In 1980, incumbent Democrat President Carter lost reelection to Republican challenger Ronald Reagan in large part due to high gas prices and a weak economy. This year, not only are gas prices sky high and continuing to rise, but there is massive unemployment and a foreclosure crisis. Virtually everyone agrees that the economy is the most important issue this election year. Incumbent presidents generally lose reelection when unemployment is over 7%; Presidents George H.W. Bush, Carter and Ford all lost reelection when unemployment was between 7-8%.
Unemployment was only around 5% when Obama took office in 2009, but it soon jumped to a high of 10% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in 2010. It has continued to remain around 10%. The BLS reports that unemployment decreased from 10% down to 8% over the last couple of years, but that decrease is obtained only by excluding workers who have not looked for jobs in the past year due to giving up, something that was not a factor in prior years. The real unemployment rate may actually be as high as 22.5%, near the unemployment rate during the Great Depression. At the height of the Great Depression in 1933, unemployment reached 24.9%. The length of unemployment has already reached Great Depression levels.
Meanwhile, Obama presses along with his left wing agenda, refusing to relieve gas prices by authorizing construction of the Keystone pipeline, in an attempt to appease radical environmentalists. He has continued unaffordable deficit spending which does nothing to help the economy or create jobs but does plenty for the special interests contributing to his campaign coffers like Solyndra and big banks.
Realizing the American people have figured out a failed left wing agenda is not helping the economy, Obama reads cleverly written speeches from his teleprompter which do not reflect his actual left wing positions nor reality. His speeches pretend the economy is already improving, painting a rosy picture of everything. Obama repeatedly says things like this, “I believe America is on the way up.” However, unemployment and inflation are the two factors which indicate how healthy an economy is. Inflation continues to rise, with wholesale inflation increasing 0.4% in February.
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