Archive for the ‘Obamanomics’ Category
The mainstream media and most financial analysts have been dismissing this one percent shrinkage of the U.S. economy as simply due to the colder-than-usual winter.
So I’ve been delving into the internal numbers of this GDP number a little deeper.
Turns out that if it had not been for all the consumer spending imposed by the Affordable Care Act kicking in (ObamaCare), the U.S. economy would have shrunk by a spectacularly disastrous Great Depression-style two percent.
So ObamaCare provided some artificial stimulus to the economy – by jacking up consumer spending, through force of law.
How did people pay for their ObamaCare premiums, which are on average 39 percent higher than premiums for their old insurance policies?
Probably by dipping into savings. In December of 2012, the personal savings rate stood at 8.7 percent and has been averaging a bit over 5 percent the last few years. The savings rate crashed to 3.4 percent in March of this year. Ouch!
No doubt Obama’s answer to the contracting economy is simply to require Americans to pay more out of their savings for their ObamaCare health insurance. Why not double everyone’s ObamaCare premiums?
That would have brought the economy back to zero growth.
The internal numbers on the economy get even worse the more you get into them.
We’re being told by the media that the future is rosy because consumer spending increase by 3.1 percent.
But almost all of this increase in consumer spending was on services, not on products. And almost all the increased consumer spending on services was on ObamaCare – that is, on paying ObamaCare mandated insurance premiums.
Another big component of the consumer spending number was increased spending on utility bills – heat – due to the cold weather. In other words, the cold winter helped boost consumer spending, thus also artificially inflated the consumer spending number.
By Obama’s logic then, the way to create better GDP growth numbers is to jack up everyone’s utility bills – which he’s doing by putting the coal industry out of business and shutting down America’s coal-fired electric plants.
The important consumer spending numbers were dreadful in Q1 – almost unimaginably bad.
American consumers actually reduced their spending on durable goods – such as autos and appliances – by 0.5%. This is consumer spending that matters for the economy because this kind of consumer spending leads to the building of more factories, leads to the creation of more jobs.
The numbers that matter for the economy are all disastrous – such as business investment and capital expenditures that are needed to generate economic growth in the future. For example . . .
- Investment in nonresidential structures decreased 7.5 percent.
- Real residential fixed investment decreased 5.0 percent.
- Real nonresidential fixed investment decreased 1.6 percent in the first quarter.
- Investment in equipment decreased 3.1 percent.
- Real exports of goods and services decreased 6.0 percent in the first quarter.
- Corporate profits after tax plunged at a 13.7 percent rate, the biggest drop since the fourth quarter of 2008.
In other words, it looks like the worst, slowest, and weakest economic recovery in American history is now over. So gird your loins.
37 Quickie Facts That Prove America Is Still In Recession . . . and Rapidly Becoming a Banana Republic
One of my favorite websites for learning the truth about the economy is Shadow Government Statistics by John Williams (http://www.shadowstats.com/). What Williams does is show what the economy is really doing based on ways we measured economic performance in 2000, 1990, 1980, etc.
By doing this, he shows us how the government keeps changing the way it measures economic performance in order to make the economy appear do be doing better than it really is.
Examples . . .
FACT #1: The Federal Reserve keeps telling us inflation is low. But if we measure the Consumer Inflation rate the way we measured it in 1980, according to Williams, inflation today is rising at a rate of about 9 percent per year, not the 1% or 2% the government is claiming.
FACT #2: We keep hearing that the U.S. economy (GDP) is growing at a rate of 1.5% per year — which is truly horrible when compared to the typical 4-6% annual growth rate we typically experience after recessions. But IN FACT, the situation is much worse than this. If we factor in the true inflation rate of 9% per year (see FACT #1 above), the U.S. economy has actually been shrinking every year since 2005.
But there’s more . . .
FACT #3: Median household yearly income in America has fallen five years in a row, now at $51,017, acccording to the Census Bureau — a drop of $4,600 since 2007. This is the lowest level since 1995 (adjusted for inflation). How can this be happening if we are in a recovery?
FACT #4: The drop in median family income is, of course, much worse than this if you use the true annual inflation rate of 9 percent (cited in FACT #1 above) — not the manipulated inflation rate.
