The Mirage of Recovery
The economic recovery after six years of Obama's leadership is an absolute fraud.
The economic recovery after six years of Barack Obama’s leadership is an absolute fraud. But that’s the inevitable result of massive government spending, “transformational” legislation that has restructured our health care and lawless executive orders designed to open America’s southern border to a flood of under-educated illegal immigrants driving down wages. On top of that, there are the newly defined metrics to obscure the facts — remember the 2009 introduction of “save or create jobs” versus “create jobs” as an official measurement of labor markets. Either way, Obama’s economic malaise is difficult to ignore.
The noble law entitled “The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” (ARRA) had the stated intent to provide fuel to the sputtering economic engine to move our nation’s economy out of the ditch following the crash of 2008. The law was subdivided into 47 different categories by the Congressional Budget Office, but this legislative beast was quickly nicknamed the “stimulus” to imply a solution and a positive outcome. According to the CBO, the stimulus actually cost $4.7 trillion since 2009 to fund “recovery” through what was promised to be “shovel-ready projects” and to “save or create three to four million jobs” by 2011.
On paper, economists declared that the end of the “Great Recession” occurred in June 2009. Families around America’s kitchen tables know otherwise, as they see rising prices on groceries, electricity and other consumables, paired with limited wage growth, government dictates ranging from mandatory health insurance to taxes on tanning beds, and their home values still below their appraised value in 2008. All of these realities of Main Street are ignored by the political wizards on the desperate Left attempting to rewrite the facts surrounding the worst “recovery” recorded over the last 70 years.
Investor’s Business Daily featured an editorial that offers the painful contrast of this recovery to 10 others dating back to the end of World War II: “[I]f Obama’s recovery had been merely average — that is, if it had kept pace with the average of the previous 10 — the nation’s economy would be $2.07 trillion bigger.” That translates into more than $17,000 per family that did not materialize into earned wealth.
Let’s award credit where it’s due — to the policies foisted upon the nation by Democrats in power in the White House and both chambers of the Congress during 2009 (the last Republican budget prior to Obama’s monarchy was FY2007). The early bolus of “stimulus” spending was nothing more than Blue-State payback with graft going to their favorite big-government money pits and pork projects.
The breakdown of the ARRA had hundreds of billions directed toward transportation and highway projects, the infamous “green” investments that yielded the scandalized Solyndras, and vague spending to the tune of $118 billion for “the vulnerable.” A second round of “stimulus” essentially extended the life of these programs of redistribution that seemed to routinely benefit one group of people: Democrat constituents like unions.
The “stealth stimulus” that propped up lending and financial institutions, as well as automobile manufacturers through bailouts at the cost of $3.9 trillion served as socialism at its finest, taking from those who earned to infuse life into failed institutions and businesses.
In 2015, we see the historically low rate of labor participation with the average length of unemployment at 28 weeks, a full month longer than the same month in 2009. The wealthiest 5% of households have seen their income increase, according to the U.S. Census Department with a simultaneous drop in income for the bottom 20% of earners.
Ask a lower- to middle-class family, and they’ll declare there is no recovery. Ask black workers whose unemployment rate in May was 10.2% versus total national unemployment at 5.5%, and they’ll let you know the recovery bypassed their home.
Whether through pure entitlements that incented the able-bodied to exit the workforce, corporate cronyism, or the poison feeding the malignancy of big government growth, Obama’s “stimulus” has proven to be a failure of socialistic wealth redistribution with market manipulations to benefit and “pick winners” at the expense of law-abiding, hard-working Americans.
The level of cynicism and anger justifiably felt by Americans is at its apex toward Democrats and even Republicans, who simply can’t seem to find the courage to voice full-throated solutions to the public that speak to hope, results and vision for a better America.
Lady Margaret Thatcher, speaking in frustration about the lack of courage in the arena of public service during her tenure, presciently described today’s American elected class when she declared, “When I’m out of politics, I’m going to run a business. It’ll be called rent-a-spine.” The invertebrate class that passes off as national leadership timidly addresses our abysmal economy with poll-tested themes and only promises tax reforms, health care innovations and policy that generates growth in the American economy. But they live in an affluent bubble.
Obama’s economy will be a laughing stock of history and deemed a failure. The critical unanswered question remains, “Has America’s economy been recalibrated to a new normal of scarcity rather than opportunity?” Quite a stimulating thought.