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Obama's Recovery Sure Looks Like Recession

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

In the brave new world of Barack Obama, the media breathlessly report all of the economic data with a positive spin. On Friday, as the unemployment rate increased for the second straight month, the liberal media was telling us this was good news.

Is a higher unemployment rate of 7.9 percent really good news? According to the Associated Press, it was an “upbeat” report. Yet, this unemployment figure is high by historical standards and is higher than the rate at the start of the Obama administration.

The new labor report shows that there are 12.3 million unemployed Americans and, of that figure, 4.7 million have been jobless for 27 weeks or more. The last time the chronic unemployment rate was at this level was during World War II.The Black unemployment rate is even worse at 13.8 percent, an increase from the 12.7 percent at the beginning of the Obama administration.

Last month, only 157,000 new jobs were created, which does not keep pace with our nation’s population growth. It is a decline from the average monthly gain of 181,000 jobs in 2012. In fact, there were fewer people finding work last month than people leaving the workforce (169,000). Today, there are 89 million Americans who are no longer in the workforce. This is an increase of 8.5 million since Obama was elected. Many of the people who leave the workforce are disillusioned by the anemic job environment. Some of these people go back to school, while others retire or start receiving government assistance.

There are currently 47.5 million Americans receiving food stamps. This represents a population over ten times larger than the entire state of Louisiana. It is an increase of 15.5 million from the level of January 2009, at the start of the President’s first term.  

While the stock market is moving toward historic levels, millions of Americans cannot participate in the financial markets because they are struggling to pay bills. According to the latest data, the average work week and wage level is basically stagnant, while our key costs are rising. Overall, it is a prescription for economic disaster.

Earlier in the week, the government reported that the GDP contracted .1 percent in the last quarter. This decline is in contrast to the previous quarters, but it clearly shows that Americans are holding on to their money, worried about their economic future. It explains why the consumer confidence rating is at a two year low.

While the Obama loving media is touting a great economy, Americans should be more worried about a recession. Economists define a recession as two quarters in a row of declining economic growth.

This poor performance could continue in 2013 as the economy is going to face even more troubling headwinds. There will be increasing costs associated with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in the following year. In addition, as part of the deal to avert the fiscal cliff, Congress just approved higher taxes on wealthier Americans. This will not help the economy by any means since many wealthy Americans own businesses and the higher taxes will inevitably lead to a reduction in the labor force as owners take action to reduce expenses.

Although the job picture is very weak, the most disturbing aspect to the economy is the ever increasing debt level. Our nation has accumulated a national debt of $16.5 trillion, an increase of $6 trillion since President Obama took office. As noted by the GAO, the current level of deficit spending is “unsustainable.”

No amount of spinning by the media can change the basic facts; the President’s economic policies have failed. All we have to do is look at the numbers. 

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