Donald Lambro

"Current Democratic narratives too often fail to meet voters where they are in how they perceive and experience the economy and, even more important, do not speak to voters' aspirations and goals when thinking about the economic future. They do not take the voters' economic understanding seriously when indeed, they are dead serious."

During Obama's first two years, Democrats "have offered a jumble of messages without a consistent framework that explains why and what Democrats are doing," Greenberg writes. The dismal economic realities Democrats now face include "a middle class smashed and struggling, American jobs being lost, the country and the people in debt."

Even those who worked within the Obama administration were sharply critical of the economy under the president's policies. "The president is going to be running for re-election in an economy that's still too weak," Jared Bernstein, Vice President Joe Biden's former chief economic adviser, told The Washington Post.

The bleak reality of Obama's economic troubles is that the White House has essentially been clueless about what to do next to drive unemployment down to more normal levels in the next year and a half.

More than three-quarters of a trillion dollars in new pump-priming spending didn't work. An unprecedented wave of costly government regulations of the nation's businesses through Obamacare and a thicket of new financial reform laws have only raised business costs, paralyzed job growth and curtailed new capital investment.

Obama has long been hostile to tax-rate cuts to spur economic growth, but there is now behind-the-scenes talk in the White House about taking a page out of Republican supply-side tax cuts of the past.

"The president and his team have looked to Ronald Reagan's presidency as a possible template for their re-election fortunes," reports Washington Post political analyst Dan Balz.

Nearly two years before Reagan's 49-state landslide re-election, the unemployment rate rose to 10.8 percent and his political future looked precarious at best. But then his across-the-board income tax cuts began kicking in, and by the summer of 1984, the jobless rate had plunged to 7.5 percent. A sense of optimism was rekindled throughout the country.

What caused the jobless rate to plummet was "strong economic growth in 1983 and 1984," Balz pointed out, with the gross domestic product accelerating at quarterly growth percentage rates of 5.1, 9.3, 8.1, 8.5, 8 and, finally, 7.1 in the second quarter of 1984 -- expansion rates that make the Obama economy look like it's standing still.

There's a lesson here for the White House that still believes last month's feeble jobless rate was just "a bump in the road," hoping against hope that the economy will eventually improve.

Obama's 1930s-era spending policies have been a complete and utter failure, leaving behind a legacy of high unemployment, a mountain of debt, and a dispirited nation looking for a new leader to get America moving again.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.



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