WASHINGTON -- The Obama economy is tanking, its growth rate is slowing, businesses are shedding jobs and a wave of pessimism has sent U.S. stock markets into a nose dive, threatening recovery.
Economic forecasters expect the Labor Department to report Friday that the unemployment rate in June remained unchanged -- just shy of 10 percent -- in a weakened jobs market. Home sales were falling sharply, with newly built home sales plunging in May to their lowest level in four decades. The Commerce Department says the economy grew by a weaker 2.7 percent in the second quarter, not the 3 percent previously announced. Jobless benefit claims have not budged from their January levels.
Washington critics of President Obama's disastrous economic policies are asking why isn't this the dominant story on the nightly network news shows who have bent over backwards to sugarcoat the Obama economy's deepening troubles. Sure, the BP oil explosion in the Gulf is a terrible catastrophe, made even worse by Obama's inaction. But the imbalance reflected in the media's nonstop nightly reporting on the Gulf mess versus the economy's persistent lethargy, bordering on decline, and the 15 million-plus unemployed Americans who can't find jobs (plus millions more who have dropped out of the labor market) is shocking.
"Twelve months into recovery from such a deep recession, this is a terrible performance," says economist Peter Morici of the University of Maryland. The American people get it, driving Obama's job approval score down to 46 percent in this week's Gallup Poll, nearly even with his 45 percent disapproval rating.
And a painfully few Washington economic writers get it, too. The Washington Post's Neil Irwin, in an important story the Post buried on page 9, put it this way: "The economic recovery that began a year ago increasingly appears to be on shaky footing," he reported.
T. Rowe Price vice president Alan Levenson puts it a little more bluntly. "We're not going to keep accelerating. It looks like we're either settling into cruising speed for growth, or even decelerating."
It isn't just the voters who have soured on Obama's anti-growth policies. Some of his disenchanted political allies are breaking away from him, too. Ivan G. Seidenberg, chairman of the Business Roundtable group of corporate giants, who has been Obama's closest supporter in the business community, now accuses him and Democratic leaders of creating an "increasingly hostile environment for investment and job creation."