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The Sooner Obama Goes, The Better The Economy

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of
August's abysmally weak job growth proved yet again that Barack Obama's economic policies are a miserable failure that will continue to undermine our country until he leaves office.

The government's report that the economy added just a minuscule 96,000 jobs last month came at the end of the Democrats' defensive national convention where Obama, Bill Clinton and other party luminaries made extravagant claims that things will get better if Obama is re-elected to a second term.

But analysts at the Federal Reserve Board, economists and business leaders say Obama's declining economy is not going to get significantly better this year, next year nor the year after that, until there are dramatic changes in the nation's fiscal policies. Changes Obama Democrats refuse to make.

The deepening weaknesses in the employment picture was also underscored by revisions in the June and July job numbers that found 41,000 fewer jobs were created than was previously reported.

Not only is the rate of job growth shrinking fast in the fourth year of Obama's presidency, so is the economy's growth rate, slowing this year to a snail's pace 1.7 percent in the third quarter.

But he didn't say anything about the weak job creation rate or declining economic growth in his speech last week. Instead, he rattled off a long list of specious claims that he took credit for that were not true.

He told convention delegates and the nation at large that he had saved the automobile industry and boosted overall manufacturing, too. But auto industry employment was still 12 percent below pre-recession levels, and employment data shows we lost 15,000 manufacturing jobs last month, after a string of previous job losses in that sector.

Obama was playing fast and loose with the facts on this one, as he was throughout his speech. Like his statement that "Over the last three and a half years, we have focused on righting the ship....creating 4.5 million new jobs."

But the Labor Department says job creation in Obama's presidency was several hundred thousand at best. In fact, "Obama is on track to have the worst jobs record of any president since World War II," says Washington Post Fact Checker Glenn Kessler.

Obama claimed in his convention speech that he's had to deal with an economic recession that is the worst since the Great Depression. But Ronald Reagan similarly faced a severe recession in which unemployment rose to 10.8 percent (Obama's peaked at 10 percent) in November 1982.

But Reagan "put in place a very different set of stimulus measures -- emphasizing private sector leadership -- and when he faced the voters in 1984 the jobless rate had fallen to 7.3 percent," economist Peter Morici points out.

Reagan's across the board tax cuts -- which Democrats ridiculed at the time -- injected needed capital liquidity into every part of the nation's economic blood stream, and the economy took off like a rocket. Quarterly economic growth rates in 1984 were 8.5 percent, 7.9 percent, 6.9 percent, 5.8 percent. Compare that to Obama's quarterly economic growth rates this year: 2.0 percent and 1.7 percent.

Obama told the country to be patient and the economy would improve under his infrastructure spending policies. But that hasn't happened and forecasters are predicting growth rates in the 2 percent range at best, far too weak to create the millions of jobs needed to bring unemployment down to 6 percent or less.

Unemployment fell last month, from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent (it's been over 8 percent for 43 months). But that's because 581,000 workers stopped look for a job and thus were not counted among the unemployed.

To put last month's 96,000 jobs into sharper perspective, the economy must add 377,000 a month, or 13.6 million over the next three years, to shrink unemployment to 6 percent. And that will require economic growth rates in the range of 4 to 5 percent -- levels Obama's anti-growth, anti-capital investment policies cannot produce. Neither now nor ever.

But there is more to Obama's bleak economy than just the shrinking number of available jobs. A devastating list of other statistics, ignored by the nightly news shows, reveal a nation struggling to makes ends meet. Among them:

-- Food stamp use hit a record high this summer, rising to 46.7 million Americans, according to the Agriculture Department. "Too many middle-class families who have fallen on hard times are still struggling," says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

-- An unprecedented number of U.S. households were going hungry as they struggled to feed their families in the past year, the USDA reported last week. Nearly 18 million families in 2011, 700,000 more than in 2010, didn't always have enough food to feed themselves on a regular basis. That's more than 50 million people, or about one in six.

-- Household income is down significantly in the last three years. From June 2009 to June 2012, the nation's median household income dropped 4.8 percent to $50,964, according to an independent study by Sentier Research.

Median income means that 50 percent earn more than that and 50 percent earn less. The current median income level is 7.2 percent below where it stood in 2007.

Last week's Democratic convention never mentioned any of these and other disturbing economic statistics in the Obama economy, belying their sanctimonious concern for the poor and the middle class who have been hurt most by his harmful policies.

Instead, we got plenty of lame excuses, blame-pointing and a long list of false statistics, and extravagant promises of better days to come, without Obama detailing a specific agenda to deliver the goods.

Clint Eastwood, despite his rambling delivery, said it best at the GOP convention: "When someone isn't doing the job, we've got to let him go." And the sooner Obama goes, the better off our economy will be.

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