Economy, Regs, & Taxes

Obama's Economic Escort Service

His boasts are hollow, but the Leftmedia trumpets them anyway.

Robin Smith · May 2, 2016

“It isn’t so much that liberals are ignorant. It’s just that they know so many things that aren’t so.”

Ronald Reagan’s famous quip sums up Barack Obama’s recent use of Leftmedia to defend his abysmal economic record.

In a laughable puff piece entitled “President Obama Weighs His Economic Legacy,” The New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin assumed the role of what we’ve dubbed the “presstitute.” Willing to accept opinion and biased analysis for fact, Sorkin opened his piece with this shocking quote from one of Saul Alinsky’s top students:

“I actually compare our economic performance to how, historically, countries that have wrenching financial crises perform. By that measure, we probably managed this better than any large economy on Earth in modern history.”

Did you get that, folks? Obama lays claim to the best managed recovery of “any large economy on Earth in modern history,” and a supposed journalist offers no challenge or follow-up — instead shaming the American public for not appreciating the alleged benefits of Obama’s economic policies.

Ultimately, the Times’ piece as a whole is more self-congratulatory than it is informative — with Obama delivering an assessment of his performance that is nothing short of narcissistic. It’s a case once again of someone who knows “so many things that aren’t so” and speaks of so few things that are true.

The numbers, however, speak the truth of our economy.

For the first quarter of 2016, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) — the total dollar value of all goods and services produced within the time measured — grew a paltry 0.5%, demonstrating a continued decline following 1.4% and 2% of the previous two quarters ending 2015. Translation: The American economy is not growing and is still mired in the worst “recovery” in history.

Yet, if you read CNN’s review of the New York Times’ piece, Obama bemoans “the fact that public perception about the economy remains negative despite important gains in recent years.” He blames Republicans “that den[y] any progress,” and laments his only fault: “[I]f we had been able to more effectively communicate all the [economic] steps we had taken to the swing voter, then we might have maintained a majority in the House or the Senate.”

So if Reagan was the Great Communicator — at first a leftist pejorative to explain away The Gipper’s success — Obama is the Failed Communicator of terrible policies. And that on top of the fact that, as even Bill Clinton acknowledged, Democrats set the stage for the 2008 collapse.

Never mind Obama’s proven record of increased taxes and massive regulations, his legacy is one that speaks of a labor force hampered by his policies, such as the near-complete government takeover of our health care; historic expansion of entitlement programs and dependencies for those outside the scope of need; the almost complete end of the coal industry, and more.

But the best line of the Times’ fairytale was Obama’s quote ascribing superhero status to his administration for its reaction to the economic hurdles he’s faced since 2009: “We were moving so fast early on that we couldn’t take victory laps. We couldn’t explain everything we were doing. I mean, one day we’re saving the banks; the next day we’re saving the auto industry; the next day we’re trying to see whether we can have some impact on the housing market.”

While Obama claims he was “saving” the economy, he was actually artificially propping up failure through misappropriated and unconstitutional government spending on his favored constituencies. Meanwhile, wages remain stagnant for the working class who see their companies borrowing money to buy back stock instead of experiencing real growth.

Obama is on track to be the first president in American history not to steward at least 3% GDP growth in any year of his presidency. America’s justified anger is rooted in the reality that 2015 marks the tenth consecutive year of such economic impotence.

The only positive metric for the Obama economy is the reduction in the unemployment rate, which has declined to 5%. With unemployment at 7.8% during Obama’s first month in office and peaking at 10% in October 2009, the numbers do show improvement.

But even that’s a façade.

It may not be commonly known that the Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes six different rates and definitions of unemployment. The measurement known as “U-3” is what we call the headline unemployment rate, and it monitors “the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labor force.” But the labor force participation — or number of people actually seeking work — has hit historic lows during “Superman” Obama’s recovery.

The fuller rate — dubbed the U-6 BLS rate of unemployment — measures the “total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of the civilian labor force plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force.” So what exactly is America’s U-6 unemployment rate compared to the U-3 rate as of March 2016? Measuring the entire adult population that is not previously employed or employed at a desired level, the rate comes out to 9.8% rather than the widely touted 5%.

Over the past two presidential terms, our economic policies, sown by a leftist president outmaneuvering an undisciplined Republican Congress, have included increased redistribution of wealth, along with excessive government taxation, spending and interference. The natural result is the flourishing of a bumper crop of economic weeds choking out authentic growth.

When reading The New York Times’ masthead, you see its motto emblazoned proudly: “All the news fit to print.” Given the paper’s willing services as this administration’s presstitute, it should read something along the lines of: “All the propaganda that we can fit.”

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