Archive for Barack Herbert Hoover Obama

Whoop-Di-Frickin’-Do

That’s my summation of the unemployment numbers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics agrees:

Both the number of unemployed persons (10.5 million) and the unemployment rate (6.7 percent) changed little in February. The jobless rate has shown little movement since December. Over the year, the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were down by 1.6 million and 1.0 percentage point, respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (6.4 percent), adult women (5.9 percent), teenagers (21.4 percent), whites (5.8 percent), blacks (12.0 percent), and Hispanics (8.1 percent) showed little or no change in February. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.0 percent (not seasonally adjusted), about unchanged over the year. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) increased by 203,000 in February to 3.8 million; these individuals accounted for 37.0 percent of the unemployed. The number of long-term unemployed was down by 901,000 over the year. (See table A-12.)

Both the civilian labor force participation rate (63.0 percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.8 percent) were unchanged in February. The labor force participation rate was down 0.5 percentage point from a year ago, while the employment-population ratio was little changed over the year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 7.2 million in February. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work. (See table A-8.)

In hockey, they say a tie is like kissing your sister. These numbers are like kissing your brother. There’s been improvement over the course of the year, but it’s stalled in the last few months. Disturbingly, unemployment for black men, 20 and over, jumped from 12% to 12.9% (while it fell for women and teens of both sexes).

And it ain’t about the weather:

Everyone agrees that the winter just now winding down (hopefully) has been brutal for most Americans. And while it’s easy to conclude that the Polar Vortex has been responsible for an excess of school shutdowns and ice related traffic snarls, it’s much harder to conclude that it’s responsible for the economic vortex that appears to have swallowed the American economy over the past three months.

But this hasn’t stopped economists, Fed officials, and media analysts from making this unequivocal assertion. In reality the weather is not what’s ailing us. It’s just the latest straw being grasped at by those who believe that the phony recovery engineered by the Fed is real and lasting.

Of course the biggest weakness ascribed to the snow and ice has been the very disappointing employment reports over the last few months. Analysts faced a very difficult task in squaring these reports, which showed fewer than 187,000 new jobs created in December and January combined, with the accepted narrative that the recovery was firmly underway and that the economy was no longer dependent on the Fed’s monetary support.

For these desperate economists the weather was a godsend.

I believe a recovering economy would be expected to create more than 300,000 jobs per month in order to make a real dent in underemployment. Those levels, once routine in past decades, seem untouchable today. But weather-related pessimism had caused economist to ratchet down their predictions to just 150,000 jobs in February. Based on that, today’s numbers were seen as a win.

But economists are ignoring the likelihood that the weather was never a major factor. Take the cold out of the equation and you would be left with a mediocre February number following two consecutive monthly disasters.

A much more plausible explanation to me is that the economy has been weak recently because it is weak fundamentally. The data deterioration corresponds not just to unseasonably low temperatures but also to the diminishment of monthly QE from the Federal Reserve. If you recall the highly anticipated “taper” finally began in mid- December. From my perspective the Quantitative Easing has become the sunshine that drives our phony economy. Diminish that sunshine and the economic winter spreads.

But the sad fact is that QE can push up prices in stocks and real estate, but can do very little to affect positive change in the real economy. That’s why I believe that BMW’s are selling like hotcakes even as Chevies sit on the lot. Our current policies help the wealthy at the expense of everybody else.

Poetry, isn’t it? Lame-brained Democrat policies to “stimulate” the economy end up hurting the “folks” who need help the most. They want jobs, not Facebook at $72 a share. They have neither.

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It’s Less Than Previously Estimated!

By a quarter! [Not a third as previously written.]

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The economy in the U.S. grew at a slower pace in the fourth quarter than previously estimated, giving the expansion less momentum heading into 2014.

Gross domestic product grew at a 2.4 percent annualized rate from October through December, compared with the 3.2 percent gain issued last month, revised figures from the Commerce Department showed today in Washington.

For all of 2013, the economy expanded 1.9 percent after a 2.8 percent increase in the prior year.

Hate to harsh anyone’s mellow, but aren’t we going backwards? from 4.1 to 2.4, quarter to quarter, 2.8 to 1.9, year to year.

The CBO has noticed:

The Congressional Budget Office has more bad news for President Barack Obama: His economic recovery isn’t working — and is much worse than the previous four recoveries.

“More than four and a half years after the end of the recession, employment has risen sluggishly — much more slowly than it grew, on average, during the four previous recoveries that lasted more than one year,” the report reads. (CBO: Obama’s proposed minimum wage hike would cost 500,000 jobs by 2016)

The CBO also lent credence to Republican insistence that the small declines in unemployment often touted by the White House are largely because of disenchanted and unemployed people dropping out of the labor force and not being counted.

