Obama's Victory Laps by Dan Celia

July 21, 2016

The pathetic display of victory laps over the economy grows more and more shameful every day . . .



President Barrack Obama continues to claim victory after victory in our economy.


This president has fundamentally changed not only the economy - more importantly, he has changed the way we look at the economy. Issues that were viewed as significant moves downward ten years ago don't seem to be significant at all under this Administration. Let's analyze some of this Administration's victory claims.


The last job number created about 38,000 net new private sector jobs. The big number is 550,000, though. That is approximately how many people have been added to the part-time workforce, creating the largest part-time workforce in the nation's history. Of course, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) continues surveying households to get a handle on the job numbers. That was fine back in the early 1980s, but we live in a time of real-time data. As far as I know, the IRS is still a department of the government, so the Department of Labor at the end of the month could easily call the Internal Revenue Service and say, "Oh, by the way, how many new jobs have been added?" and immediately get a real-time number. Forget all the surveys skewed with biases based on liberal slants and maybe the love for the Obama Administration.


Five-hundred and fifty thousand people were added to the part-time employment force last month. As of May, 664,000 have left the workforce. Over 94 million people are unemployed. That is one-third of the population of the United States. Yet we are at "full employment" according to the new normal of the Obama economy.


As people continue to exit the workforce, we could reach an unemployment figure somewhere down around 3 percent. Really? Meanwhile, this is some of what reality looks like:

  • We have an eroding of our middle class.
  • People have no discretionary income.
  • A 1977 Labor participation Rate
  • 2.1% GDP growth for the last 7 years
  • Productivity rate is stagnating at best
  • Wedges have not gone up in the last 10 years
  • In the first Quarter S&P Company earnings down 7.1%. earnings down 4 straight quarters
  • Revenues for companies have gone down for the 5thstraight quarter
  • The retail sector is in an Ice Age
  • Health Care cost for the average American continues to increase as wedges fall
  • More people are filing for disability benefits.
  • The likelihood of a judge approving disability benefits has increased by 50 percent.
  • Food stamps and other government assistance are at an all-time high.
  • The poverty rate of American has continued to climb every quarter since 2008
  • And, oh yeah . . . we are in a "recovery."

I could go on but you get the point. 2007 looks like the greatest economy we have ever had compared to where are now.


In West Virginia alone, over half the population of working age people are jobless. Of course, this is bringing great joy to the Administration, who set out to shut down the coal industry and has done a wonderful job of accomplishing that.


We continue to see developed nations around the globe suffering and struggling to keep their heads above water. We are likely to enter into a bailout situation with Puerto Rico, which will lead to bailout issues with California and Illinois and other states lining up behind them. We continue to decimate our middle class and create an emerging market-like society as we watch civil unrest increase every month.


I am appalled by the arrogance of the economically inept politicians in Washington. They continue to sit back, assuming that it is impossible for a rich America to fall apart at the seams. This arrogance seems to increase even as they watch the prosperity of the nation erode before their eyes and the decimation of the middle class continuing to be exacerbated by the realities of the real economy.


The Federal Reserve continues to boast that "this year we are going to have a 2 percent GDP growth" as if 2 percent is all we need to sustain any kind of growing middle class or offer hope for prosperity to future generations.


Recently I heard that the bright spot in the economy is that "wage growth" is beginning to come up. Really? Let's not lose our perspective. We have not had wage growth in over fifteen years. Looking at the last ten years alone, annual part-time wages were $22,556 in 2006. Today, they are $25,309. This does not include any adjustment for inflation. When you factor in a conservative 1.5 percent for inflation, we should be at $26,117. The same is true for salaries - only a little worse. Salaries in 2006 were $60,141. Today they are at $61,629. That is about a 0.25 percent inflation rate. At 1.5 percent inflation, the rate would be $69,796. These numbers, by the way, can be found on the BLS website. Look, I am not knocking any increase in wages that we can get. It is a good thing . . . but really? A "bright spot" in a consumer driven economy? The wage growth can't even keep pace with the cost of healthcare for individuals. And we wonder why people aren't spending money?


This Administration's fundamental change of Washington began in 2008 during the election cycle and has continued through today. This would include the demonizing of wealth, despising profits of corporate America, a hatred for Wall Street and entrepreneurship, and the criticism of "fat cat" bankers in America. All the while, Washington is so busy worshiping at the feet of political correctness, they have made those issues a priority of America. Meanwhile, they have been disregarding the positive steps they should be taking to create an environment that would:


  • Developing sound fiscal policy
  • Incentivizing small businesses
  • Encouraging entrepreneurship and innovativeness
  • Growing and creating a middle class
  • Getting people out of poverty
  • Making sure real wages are growing


How about incentivizing corporate America to grow and to build with tax rates that are reasonable and not moving targets. Or regulatory burdens that are not constantly becoming more burdensome. But Washington doesn't seem to have the ability - or even the desire - to create that kind of environment. Their hope relies instead on destroying more of what little middle class is left with the idea of creating a minimum wage that needs to be a career path for the rest of a person's life rather than opportunities to build a career that could be upwardly mobile using the minimum wage to be a stepping stone it was meant to be.


The president's pathetic display of victory laps over the economy continues to grow more and more shameful every day. In an environment where politicians have fallen in love with the idea of no accountability, there seems to be little hope of a real turnaround without a real change in leadership on Pennsylvania Avenue. Not creating something new but going back to what has worked to grow America.

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