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LAMBRO: Obama on track to have worst job record since World War II

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By Donald Lambro           The Washington Times        Tuesday, September 11, 2012

August’s abysmally weak job growth proved yet again that President 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 the president, Bill Clinton and other  party luminaries made extravagant claims that things will get better if Mr.  Obama is re-elected to a second term.

But analysts at the Federal Reserve  Board, economists and business leaders say Mr. Obama’s declining economy is  not going to get significantly better this year, next year or 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 also were underscored by  revisions in the June and July job numbers, which found 41,000 fewer jobs were  created than was reported previously.

Not only is the rate of job growth shrinking fast in the fourth year of Mr.  Obama’s presidency; the economy’s growth rate also is 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, taking credit for things 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  show we lost 15,000 manufacturing jobs last month, after a string of previous  job losses in that sector.

Mr. Obama was playing fast and loose with the facts throughout his speech, as  in 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 during Mr. Obama’s presidency has been 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.

Mr. 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 in November 1982. (Mr. Obama’s peaked at 10 percent.)

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 bloodstream, and the economy took off like a  rocket. Quarterly economic growth rates in 1984 were 8.5 percent, 7.9 percent,  6.9 percent and 5.8 percent. Compare that to Mr. Obama’s quarterly economic  growth rates this year: 2.0 percent and 1.7 percent.

Mr. 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  looking for jobs 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. That will require economic growth rates in the range  of 4 percent to 5 percent — levels Mr. Obama’s anti-growth,  anti-capital-investment policies cannot produce now or ever.

There is more to Mr. Obama’s bleak economy than just the shrinking number of  available jobs. A devastating list of other statistics, ignored by the nightly  news shows, reveals a nation struggling to make 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 Thomas J. Vilsack.

An unprecedented number of U.S. households were going hungry as they  struggled to feed their families in the past year, the U.S. Department of  Agriculture 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 1 in 6.

Household income is down significantly in the past 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 or other  disturbing economic statistics in the Obama economy, belying the sanctimonious  concern for the poor and the middle class, who have been hurt most by Mr.  Obama’s harmful policies.

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

Clint Eastwood said it best at the GOP convention: “When someone isn’t doing  the job, we’ve got to let him go.” The sooner Mr. Obama goes, the better off our  economy will be.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political  correspondent for The Washington Times.

Read more: LAMBRO: Obama on track to have worst job record since World War II - Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/11/obama-on-track-to-have-worst-job-record-since-worl/#ixzz26ESE6Qm1 Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter

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