No, silly CBO. They’ve been freed from “job lock”, and that’s a very good thing. Those aren’t “disenchanted” people “dropping out”, they’re poets and composers finally getting around to those Homeric odes and Ring cycles they’ve always wanted to write. Duh.

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Employment Improves—Unless You’re Black

You would think that a lukewarm jobs report (four and a half years into “recovery”) would like a baby seal caught between a couple of hungry Inuits. You would be right—but only up to a point:

While 113,000 new jobs is pathetic, other metrics aren’t so bad (or could be worse). Forget the 6.6% unemployment rate; that’s a statistical lie. But my favorite diagnostic number—labor force participation rate—ticked up from a historic low to a only slightly less crappy 63%. The employment-population ratio also inched up from last month. Even the U6 un- and underemployed improved slightly.

So, how does a week jobs report jibe with unemployment numbers that could be worse? I looked through the subcategories and found one category—only one—that slumped last month: black men. Their unemployment rate jumped from 11.5% to 12%.

Their labor force participation rate and the employment-population ratio improved slightly, but theirs was the only unemployment rate that worsened. This was especially pronounced among black people, aged 16-19—their unemployment rate spiked from 35.5% to 38%, as their labor force and employment ratio numbers plummeted.

Simply put, whatever good news is implied by these numbers ignores the continued economic genocide on the African American community, especially its youth. Numbers can lie, but I don’t see how these do. America black people wouldn’t be worse off if that Exalted Cyclops, Robert Byrd (D-WV), were running the country.

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The Mouse That Roared

The title refers to a movie (based on a novel) in which the Grand Duchy of Fenwick (whence comes our formal name, Grand Duchy of Bloodthirstan) declares war on the United States. Expecting certain and immediate defeat, the Duchy expects to receive generous American largesse, a la the Marshall Plan. Defeat will never have been so profitable.

Barack Obama: the louse that roared.

With a record 20 percent of households on food stamps, former Florida Rep. Allen West says it’s time to stop saying President Barack Obama’s policies are failing.

They may be performing exactly as intended, he says.

West, a Republican, said he recently reread the Cloward-Piven strategy, proposed by two sociologists and political activists in 1966. The purpose of the strategy, offered to Democrats at the time, was to overload the welfare system so that people could be given “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty.”

Obama’s economic policies may be intended to do something similar, West hinted during a Wednesday appearance on Fox News Channel’s “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”

“We’re seeing an incredible growth of the welfare nanny state; we’re seeing the poverty rolls explode; we’re seeing the food stamp rolls explode; we’re seeing more dependency on government largesse and programs,” he said. “We’re seeing a desperation and a despondency out there that’s being created by this administration.”

Other Republicans have said Obama’s Affordable Care Act is intended not to work properly, but rather to fail so a single-payer, government-run system can be installed.

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Mission Accomplished

As President Obama starts his sixth year in office, his job ratings remain near record lows and more voters think his policies have hurt rather than helped the economy. And even as voters continue to hold mostly negative views on the economy and the direction of the country, a new Fox News poll finds they see some improvement.

A third of voters say they like both Obama and his policies — a dramatic drop from 47 percent who felt that way in October 2012. In addition, 62 percent now say they dislike the president’s policies, up from 51 percent the month before his re-election.

The recession ended less than six months into his term; we’ve enjoyed four and a half years of recovery; things seem no better, even if the unemployment rate has fallen steadily; Obama won reelection. I’m sorry, where has he failed?

Ninety-two million Americans aren’t working; one-fifth of families are on food stamps; the “47 percent” is probably now closer to 52 percent; private health care is kaput; our once-great nation has been turned into a population of paupers. In baseball that’s what you call a five-tool player.

Or just a tool.

PS: Like I was saying.

While the administration publicly expresses full confidence in its health care law, privately it fears one part of the system is so flawed it could bankrupt insurance companies and cripple ObamaCare itself.

All going according to plan:

“I happen to be a proponent of a single-payer health care plan. The United States of America–the wealthiest country in the history of the world, spending 14 percent–14 percent of its gross national product on health care and cannot provide basic health insurance to everybody….

A single payer health care credit–universal healthcare credit. That’s what I’d like to see, but as all of you know, we may not get there immediately. Because first we have to take back the White House and we’ve got to take back the Senate and we’ve got to take back the House.”

“[I]t’s not just politically but economically it is better for us to start getting a system in place–a universal healthcare system signed into law by the end of my first term as president and build off that system to further to make it more rational…”

“By the way, Canada did not start immediately with a single payer system. They had a similar transition step.”

