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Oh, Yeah, the Economy
SFC (RET) U.S. Army Combat Veteran, Patriot, Conservative
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The recent Obama administration scandals shift the spotlight from the economy. Yet the recovery remains depressingly sluggish, with the labor force participation rate at a 34-year low as millions of able-bodied, able-minded Americans simply stopped looking for work.
With President Obama in the fifth year of his presidency, let us examine the effect of the stimulus program, tax hikes, Obamacare and additional regulation on the economy. It isn't pretty.
For the richest Americans, their net worth has fully recovered. For the non-rich, the recovery tells a very different story. At the start of "recovery" in 2009, the mean net worth of the lower 93 percent of households was $139,896. By the close of 2011 — the latest year available — it had fallen 4 percent, to $133,817. Food stamp usage sets new records. So far this fiscal year, over 22 million households have received food stamps, up from less than 15 million in 2009. While the stock market has recovered, most Americans have not. The biggest investment for most Americans is their home and the equity in average home remains 28 percent below its 2006 peak.
How does this recovery compare to other post-World War II recoveries?
An Associated Press article said: "Since World War II, 10 U.S. recessions have been followed by a recovery that lasted at least three years. An Associated Press analysis shows that by just about any measure, the one that began in June 2009 is the weakest. ... Economic growth has never been weaker in a postwar recovery. Consumer spending has never been so slack. Only once has job growth been slower. More than in any other post-World War II recovery, people who have jobs are hurting: Their paychecks have fallen behind inflation." According to Wall Street Journal economist Stephen Moore, "We've had the worst, by far — not by a little bit, by far — the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression."
Before President Obama entered office, the national debt stood at about $9.9 trillion. It is now estimated at $17.4 for 2013. Obama added more debt in his first term than President George W. Bush did in two terms. And to what end?
What about Obamacare, marketed as way to provide the uninsured with health care coverage — all while "bending the cost curve" down?
During last year's presidential campaign, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said, "Everybody will have lower rates." But according to independent analysts, those purchasing insurance through an individual plan — the way about 10 percent of Americans currently get their insurance — will likely see substantial rate hikes. The state of California recently released estimates showing increases from 64 to 146 percent

Economist Jonathan Gruber designed the Massachusetts plan known as Romneycare. Obama hired Gruber to design Obamacare. In November 2009, Gruber told The Washington Post's Ezra Klein: "What we know for sure the bill will do, is that it will lower the cost of buying non-group health insurance." After Obamacare passed, Minnesota, Colorado and Wisconsin hired Gruber as a consultant to estimate the impact of ObamaCare on their states. For Colorado, Gruber found that individual policy buyers would pay 19 percent more. For Minnesota, he estimates an increase of 29 percent. For Wisconsin, he expects a 30 percent increase.
Obamacare also applies to full-time workers and defines them as working 30 hours or more. So many employers are simply reducing hours of employees to get under than threshold. Reuters found that half of the Walmarts they recently surveyed have hired only temporary employees. One Walmart manager in Alaska says: "Everybody who comes through the door I hire as a temporary associate. It's a company direction at the present time."
What about the Obama tax hike on the "rich"?
The Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco just released a report that called Obama's tax hikes a "drag" on the economy: "Surprisingly, despite all the attention federal spending cuts and sequestration have received, our calculations suggest they are not the main contributors to this projected drag. The excess fiscal drag on the horizon comes almost entirely from rising taxes."
Obama has also imposed billions of dollars in new regulations. According to the Heritage Foundation, regulatory costs increased by almost $70 billion during the first term of the Obama administration.
Bottom line: The policies of this tax, spend and regulate administration have produced an anemic recovery. Head-in-the-sand partisans try to explain it away by blaming Bush, the "unpaid for wars," recalcitrant House Republicans or the luck of the draw. Compared to five years ago, 8 million more people are no longer in the workforce today. Twenty-three million are underemployed, meaning people are working fewer hours than they would like or have accepted a job for which they are over-qualified.
The one silver lining is this: Obama's left-wing collectivism is getting a full airing — and it is not working. Obama has inadvertently taught — or in some cases re-taught — one of the most important laws of economics: There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. Not even in a rock-star administration.


Latest Activity: Jun 30, 2013 at 6:28 PM

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Funkentelecky commented on Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 18:34 PM

This Economy SUCKS; by Larry Elder.


Funkentelecky commented on Sunday, Jun 30, 2013 at 22:18 PM

That's me Chief, I feel like a kid in a candy store at 53 upcoming on 7/1/13 :D

Funkentelecky commented on Monday, Jul 01, 2013 at 17:43 PM

Thanks again Chief and JimmyMack!

JM, I appreciate the distinguished history lesson of the south, and particularly the history of the coastal empire and surrounding area's to include the Darsey clan.

Funkentelecky commented on Wednesday, Jul 03, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Yes PN. As some of us know: It is indeed a New World Charlie Brown.

JimmyMack, posted this statement on Chiefs “Dubya’s 4th Term Revisited” and a starter to talk about “Oh, Yeah, the Economy”

1.Does this mean we should accept 5T of National Debt in 4 1/2 years instead of 8 or pass a balanced budget amendment to the constitution?

2.Does this mean we should continue to have over 7% unemployment levels with the labor participation rate lower than it was over 30 years or instead levels fewer than 5% with the LPR at an all-time high?

3.Does this mean that we should add 17M more to food stamps over the next 4 years or should legislation be passed to allow free markets to do what they do best, grow wealth and add jobs which results in less SNAP?

4.Does this mean the Feds should bankrupt the coal mining industry through regulations to push green jobs that are wasting our money or should we tap into our own natural resources in ANWAR, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming while continuing to develop green jobs until they are refined and processed to actually work?

5.Does this mean that we can continue to pass partisan legislation that affects 1/6th of the Economy without constitutional muster during passage? The Supreme Court ruled the legislation constitutional because of congress power to tax and John Roberts a conservative was the deciding vote; however I think he was wrong now because Article 1 Section 7.7.1 states: All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or con cur with amendments as on other bills. Obamacare was originated in the Senate and BHO said you can’t pass healthcare with a 50+1 vote and that you need a sizeable majority 60 votes to pass. He never did get the 60 votes because Ted Kennedy died.

6.Is this the New World you are referring to?

Funkentelecky commented on Sunday, Jul 07, 2013 at 11:16 AM

1.JM the TP wants the Feds to spend within the allocated budget. Progressives want to spend more money than allocated.

2.Unemployment is 7.6% and the Labor Participation Rate is at a 30 year low. Is this the new world Charlie Brown?

3. With more people working, there would be more people paying taxes (Skin in the game)and less people on food stamps (No skin in the game), thus strengthening the economy and even more support for those who truly cannot help themselves. The wages you earn should only be determined by the experience and skills that an individual brings to the table. As your experience and skills increase, so does your wages. I'm speaking from my personal experiences too.

4. Is that yes for bankruptcy or a balanced approach?

5.This is how history will judge it, the bottom line will be did he follow the rule of law and all we have to do is review the constitution for accuracy in legislation.

6.Can you define what their part is? The top 1% already pay 40% of the federal tax bill and that's about 1.6M out of a working force of about 165M within a country of over 300M. We could take all of their wealth and it wouldn't put a dent in the deficit!

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