FACT #5: The U.S. Census Bureau reports that one in six Americans today is living in poverty and 146,000,000 Americans are “either poor or low income.” The poverty rate in America today is 16 percent — higher than it was when the so-called “War on Poverty” was launched in the mid 1960s.
FACT #7: Americans receiving disability benefits have increased by 29 percent since President Obama’s inauguration in January of 2009 — from 6.3 million to 8.8 million.
FACT #8: Today, 47 million Americans are on Food Stamps, compared to 32 million on Barack Obama’s first day as President. That’s a 49% increase.
FACT #9: We now have more than 90,000,000 working-age Americans who have decided to leave the labor force — not because the economy is good, but because job prospects are so dismal. We now have the lowest work force participation rate in 35 years (since back in the days when most women did not work). The number of working-age Americans who are not working now totals more than 100,000,000.
FACT #10: About 500,000 more Americans are leaving the labor force every month.
FACT #11: Seven of eight jobs created during this so-called recovery have been part-time jobs. A big reason for this is ObamaCare. Employers don’t want to be saddled with the ObamaCare mandate that they provide employees with expensive health insurance.
FACT #12: 60% of the jobs lost during the recession were mid-wage jobs. But 58 percent of the jobs created since then have been low-wage jobs. So the Obama economy is trading good-paying jobs for low-paying jobs. In fact, one of every ten jobs in America is being filled by a temp agency.
FACT #13: The largest employer in America is Wal-Mart. The second largest is Kelly Services, a temp agency. Not that there is anything wrong with these companies. But this sure doesn’t look like the 27-year economic boom we saw from Reagan through Clinton.
FACT #14: The real unemployment rate is 11.1 percent if we use the size of the workforce as it stood in 2008, not the 7.3 manipulated rate the Obama Labor Department is reporting. And the more reliable U-6 measure (which includes those marginally connected to the labor force) shows the real unemployment rate still at around 14 percent.
FACT #15: Those being paid $10 per hour or less make up 25% of the American workforce.
FACT #16: To keep the U.S. economy marginally afloat, the Federal Reserve is printing about $1 TRILLION new dollars per year. The result is an astonishing decline in the value of the dollar. It’s why the prices of most commodities have increased by 50-100% or more since Obama’s first day in office. For example, gold has gone from $800 per ounce to $1,400 per ounce today (though down from its peak of $1,900 per ounce in 2011). The price of a regular gallon of gas for your car was $1.85 on Obama’s first day in office. The price of corn is up 100 percent under Obama. If you go down the list of raw materials traded on the Chicago Commodities Exchange (materials we all rely on to survive), we find an average annual inflation rate of near 20 percent during the Obama years. This tends to confirm the point in FACT #1 that the official inflation rate is a manipulated number that is complete fiction.
FACT #17: The number of people getting mortgages has dropped to the lowest level since October of 2008. This is not a good sign for the housing industry.
FACT #18: 60% of children in Detroit are now living in poverty. This despite the multi-billion-dollar government bailouts of GM and Chrysler. Something’s not right.
FACT #19: Contributing to Detroit’s woes comes news that 47% of Detroit’s adults are functionally illiterate — meaning they can’t read well enough to fill out a job application or perform basic adding, subtracting, and multiplying — can’t possibly fill out their income tax forms, for example. Even more alarming, half these illiterate Detroiters managed to secure their high school diplomas. In other words, the public schools are not working. Other large urban areas in America are heading down this road.
FACT #20: The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 57% of America’s children live in a “poor” or “low income” home.
FACT #21: Barack Obama says one of his goals is to spread the money around and to create more income equality. But it hasn’t worked out that way. CNBC reports that the 400 wealthiest Americans now have more money than the poorest 50 percent of all Americans combined. We see much more income inequality today than during the Reagan era.
FACT #22: The U.S. Census Bureau reports that the Middle Class is taking home a smaller share of America’s overall income than at anytime since this number has been tracked.
FACT #23: I was thinking the reason for such high joblessness might be that more Americans are self-employed today, so aren’t being counted properly in the unemployment rate figures. That’s one theory I’ve heard floated. Nope. Turns out the percentage of Americans who are self-employed is now at an all-time low.
