Donald Lambro

The administration's defenders say the declining labor force is the result of rising baby boomer retirements, but it turns out that's not true.

"Baby boomer retirements are not driving down the adult participation rate. The percentage of working seniors aged 65 to 69 has risen to 30 percent from 27 percent over the last decade," Morici says.

Many, if not most, older, lower income Americans are not working because they want to, but because they must to make ends meet.

Another long-ignored crisis in the economy is the higher number of Americans forced to work part-time, but who need full-time employment. Morici says that, to a large extent, is due to Obama's anti-job policies.

"Twenty million Americans over 25 are working part-time, owing much to poor economic conditions and government incentives not to work full time," he says.

Obamacare "encourages employees to work part time to avoid losing benefits, and many employers limit them to fewer than 30 hours per week to avoid health insurance mandates" that will drive up their payroll costs.

But the core of the Obama economy's disfunction is its persistently weak economic growth rate over the last six years. In the Reagan and Clinton presidencies, economic growth averaged 3.4 percent and job creation soared.

In the Obama economy, the average economic growth rate is a pathetic 1.9 percent, one of the weakest in the post-war era.

But you didn't hear Obama talk about any of this in his speech in Ann Arbor this week. Indeed, he didn't talk about economic growth at all. I doubt he even understands its importance to capital investment and job creation.

Instead, he wants us to believe the answer is to swell the payrolls of small businesses who are just struggling to keep their heads above water in a low growth economy, let alone give their workers a raise.

Even in the very liberal, Democratic state of Maryland, where Gov. Martin O'Malley has been raising taxes on anything that moves, there is trepidation over the idea of raising employer costs. A state Senate committee voted to slowly phase in his plan to fully raise the minimum wage to over $10 an hour by mid-2018.

Obama came into office knowing virtually nothing about economics and he's made it painfully clear that he hasn't learned anything over his past five plus years.

For example, in his speech at the University of Michigan, he cited Henry Ford, who, he said, gave his workers raises so they could "afford to buy the cars they were building."

In fact, the genius of Henry Ford was his invention of assembly line manufacturing that turned out more cars per day at a far cheaper cost that brought their price within the reach of the average American.

I mean, this is something we all learned in Economics 101 in college, but not Obama.

Instead, he clings to what he knows best: demagoguery. Challenging the GOP to support his impotent minimum wage plan, he said, "You can give America the shaft, or you can give it a raise."

Kind of brings tears to your eyes, doesn't it? But this is the kind of street rhetoric we can expect to hear for the next two and a half years.

Sadly, it's the level to which the president has sunk as he helplessly watches the world's greatest economy fall into disrepair.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.