 80s or the other roaring decades precipitated by Ronald Reagan, the 90s and the 2000s.

Strong Jobs Growth in June

The Labor Department today said the economy added 288,000 jobs in June while the unemployment rate dipped to 6.1 percent from 6.3 percent, signaling sustained, robust job growth has arrived, at least for now.

May’s increase was adjusted up to 224,000 from 217,000 while April’s number was pegged at 304,000 from the previous estimate of 282,000.

Nevertheless, according to the Wall Street Journal, the news was not all good, as the percentage of the population in the job market remained historically low:

At 62.8%, the share of population either working or looking for work remains around 30-year lows, a sign that many of the unemployed have given up their job searches.

Furthermore, job gains continue to be led by low-paying sectors. Retail added over 40,000 new jobs while leisure and hospitality added 39,000.

Higher-paying sectors continued to lag behind in the jobs recovery. Manufacturing added 16,000 new jobs and construction added 6,000.

At 6.1 percent, the unemployment rate has reached a six year low. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 17000 for the first time in response to the stronger-than-expected jobs report.

Maybe, after five misses, this will be the summer of recovery. Growth for the second quarter is expected to be at over three percent.

The economy was sure to rebound at some point. There’s only so much you can do to keep it down. But given the various shackles Obama has placed on it, I doubt if the turnaround will last for long.

U.S. Economy Shrank during the First Quarter

Well this is going to require another Summer of Recovery. The revision to the first quarter 2014 GDP number is in, and it turns out instead of barely growing 0.1 percent, the economy contracted by a full percentage point. The latest lousy number is being attributed to the extremely cold weather. But that can’t be allContinue Reading

U.S. Economy Slows Dramatically

Well, we’ve turned the corner! And we’re headed backward. Again. The U.S. economy was all but in recession during the first quarter of 2014, growing at a rate of only 0.1 percent, the Commerce Department announced this morning. Economists and Wall Street had expected growth of just over one percent. The economy had shown signsContinue Reading

Dreams of the Recovery

Ah yes, we’ll always have the Summer of Recovery. That was back in 2010. It was you, me, Biden, and Obama – just soaking up the recovery rays, the pina coladas, and the good vibrations. Okay, I know it’s just my imagination. The Summer of Recovery didn’t happen. It was a Summer of No Recovery.Continue Reading

Poll: Unemployment the Nation’s Top Problem

Five years into President Obama’s administration and more than six years after the recession began, unemployment is the biggest concern troubling the minds of Americans, according to a new Gallup poll. Americans, it appears, are not buying the rosy White House line about all the jobs being created and all the “consecutive months” of jobContinue Reading

The Obama Economy Re-Emerges

Uh oh, there it is, looming back up out of the slime. Yes, the Obama economy is back. Just when you thought things were getting better, the Wall Street Journal reports today that this all may be another case of Lucy holding the football for Charlie Brown. As is well known, George W. Bush isContinue Reading