FACT #24: The “velocity of money” under Obama has plunged to the lowest level since World War Two. “Velocity of money” is considered one of the most important indicators of an economy’s health. What’s happening, basically, is people are too affraid to risk their money launching new businesses. Instead, people have become more inclined to hoard their money or buy unproductive assets such as gold and silver.
FACT #25: The Obama Administration boasts that the economy is improving, citing the fact that jobs were actually added to the economy last month. The problem is the government added 324,000 workers while the private sector lost 278,000 jobs. So what’s happening is we’re losing productive jobs in the private sector (where all wealth is created) and gaining mostly UNproductive government jobs — paper-shuffling bureaucrats
FACT #26: The Washington Post reports that home foreclosure rates are still at Great Depression levels.
FACT: #27: Home ownership in America (now at 65%) is at its lowest level in 18 years. So the American Dream is quickly dying.
FACT #28: As Americans increasingly become home renters rather than buyers, rental prices today are at an all-time high. So it’s getting tougher for low-low income Americans to live anywhere.
FACT #29: Since his first day in office, President Obama has added $50,521 to the share of national debt for every household in America. Are you at all wondering how you’ll manage to pay off your share?
FACT #30: More than 1,000,000 public school students are homeless today in America. This is an all-time high and a 57 percent increase since 2007.
FACT #31: Health insurance premiums have risen an average of 29% under Obama. With ObamaCare now kicking in, these costs will only continue to accelerate upward, thus putting more even pressure on the economy and on American families struggling to make ends meet.
FACT #32: 76% of Americans say they are living paycheck to paycheck. That’s if they’re lucky enough to be getting a paycheck (which 100,000,000 working-age American aren’tmanaging to get).
FACT #33: The mortgage delinquency rate in America is now 9.4% — compared to 2% in 2000.
FACT #34: Total student loan debt has now surpassed $1 TRILLION — which means America’s brightest young people today can look forward to a lifetime of slavery to debt.
FACT #35: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, of the 146,000,000 Americans who have a job of some kind, just 116,000,000 Americans are working full time at this point — in a population of 313,000,000.
FACT #36: 108,000,000 Americans are currently receiving some form of means-tested welfare payments and benefits. This doesn’t include seniors receiving Social Security and Medicare. The U.S. has a population now of 313,000,000 million. This means more than one-third of America is on the public dole.
FACT #37: The Congressional Budget Office’s computer model cannot conceive of the U.S. economy continuing to exist beyond 2037 at the current rate of annual deficit spending by the federal government. In 2037, the national debt is projected to be double total U.S. GDP. At this point, the U.S. economy implodes in upon itself and ceases to exist. The CBO doesn’t explain exactly what this means. Whatever it means, it can’t be good.
The low-information voter has triumphed.
48 percent support cuts for foreign aid. So almost half think foreign aid should be cut. That’s the lone ray of hope in this poll. But with that lone exception, support for spending cuts doesn’t reach 35 percent . . . for anything else.
So all these people who oppose any and all spending cuts must include a lot of people who regularly vote Republican, voted for Romney. Go figure.
Only 20 percent support cuts for farm subsidies (which mostly go to giant agribusiness). Just 21 percent support cuts for Solyndra-style energy subsidies and the U.S. Department of Energy — which should be renamed the Department of Energy Prevention.
The U.S. Department of Energy produces zero energy, just prevents energy from being produced.
Similarly, the U.S. Department of Education should be renamed the Department of Education Prevention.
Does anyone think the quality of education in America has improved since the U.S. Department of
Education was formed under President Jimmy Carter in 1979?
The national debt stands at $16.6 TRILLION. We have trillion-dollar annual deficits as far as the eye can see. The federal government now borrows 40 cents of every dollar it spends.
Every baby born in America today now owes $52,834 on the national debt.
We’ve just added a gigantic new entitlement program (the largest entitlement program of all time for America) with ObamaCare.
So government spending is just going to get even more out-of-control, if that’s even imaginable.
But the American people see no problem with any of this. They want to spend more, not less . . . just like Obama.
Americans overwhelmingly support the Lindsay Lohan approach to fiscal discipline.
How well do you think this story is likely to turn out?
Two straight quarters of shrinking economic growth means we’re back in a recession — yup, ye ole “double dip.”
