Obama says the economy is improving. In fact he said: “the economy is getting stronger, and the recovery is speeding up.”
But in the Super Tuesday primaries, the economy was the number one issue on voters’ minds, be they in Massachusetts, Georgia, Ohio, or Virginia. And that wasn’t because they were happy about high unemployment and slow wage growth. Super Tuesday voters’ old-fashioned common sense about the economy was backed up by the numbers in the February jobs report. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added only 227,000 jobs last month.
What’s more, an extraordinarily high number of Americans have dropped out of the work force, either choosing not to work, losing hope and abandoning the hunt for jobs, or accepting disability benefits. Talented, experienced, discouraged workers are choosing to sit on the sidelines instead of participating in the economy. In short, though the labor market is improving, it’s nowhere near where it should be.
Even liberal economist Paul Krugman sees the economy for what it is. In a recent column in The New York Times, he wrote, “our economy remains deeply depressed.”
While President Obama might like to take credit for the meager growth the economy is seeing, there’s an important fact to keep in mind. It’s the natural tendency for the economy to grow, and taking credit for its meager improvement is disingenuous.
It’s no wonder when you consider that President Obama says he wants to encourage job creators to ramp up their economic engines, while at the same time he has proposed $2 trillion in higher taxes, much of which would fall on small businesses, the job creators. Add onto that a discouragingly successful policy of encouraging higher gas prices by opposing domestic energy production. This policy is so unpopular that eleven Democratic Senators voted with Republicans to overturn the Obama decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline. Proponents failed to get the 60 votes necessary to overturn the Keystone decision, but with Democratic support it came very close.
On top of job-killing tax hikes and higher gas prices, President Obama continues to embrace the burden of untenably high spending and debt, which will, of course, motivate the left to call for even higher taxes — and you’re left with a mess of policies emanating from Washington signaling small businesses to hunker down instead of investing for the future. A better path for growth would be to enact a budget that curbs spending, reforms entitlements, and reforms the tax code to focus it on economic growth.
While any economic growth and job creation is welcome, a barely perceptible, incremental recovery doesn’t offer much hope for those Americans who can’t feel, see, or touch the fruits of recovery. Millions remain unemployed in the Obama economy, and Washington can and should do better.
***Ed Randazzo, is a nationally syndicated author. He has been a conservative activist and consultant for over 30 years and is currently the Chief News Editor of Life and Liberty Media***