Donald Lambro

WASHINGTON -- Everything you ever wanted to know about the Obama economy is in a single sentence about the Federal Reserve Board's attempts this week to deal with unacceptably high unemployment.

"Fed officials projected that the jobless rate, now at 7.7 percent, would not reach 6.5 percent until near the end of 2015 at the earliest," The Washington Post reported in its lead front-page story on Thursday.

If there's anyone out there -- besides Barack Obama's top advisers and diehard allies in Congress -- who think his economic policies, or lack thereof, will restore a weak economy to its full vigor in his second term, they've got a long wait.

Year after year over the course of Obama's impotent fiscal policies, the Fed has thrown everything it had at the economy, pumping trillions of dollars in printed money into U.S. Treasury bond purchases while reducing its interest rates to near zero -- without much to show for it.

Now, with the "fiscal cliff" looming more menacingly than ever before, and economic and jobs data weakening month by month, the Fed is doubling down on monetary measures to breath some life into the economy in the absence of any serious fiscal plan by the administration.

Yet with each long-term prognosis, the Fed's target dates for a hoped-for recovery recede deeper into the future.

What Fed officials are telling us now is that they do not expect to see a light at the end of this long jobless tunnel until nearly the end of Obama's second term. And possibly not until a new president takes his place.

Let's face it, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has very few monetary weapons left to turn this economy around, and he's said many times that the only real solution lies in fundamentally changing fiscal policy.

That means reducing the massive amounts of capital that the government sucks out of the economy each year, and enacting economic growth incentives on the tax side of the equation.

But Obama opposes any serious policy changes in that direction. Instead, he wants to do just the opposite: extract trillions more from a weak economy through higher taxes so he can spend more on waste-ridden programs like his multibillion-dollar clean energy investments. Recently, a battery manufacturer was added to his list of failures, this one costing taxpayers $133 million.

Even though Bernanke's plaintive pleas for changes in fiscal policies have fallen on deaf ears at the White House, he tried again at a news conference Wednesday when he announced the Fed's stepped-up goals for the economy.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.