For the entire year of 2012, official U.S. GDP growth was only 1.5%.
Most recessions are followed by economic growth rates exceeding 4 percent. So this so-called “recovery” is moving at about one-third the pace of normal economic recoveries. But now the economy is shrinking again.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate ticked back up to 7.9 percent, which means that the unemployment rate is now higher than on Obama’s first day in office.
Here are some more facts that should shock you . . .
- Since Barack Obama’s first day in office, 8.4 million Americans have left the labor force because they believe looking for work is a fruitless exercise.
- If the unemployment rate was calculated based on the portion of the population in the work force in 2008, the unemployment rate would be 10.2 percent.
- Under the Obama Presidency, the number of Americans on Food Stamps has risen from 32 million to 47 million.
- The Census Bureau informs us that 146,000,000 Americans (40 percent of the population) are now “poor” or “low income.”
- Under Obama, median household annual income has declined by $4,600.
- On Obama’s first day in office, the price of a gallon of regular gas was $1.84. Today it’s $3.51 on average across America (an all-time high for February).
- Electricity prices have risen faster than the rate of inflation every year of the Obama Presidency.
- Obama promised ObamaCare would reduce health care costs. But health insurance costs have risen 29 percent since Obama’s first day in office, mostly due to costs on insurers imposed by ObamaCare.
- Today, 77 percent of Americans live paycheck-to-paycheck.
- In America today, 41 percent of all workers make less than $20,00 per year.
- Obama has added $6 TRILLION to the national debt — which now stands at $16.4 TRILLION.
But the mainstream news media keeps talking about this economy as in “recovery.”
And America reelected Obama for another four years. Apparently, most Americans are satisfied with the current state of the union.
#1: Since January of 2009, the median household has lost $4,019 in income per year.
#2: Median household income has fallen every year of the Obama Administration.
#3: Our national debt recently soared past $16 TRILLION. Obama has added nearly $6 TRILLION to the national debt.
#4: Barack Obama has added more than $1 TRILLION to the national debt every year of his Presidency.
#5: The federal government is borrowing 44 cents of every dollar it spends.
#6: A gallon of regular gas cost $1.86 on average across America on President Obama’s first day in office. Today, a gallon costs $3.86 on average in America.
#7: The official unemployment rate today is 8.1% compared with 5% four years ago and 7.8% on Obama’s first day in office. The unemployment rate has been over 8% for 43 straight months.
#8: The true unemployment rate now is 11.2% if you use the size of the labor force as in stood in January 2009.
#9: If the labor participation rate was sitting at the 30 year average of 65.8 percent, the unemployment rate would actually be 11.7 percent. But people are leaving the labor market because they are too discouraged to look for work in this terrible economy, so this makes the official unemployment rate artificially low.
#10: The labor participation rate for men has fallen to 69.9 percent. This is the lowest level since the government started tracking this number in 1948.
#11: But how are we doing compared to two years ago? The percentage of working age Americans that are employed is smaller now than it was two years ago. In August 2010, 58.5 percent of working age Americans had jobs. In August 2012, 58.3 percent of working age Americans had jobs.
#12: Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the number of long-term unemployed Americans has risen from 2.7 million to 5.2 million.
#13: Today, more than half of all Americans are now at least partially financially dependent on the government.
#14: The U6 unemployment rate now stands at 14.7% when you count part-time workers who would like full-time work and when you count those who have not looked for work in four weeks or more but who want work. Many economists say this is the true unemployment rate.
#15: The percentage of working age Americans with a job has been below 59 percent for 35 months in a row.
#17: Since the Obama Administration declared the end of the recession in June of 2009, 58 percent of the jobs created have been low income jobs. (Source: National Employment Law Center)
#17: Today more than 104 million Americans are enrolled in at least one welfare program run by the federal government. We have 88 means-tested federal welfare programs.
#18: The number of Americans on food stamps has grown from 31.9 million when Barack Obama entered the White House to 46.7 million today.
#19: One quarter of all U.S. children are enrolled in the food stamp program today.
#20: Since Obama became president, the number of Americans living in poverty has risen by 6.4 million.
#21: While Obama has been president, U.S. home values have fallen by another 11 percent.
