During Barack Obama’s campaign in 2008, he made a number of promises about the economy. If you’ll recall, economic conditions during the second half of 2008 were sliding out of control. George Bush and his Treasury Secretary, Henry Paulson, fashioned the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) to prevent a number of large, cornerstone financial institutions from crashing into bankruptcy, taking the U.S. economy with them.
There is no doubt that Barack Obama inherited a real mess but his economic decisions have only made things worse. His stimulus spending of almost $800 billion was a clear failure with little to show for the money that we borrowed to pay for it. He spent untold amounts of political capital, not to mention financial capital, on a healthcare plan that in all likelihood will be declared unconstitutional next month.
Let’s review some of Obama’s promises versus reality.
- Obama promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term. Granted we still have 9 months to go but the reality is that this year’s deficit of $1.3 trillion is five times the Congressional Budget Office’s projection ($264 billion, including the Bush bail-outs). If you don’t believe it, look at the video.
- Obama projected robust economic growth of 5.23% last year. According to the Federal Reserve, actual growth was an anemic 1.61%.
- Unemployment estimates have been this administration’s bane even before he was inaugurated. On Jan 10, 2009, Obama made a radio address that highlighted a report by his Chairman of Economic Advisers saying that unemployment would be 6% by now. Instead our unemployment rate is 8.1%.
- More importantly, rather than falling the unemployment rate has risen from 7.8% despite millions of Americans who are in the category of discouraged workers. That means that several million potential workers are no longer looking for work. This decline in “labor force participation” is deadly for the U.S. economy. Without their taxes, Social Security payments and consumer spending, the United States can not return to prosperity.
- We currently have 12.5 million officially unemployed. Add to that the 6.3 million that currently want a job and we have 18.8 million out of work. They are not paying taxes two-thirds are collecting unemployment.
- According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, two years after the stimulus bill, more than 3 million fewer Americans were employed.
- According to the same bureau, under Obama, after adjusting for inflation real earnings have actually fallen by $10 a week.
- When Barack Obama took office, gasoline prices were in the $1.80 per gallon range. Currently in Virginia (a low gas tax state), the price per gallon is in the $3.40 range. In neighboring North Carolina (a high gas tax state), the price is about $3.65 per gallon.
- The average household’s annual income has dropped by $4,300 during the Obama administration.
- Finally, contrary to his pledge to lift “2 million Americans from poverty,” 14.3 million more Americans are on Food Stamps than when Obama took office.
Barack Obama is now asking for four more years as President, during he promises to rescue the American economy. The reality is that four more years of Barack Obama would destroy the United States and more than likely bankrupt the country.