Donald Lambro

Let's put Obama's growth rate into a sharper context. To go from a 3 percent growth rate in the last three months of 2011 down to 2.2 was the economic equivalent of going from barely a C grade down to a D-.

The cable news network CNN explained the mediocre growth in more bread and butter terms: "Growth at that rate is considered too weak to lead to the hiring needed to put millions of unemployed Americans back to work."

"The data was also lower than the 2.5 percent rate economists had been expecting," CNN added.

But what's new? Despite the Washington news media's attempts to play down, whitewash or merely overlook the harsh reality of Obama's extended recession, the numbers tell the tale of an economy that was often barely breathing.

Here are the economic growth rates in the first three quarters of 2011: 0.4 percent, 1.3 percent, and 1.8 percent in a year that ended with a fourth quarter anomaly of 3.0 percent. Fourth quarter over fourth quarter yielded only 1.6 percent annual growth.

The year ahead isn't looking much better, according to University of Maryland business economist Peter Morici's forecasts.

(He nailed last week's 2.2 percent GDP a week before it was announced.)

Morici is predicting the Obama economy will turn in an election year quarterly performance that has failure written all over it.

"Second quarter growth will likely slow to about 1.6 percent, as consumers pull back and inventories slow. Business investment should not be expected to pick up the slack, stabilizing oil prices will likely boost imports a bit, and government spending will stay neutral or decline in the face of tightening fiscal conditions," Morici forecasts in his latest analysis.

As the presidential race heads into the homestretch, he predicts that the 2012 economy will finish the last three months with a job crippling 2.1 percent growth rate.

As for the politically pivotal unemployment rate, he says the jobless rate "is not likely to fall much more."

With little more than six months left in the race for the White House, Obama is sounding increasingly desperate, blaming Bush more frequently in his off-the-cuff remarks for the massive debts he has left in his wake.

"Remember the deficits the previous administration left us with?" he asks his audiences. Well, okay, let's compare deficits.

Bush: $318 billion in 2005; $242 billion in 2006; $161 billion in 2007; and $458 billion in 2008.

Obama: $1.4 trillion in 2009; $1.3 trillion in 2010; $1.3 trillion in 2011, and an estimated $1.2 trillion in 2012.

With $1.179 trillion in deficits for Bush and $5.2 trillion deficits for Obama, that's nothing to brag about.

Obama's tax, regulatory and spending policies have needlessly prolonged a recession that has ruined lives and weakened America's economic security.

Jobless benefit claims are hovering near a three-month high.

Home foreclosures are up in more than half of the nation's metropolitan areas. An Associated Press analysis of 2011 data said nearly 54 percent of college grads under the age of 25 were unemployed or underemployed in low paying menial jobs.

And Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says we are facing a "fiscal cliff" at the end of this year that poses "significant risk to the recovery."

The question now is, have the American people had enough?

Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.