#22: More than 10 million homeowners are underwater on their mortgages.
#23: Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for four years in a row. (Source: USA Today)
#24: While Obama has been President the velocity of money (one of the best measures of the economy’s overall health) has plunged to a post-World War II low.
#25: More than three times as many new homes were sold in the United States in 2005 as will be sold in 2012.
#26: The United States was once ranked #1 in the world in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita. Today we have slipped to #11 — behind countries like Brunei and Norway, according to the World Fact Book published by the CIA.
#27: The United States was ranked #1 in terms of economic competitiveness when Barack Obama became President. Today, the U.S. economy has fallen to 7th place, according to a report by the World Economic Forum — behind countries like Sweden, the Netherlands, and Finland.
#28: More than 10 million U.S. households today do not have a bank account. That number has increased by one million since 2009.
#29: In 1999, 64.1 percent of all Americans were covered by employment-based health insurance. Today, only 55.1 percent are covered by employment-based health insurance.
#30: Health insurance costs have spiked up by $3,065 for the average American family since Obama took office — a 23 percent increase (Source: Kaiser Family Foundation)
#31: Health insurance costs have been spiking up even faster since ObamaCare was passed into law on March 24, 2010.
The Bottom Line . . .
The truth is Barack Obama’s so-called “recovery” is far worse than the recession that started under George W. Bush in the 3rd quarter of 2008 and that was proclaimed over by Obama in June of 2009 — before a single Obama policy had kicked in.
The “recovery” stopped in April of 2010 — two weeks after ObamaCare passed into law. See chart here >>>
Romney’s theme should NOT be “Are you better off than you were four years ago?”
That was Reagan’s line, and really doesn’t communicate the gravity of today’s economic crisis.
We’re in the midst of a full-blown economic collapse — as illustrated by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s pledge today to print as much new money as needed to keep the economy afloat through Election Day.
Mitt’s theme should be: “Think things are bad now? Just imagine what America will look like if Obama is reelected and has another four years to complete his promise to ‘fundamentally transform’ America.”
Obama certainly is “fundamentally transforming” America — into Third World banana republic . . . and amazingly quickly.
Government is unpopular already. But how much more unpopular would it be if we actually had to pay for it?
President Obama keeps telling us how great government is. He’s having a tough time selling this message even though we are getting all this government at a 42 percent discount.
That is, we are getting government for 42 percent less than it actually costs because the federal government is borrowing 42 cents of every dollar it spends.
Obama’s big bureaucratic government vision is becoming less and less popular by the day.
Recent Rasmussen polls show that . . .
- 55 percent want ObamaCare repealed compared to 39 percent who oppose repeal;
- 69 percent say spending cuts should be considered for all government programs;
- 66 percent say government should cut spending to help the economy;
- 49 percent think government anti-poverty programs increase poverty compared to 45 percent who think these programs might be helping at least some;
- 45 percent fear the government will try to do too much to help the economy compared to 43 percent who fear the government won’t do enough; and
- 72 percent say small businesses are primarily responsible for their own success compared to 13% who disagree.
So Most Americans think government is much too big and spends way too much. Most Americans also think government is too inefficient and is often counter-productive.
Right now, government might not seem so bad because we really aren’t feeling the true cost of government. Politicians have learned that they can spend money like drunken sailors and pass the bill (42 cents of every dollar they are spending) on to future generations to pay.
So many Americans might not be thrilled with what we’re now getting from our government, but they feel we are at least getting something, so are willing to put up with it. You can live pretty well on your credit card for a while, until the bill comes due and the piper must be paid.
But what if we actually had to start paying what government really costs with a, well, about a 90 percent tax increase?
Of course, a tax increase on that level would collapse the economy overnight, so the revenue would not actually come in. Capital and businesses would flee the country. We would rapidly implode to banana republic status.
But a 90 percent tax increase is about what it would take to pay for the federal government we are now getting.
How popular do you think government would be then?
This, according to Environics Analytics WealthScapes data cited in a Globe and Mail article
The average Canadian household was worth worth $363,202 in 2011 compared to $319,970 for the average U.S. household.
