Donald Lambro

What will the job-starved Obama economy look like during the next few years if he were to win re-election in November?

Not much different than it does today: slow, sluggish, sub-par economic growth, higher than historically average post-recession levels of unemployment across the country, increasing poverty, and a line of record-breaking deficits and debt as far as the eye can see.

Obama's running an empty re-election campaign that does not offer any new agenda to boost our economy. He is not proposing any broad initiatives to spur faster growth or higher levels of private sector job creation.

The nearly $1 trillion in failed spending stimulus money he enacted in 2009 has been spent, most of it ending up in the hands of federal, state, county and local bureaucrats with little if any longterm impact on the economy which is slowing down, not speeding up.

Few economists see his chronically weak economy markedly improving in the years to come. The Federal Reserve Board forecasts slow growth this year and next, and possibly into 2014 if not beyond.

That is the reason why they have said that they will maintain nearly- zero interest rates for the foreseeable future.

For all intents and purposes, the Obama economy is on automatic pilot, with no visible policies or leadership at the controls, and with the White House blindly hoping that the economy will improve on its own. It isn't and it won't.

"It is increasingly apparent what the economy will look like when President Obama faces voters in November: pretty much what it looks like today," the New York Times reported in its lead, front page story last month.

Most economists do not expect improvement longer range, either, without a sweeping change in policy.

"This economy has no forward momentum and little help from monetary or fiscal policy," said Kathy Bostjancic, director of macroeconomic analysis at the Conference Board.

The network news shows responded to last month's mediocre jobs numbers with hyper- exuberant rhetorical summersaults that suggested this was the breakthrough everyone's been waiting for.

While the economy added 163,000 jobs in July, it was still an impotent number that didn't come close to what is needed to lower unemployment rates to normal levels.

Total unemployment climbed by another 45,000, boosting the jobless rate to 8.3 percent, and 348,000 workers gave up seeking work and thus were not counted in the jobless equation.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.