Thomas Sowell

The Obama administration is in its glory creating complications and uncertainties for business, ranging from runaway regulations to the unknowable future costs of ObamaCare and taxes. Record amounts of idle cash held by businesses and financial institutions are a monument to the counterproductive effects of Barack Obama's anti-business policies and rhetoric. That idle money could create lots of jobs -- net jobs -- if politics did not make it risky to invest.

We often hear that President Obama inherited the worst recession since the Great Depression. But just how do you define that? By how high the unemployment rate went? By how long the recovery takes? Or don't you bother to define it at all?

The annual unemployment rate was as high under Ronald Reagan as it has been under Barack Obama. The difference is that Ronald Reagan did nothing, despite media cries for action, and Barack Obama did virtually everything imaginable, to the cheers of the media. The economy recovered a lot faster under Reagan.

If this is "the worst recession since the Great Depression," it is the worst solely in terms of how long it is taking to recover. But how long this has lasted is precisely what critics of Barack Obama are complaining about. Yet clever political rhetoric turns Obama's failure into an excuse for failure.

Contrary to political and media spin, President Obama did not "inherit" his unemployment from President George W. Bush. The annual unemployment rate never got above 6 percent during the eight years of President George W. Bush's administration.

Unemployment has never been that low under President Obama. Passing the buck backwards is a very poor excuse -- especially for someone using "forward" as his campaign slogan.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

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