Canada is also economically freer than the United States. According to the 2012 Index of Economic Freedom put out by The Heritage Foundation, Canada (often thought to be more socialist than the U.S.) ranks as the world’s sixth freest economy, while the U.S. has plummeted to 10th on the index, ranking behind such counties as Ireland, Mauritius, Chile, New Zealand, Swtzerland, and Australia.
Hong Kong (now part of Communist China) and Singapore rank #1 and #2 on the Index of Economic Freedom.
Historically, the United States has ranked in the top three on this index.
Obama promised change and to “fundamentally transform” America . . . and he delivered.
“Change has come to America,” he boasted.
Well, that’s certainly true – disastrous change.
The question is: Can America ever recover to its former status as the world’s #1 economic superpower?
Romney should be rolling out new ads on this theme.
The ad should say: “Obama has wrecked America. Now we’re not even the most prosperous country in North America, thanks to ObamaCare and Obamanomics.”
Romney should use this opportunity to teach America how free-enterprise works and why Obama is an enemy of free-enterprise . . . and why, if we continue to follow Obama down the Socialist road he’s taking us, it won’t be long before we become a banana republic.
Don’t be surprised to see a big migration now from the U.S. to Canada.
But will Canada want us there?
Mitt Romney should revive Newt Gingrich’s idea of challenging President Obama to a series of 12 debates. It doesn’t need to be 12 exactly. It could be 9, 7, or 21. The idea is to have a substantive discussion on the future of the country.
The topic of one of the debates could be the respective careers of these two politicians before they ran for public office — Mitt Romney’s career at Bain Capital and rescuing the Olympics vs Barack Obama’s career as “community organizer” and Saul Alinsky disciple.
Obama, of course, won’t accept the challenge. But it would put him on the defensive.
Romney could then say continuously that he’s challenged Obama to a series of nine debates. Obama has declined, no doubt because he wants to hide behind his negative ads, diversionary side issues like Bain Capital, and distortions rather than talking about what Americans really want to hear about — which is getting our economy growing again.
Offer to Obama the prospect of having an entire debate just on Bain Capital.
Let’s discuss just that for 90 minutes.
A debate focused on Bain Capital could be a tremendous learning opportunity for voters on how capitalism works, how jobs are created, and on how wealth is generated.
Romney could contrast Bain’s record on creating jobs vs Barack Obama’s record on creative jobs.
Bain has created hundreds of thousands of jobs in America. Barack Obama has created exactly zero net new jobs for America during his 3 1/2 years in office.
Obama has added $6 TRILLION to the national debt, but still managed to create zero net new jobs. How is that even possible?
I imagine if I ran up $6 TRILLION on my credit card, I would have created quite a few new jobs. How could you not?
But somehow, Obama has managed to do it — borrow $6 TRILLION . . . and created zero net new jobs. Actually, it’s even worse than that. Obama has lost about 1,000,000 net jobs since coming into office.
That’s an incredible feat.
By the way, when Romney was running Bain Capital, he was able to get an average 113% annual return on Bain’s investments.
So let’s have this debate: Bain’s and Romney’s approach to creating jobs and growing the economy vs Obama’s approach.
Then ask: Would you prefer to have the U.S. economy run more like how Bain would run it? Or more like how Obama, ACORN, Jeremiah Wright, William Ayers, Jesse Jackson, and Al Sharpton would run it?
We could then have a debate on what records should be released.
Romney can say: “I’ll release all my tax returns when Obama releases his college and law school transcripts along with his medical records.” [Plus a true copy of Obama's birth certificate instead of the Photoshopped version the White House released]
After Obama declines Romney’s 12-debate challenge, Romney should go wherever Obama goes to give a counter speech to whatever Obama is saying. The media will have to cover both. So we can have these debates that way.
Romney should debate Obama’s empty chair every day, saying Obama was invited, but still isn’t showing.
Newt had a good idea here.
He could also borrow the red phone idea from Glenn Beck.
Romney should take the red phone with him wherever he goes and challenge Obama to debate by phone if Obama can’t get there in person. Romney would then show he’s prepared to debate Obama anytime, anywhere — with advance notice ,or with no advance notice.
Whenever Obama wants to call, we can have a debate.
This would generate a lot of media interest and add some much-needed sparkle to the Romney campaign.