The George Washington of USA-SSR.

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Unemployment Falls to 6.7%; Blacks, Employed Hardest Hit

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer here, but not everything’s coming up roses (no matter how much BS they sling at it):

The number of unemployed persons declined by 490,000 to 10.4 million in December, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 6.7 percent. Over the year, the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were down by 1.9 million and 1.2 percentage points, respectively.

Woo-hoo! High five! I’m buying!

Ooooh, sorry black people for being so insensitive (but what else is new, right?):

The rates for adult women (6.0 percent), teenagers (20.2 percent), blacks (11.9 percent), and Hispanics (8.3 percent) showed little change.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 3.9 million, showed little change; these individuals accounted for 37.7 percent of the unemployed.

The civilian labor force participation rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 62.8 percent in December, offsetting a change of the same magnitude in November. In December, the employment-population ratio was unchanged at 58.6 percent.

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 7.8 million in December. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find full-time work.

In December, 2.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force little changed from a year earlier.

Admittedly, I cherry-picked the unimpressive news—but you have to admit that’s a pie’s worth of cherries, Billy Boy. And where else are you going to read it?

Actual workers aren’t increasing (74,000 new jobs is about half of population growth); they’re just disappearing from the work force. Whether you measure by labor force participation rate (it fell to another historic low) or employment-population ratio (flat), the news is tepid at best.

Watch the Democrats claim victory on unemployment, while demanding a year’s worth unemployment benefits be added on. You know I’m not kidding.

PS: “Unchanged”, “showed little change”, etc.—like the Eskimos with “snow”, have you ever seen so many synonyms for “sucked”?

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Bloviating Gasbag

I haven’t seen this much hot air since the Hindenburg disaster:

“Voting for unemployment insurance helps people and creates jobs and voting against it does not,” Obama said in remarks at the White House.

In his first public appearance since returning from a two-week vacation, Obama excoriated the argument — put forward by some conservatives — that offering insurance to the long-term unemployed “saps their motivation to get a new job.”

“That really sells the American people short,” he said.

And we all know that’s your job, Mr. President.

Ask any independent economist (we’ve reported on enough over the years), and they’ll tell you to a man, woman, and transgendered person that subsidizing unemployment encourages (at least a little but) unemployment.

We did so not ten days ago:

Economists expect that the end of the emergency jobless benefits will, surprisingly, lead to a sharp drop in the unemployment rate, by as much as 0.5 percentage points.

I guessed that to be around 1.3 million people. Sorry, Barack.

Now, there are many analogies one could use to describe Barack’s behavior, but I like the one Rush employed today:

RUSH: Folks, you’ve heard the old saying, “Nero fiddled while Rome burned.” That is true. Rome was literally burning, and he could not have cared less. What people have forgotten about it is that Nero, he didn’t just fiddle while Rome burned; he started the fire. Nero wanted to burn down Rome in order to rebuild it in his own image. But to cover it up he blamed the Christians, who were then subsequently thrown to the lions.

Now, if you ask me, the story of Nero fiddled while Rome burned and then adding to it he started the fire sounds familiar to me.

Barack Obama has, for five years, had control over the US economy. His policies, his specific economic policies are the reason this country is in dire economic straits. Obama’s policies are the reason why there is no recovery — and if you want to call it a recovery, go ahead. If you do, it’s the worst recovery in the history of this country. So there is an analogy, I think, to Nero here.

Obama’s economic policies are destroying the US economy in order for him to rebuild it in his own socialist image.

Meanwhile, he blames all of this on the Republicans and is throwing them to the lions.

If you have any questions about whether Obama’s policies are destroying the economy, I would call your attention to Obamacare. Obamacare is destroying greatest health care system the world has ever known. If you doubt me that Obama’s policies are destructive, just look at Obamacare. His “signature achievement” is going so well that he has to distract people’s attention away from it with this razzmatazz, rigmarole, gobbledygook today at the White House on extending unemployment benefits.

Bread and circuses.

Only Barack (and a slavish media) could turn his singular failure—the economy—into a campaign for more failure.

And on the heels of a two-week-plus vacation in Hawaii, no less!

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You Say Beachcomb, I Say Titcomb, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off

President Obama wants those 1.3 million Americans who lost their (re-re-re-) extended unemployment benefits yesterday that he is thinking of them. In fact, he boycotted the golf course in protest.

Unless it was just blisters:

How President Barack Obama spent day eight of his holiday vacation in Hawaii on Saturday:

— HEALTH CARE UPDATE: White House officials said Saturday that the president received an update from his health care team late Friday night on the implementation of his signature federal health care overhaul.

