Donald Lambro

With his job approval numbers running in the low 40s as he gears up for a tough election battle, the odds against him winning a second term are daunting at best. No president since the New Deal has won re- election with the unemployment rate over 8 percent.

Not only has his 2009, $800 billion economic stimulus plan failed to drive down the unemployment rate or put the economy on a permanent growth path, his critics say the rest of his tax and regulatory agenda has placed severe roadblocks to future expansion and job creation.

The list of anti-growth, anti-job policies under Obama is long, costly and unpopular: The sweeping employer taxes and health insurance mandates embedded in Obamacare have already made much of the business community drop its health care plans, hike worker health care payments and reduce payrolls to reduce its exposure to future costs.

In the first three years of his presidency, critics said that Obama's leftist policies to sharply curtail domestic fossil fuel exploration and development and halt swift action on trade expansion for U.S. exports imposed new obstacles to economic growth and jobs.

But the president and his party took no action on three trade agreements negotiated by President George W.Bush until just recently, and any serious moves to begin energy expansion to lower prices remains in limbo.

Obama has proposed a laundry list of limited remedies to pull the country's housing industry out of a depression but without any success.

Consumer confidence continues to decline. More and more Americans say they're struggling to make ends meet. The economy and unemployment remain far and away the No. 1 concern of voters. No other issues come even close.

"Anecdotal reports indicate that businesses are cutting back. They don't expect a recession but are gearing up for persistent subpar growth in the United States, slower growth in Asia and virtually no growth in Europe," Morici writes in his latest weekly economic analysis.

As far as the Fed's reluctance to come up with any new additional initiatives for the time being, the truth is that it really doesn't have any new tools to accelerate economic growth, monetary or otherwise.

This is a job for growth economics on the fiscal side of the policy equation -- tax reforms that offer new incentives to unleash capital investment and accelerate new business formation; negotiations for new fast-track trade agreements for American exports; and opening the spigots for expanded oil and other domestic energy production.

This is a great and prosperous country with a long and proud history of overcoming economic adversity. It can do so again under the right policies. Obama's policies are not working and are never going to work.

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.