President Obama revealed a lot about himself when, on the campaign trail the other day, he made this statement:
If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”
Obama is a believer in government, not in the private sector, not in businesss.
Obama steered virtually all stimulus dollars to plug holes in state and local government (to prevent layoffs of government workers) or to his pet “green energy” projects, mostly run by his big donors (i.e. Solyndra)
Now, obviously what Obama is saying makes some sense on one level.
We certainly need government. We need police. We need roads. We need regulators. The free market cannot operate without rules and laws. No one (with perhaps the exception of a few Ron Paul supporters) is saying we don’t.
We also need government when an enormous amount of resources is required to achieve a single focused objective — i.e. win World War Two.
We can’t expect the private sector to do something like that.
We also need government to conduct other big worthwhile projects — such as build the Hoover Dam or land on the moon in the 1960s (something we haven’t done again in half a century).
Obama’s rhetorical style is to posit straw-man arguments and knock them down — that is, to misrepresent our true views.
He says conservatives (and those who love freedom) are anti-government, that we just want a dog-eat-dog society where everyone fends for themselves — sink or swim, survival of the fittest.
But that could not be farther from the truth.
Conservatives are strong believers in government. Conservatives are not anarchists. Conservatives believe in ordered liberty, not chaos, not everyone fend for himself Road Warrior-style.
Conservatives believe government should be very strong where it’s supposed to be strong. Conservatives believe government is needed to do jobs that the private sector is not set up to do, can’t do, or can’t do very well.
America’s founders did an excellent job of outlining the proper responsibilities of the federal government in the Constitution of the United States.
But to say, as Obama did, that “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that — somebody else made that happen” is like saying the New York Giants did not win the Super Bowl last year, the referees made that happen, or NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell made that happen.
Certainly referees were necessary to the playing of the Super Bowl. Also a stadium had to be built. The NFL brass had to decide to hold a Super Bowl on a specific date in a specific location. And there must be rules for the conduct of the game. But to suggest that, because of all this, the New York Giants did not win the Super Bowl (someone else did), is pretty silly.
People pay to watch the game. People pay to watch the players play. They don’t pay to watch the referees. Obama wants to emphasize the referees, not the game.
The main game in America is capitalism.
Capitalism is why America grew to be so prosperous so quickly.
Capitalism is what creates the products we buy, generates the wealth, and pays for all this government. Government doesn’t create wealth. The private sector does.
We could not have won World War Two if America had been a poor country.
Obama thinks wealth is a finite and constant resource that needs to be spread around evenly.
But if that were true, America would continue to look like it did in the 18th Century.
Instead, just about everyone in America today (including the poor) has a computer, a flat screen TV, a car, a washer and dryer, a refrigerator, and very few Americans go hungry or homeless (unless they have a drug abuse or mental health problem).
The rising tide of capitalist-generated prosperity lifts almost all boats.
Yes, Jesse Jackson is right when he says some boats remain stuck on the bottom and need some help. Fine. But that’s a small percentage. Maybe 10 percent, maybe 5 percent if you really look closely.
But capitalism has been very good for 90-95 percent of us.
Even the bottom 5 percent in America are far better off than if they lived a century earlier.
But Obama has an almost Medieval view of the world — an age when the world looked exactly the same for hundreds, even thousands of years — a feudal, anti-capitalist world where there was no discernible progress from century to century.
It was grinding poverty for everyone – unless you were royalty or a high-level church figure.
Capitalism and capitalist institutions (such as enforceable contract law and banks) changed all that — also the PROTESTANT ETHIC & THE SPIRIT OF ENTERPRISE (as Max Weber called it).
Obama doesn’t understand capitalism, doesn’t like it. He thinks it’s more noble to work for a non-profit or for government.
But who has done more real good for the world — the RED CROSS (one of the world largest non-profits) or Bill Gates and Microsoft?
I would argue Bill Gates and Microsoft.
Bill Gates made the world a better and more productive place by creating software for personal computers that almost anyone can afford. He created hundreds of multi-millionaires (his employees and shareholders). And now he’s set up his own non-profit foundation that’s exponentially bigger than the RED CROSS — because of the profits he made from Microsoft.
Plus, of course, the RED CROSS could not exist without donations. Where do these donations come from?
The same place taxes are generated to finance government — the private sector.
But Obama tells us “the private sector” is doing fine now. It’s government that’s hurting, in his view.
But if the private sector really were doing fine, government would not be hurting. The tax revenue would be there.
Obama doesn’t seem to know where the golden eggs come from. He just continues to keep trying to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs.
He sees the goose that’s laying the golden eggs as the enemy.
In one of his memoirs (“Dreams of My Father”), Obama talks about a job he had briefly in the private sector. He wrote that he felt like “a spy behind enemy lines.”
Obama actually sees the private sector and business as the enemy.
Obama has spent his entire life working for far-left non-profits (like the notorious vote fraud organization ACORN) and for government.
Even Communist China and most of the Communist World has woken up to the fact that its capitalism that creates the wealth. Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez are the only true Communists left in the world — well, except also apparently Obama.
While the Communists have abandoned Communism, Obama still clings to Socialist rhetoric that was common in the 1930s. He sounds like a relic from a bygone era.
He blames ATM machines and other forms of automation for the slow economy.
He’s like a Flat Earther who refuses to let observable facts alter his thinking.
Obama doesn’t understand the American Dream, and doesn’t like it much.
He thinks everyone should be working in soup kitchens and the like.
Then he wonders why his polices aren’t creating any new jobs, aren’t generating any economic growth.
If Obama were running the NFL, there would be hundreds of referees on the field — so many you’d have a tough time finding the players. And the rule book would be thousands of pages long — to ensure fairness, of course. A flag would be thrown on every play.
And then NFL Commissioner Obama would wonder why the game has become so difficult to play, and why so few people want to play the game or watch it anymore.
That, in a nutshell, is what he’s doing to the U.S. economy.
His ObamaCare law is 2700 pages. His administration has just produced 13,000 additional pages of ObamaCare regulations under the 2700-page law.
Obama is very good at that — creating more rules, regulations and bureaucracy. That’s what he knows how to do. That’s what he loves doing.
He is now in the process of hiring 16,000 new IRS agents to enforce ObamaCare. He is now building 159 brand new government bureaucracies to administer ObamaCare.
Paradoxically, the more government has grown, the more responsibilities it has taken on, the less capable it has become in undertaking big projects.
When was the last time the U.S. government undertook a project on the size and scope of the Hoover Dam?
In what truly is the ultimate insult, American astronauts are now going into space on Russian rockets because we cancelled our space program. We have a government today that’s enormous, but really can’t do much.
It took America one year and 45 days to build the Empire State Building in 1929-1930.
It took us 11 years to build the new version of the World Trade Center. And now it’s just one building instead of two. We’ll call this World Trade Center minus one tower.
We’ve become a pathetic country, unable to do much anymore.
We’ve become a world laughingstock.
Most Conservatives, of course, believe in a safety net for the disabled and those who are incapable of providing for themselves. We don’t want people starving on the streets or granny kicked out of her house into the snow. We believe there should be a floor through which no one should fall, but there should also be no limit (no cap) on what one can earn.
We’re still a relatively rich country (not nearly as rich as we used to be). We can afford an intelligently designed safety net that has incentives for able-bodied people to get off it.
We’re happy to rescue the defenseless, but we don’t want to subsidize the lazy and clueless.
We don’t think the safety net should be gold-plated and lavish. Or why would anyone want to get off it? Why work if you don’t have to?
The safety net is not supposed to become a hammock.
But Obama has now (on his own) gutted the welfare reforms that Bill Clinton signed into law, including the requirement that you at least try to find work. That requirement’s gone. Now you can just sit on the couch, watch TV, and call that work.
He’s also running TV ads in poor communities urging people to get on Food Stamps.
In the World According to Obama, going on Food Stamps is good and noble, but working in a business is working for the enemy.
At every turn, Obama undermines the work ethic and competitive spirit that are essential to capitalism and a flourishing free-enterprise economy.
Instead of admiring a Michel Phelps and celebrating achievement, Obama’s first instinct is to tie a cement block around his ankle to make the race more fair.
And then he wonders why businesses are keeping trillions of dollars in cash parked on the sidelines until he’s gone . . . or setting up factories in places more hospitable to capitalism, such as in Communist China.