The president said officials should prioritize consumer flexibility and minimizing disruptions for people switching plans, the White House said.

— GYM: Obama went for his usual morning workout at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe. As he returned to his vacation home, demonstrators waved signs representing various causes outside a blocked-off street leading to his neighborhood.

— NORTH SHORE BBQ: The first family joined longtime Obama friend Bobby Titcomb for an afternoon barbecue at Titcomb’s home in Waialua, an historic sugarcane plantation town on Oahu’s north shore.

Did Bobby invite any of his “special friends” to provide entertainment? Sorry, just wondering.

Besides, that’s all forgotten now:

The friend of President Obama who got busted in a Prostitution sting has gotten the crime removed from his record.

Bobby Titcomb got arrested back in April during an undercover police sting in Kakaako.

The 49-year-old pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge.

But the Prosecutors office says because he stayed out of trouble for six months, the conviction has been expunged.

Just like Auntie Zeituni’s and Uncle Omar’s repeated violations (not to mention Bill Ayers’)! What a coincidence! The president knows a lot of lucky people.

PS: Sorry, 1.3 million Americans, didn’t mean to forget you. You can go back to work now:

New York Times:

Economists expect that the end of the emergency jobless benefits will, surprisingly, lead to a sharp drop in the unemployment rate, by as much as 0.5 percentage points.

Surprising to whom? By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, more than half of the 1.3 million victims of this ObamEconomy would be working again if we just stopped paying them not to work.

Whose the Scrooge now?

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Jobbed

After 4 1/2 years of “recovery”, we’ve finally had a decent jobs report. You’d think the Democrats would hoot and holler in exaltation.

You’d think wrong:

House-Senate negotiators are close to a modest budget accord to avoid another government shutdown, but suddenly the White House is introducing a last-minute demand. Five years into an economic recovery that President Obama often hails as miraculous, he wants to extend unemployment benefits one more time.

That would add some $25 billion to the deficit with no compensating economic benefit. The Administration claims that every $1 of jobless benefits creates $1.80 in economic growth, based on the notorious “multiplier” in Keynesian economic models. This is the theory that you can increase employment by paying more people not to work, and that you can take money out of the private economy by taxes or borrowing without cost. If that theory worked, the government should pay everyone not to work.

Alan Krueger, President Obama’s former chief economist, coauthored a 2008 study reviewing the amount of time that unemployed individuals in different states and countries spent looking for a new job and found, among other things, that “job search is inversely related to the generosity of unemployment benefits.” Other studies have found that laid-off workers ineligible for unemployment benefits spend more time looking for a new job than those who get checks.

Right-wing fascist.

Just like this guy:

“Public policy designed to help workers who lose their jobs can lead to structural unemployment as an unintended side effect. . . . In other countries, particularly in Europe, benefits are more generous and last longer. The drawback to this generosity is that it reduces a worker’s incentive to quickly find a new job. Generous unemployment benefits in some European countries are widely believed to be one of the main causes of ‘Eurosclerosis,’ the persistent high unemployment that affects a number of European countries.”–”Macroeconomics” by Paul Krugman and Robin Wells, second edition, 2009

Like raising the minimum wage, unemployment benefits depress employment. But good political luck with that point of view. Democrats will trade jobs for votes every day—and twice on election day.

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Good Jobs at Good Wages

0-for-2.

We’ve let the “rosy” economic numbers marinate for a few days. Kind of like the old joke the punchline of which is “coffee break’s over, everyone back on your heads!”

Coffee break’s over:

But here’s your trouble:

1. There are still 1.1 million fewer employed Americans today than right before the recession started, despite a potential labor force that’s 14 million larger. And there are 3.6 million fewer full-time workers than back in 2007.

2. The employment rate, the share of Americans with a job, is 58.6% — exactly where it was in November 2009.

3. If the labor force participation rate were where it was a year ago, the jobless rate would be 7.9%, not 7% (and 11.3% if the LFPR were at prerecession levels, though closer to 9% if demographics-adjusted).

4. More than 4 million Americans remain out of work for 27 weeks or longer.

5. Overall, according to the Hamilton Project Jobs Gap calculator, it will take another five years to return to 2007 employment levels even at the improved job creation pace of the past four months.

The Left isn’t very happy, either:

That’s because so many of the new jobs that get created in the U.S. today are lousy and don’t offer a real path into the middle class.

So, for example, retail and restaurant jobs again grew rapidly last month, with some 40,000 new positions created in these sectors. But as we all know — and as Demos has documented — many of these jobs pay barely over poverty wages and don’t come with benefits. Transportation and warehousing were other bright spots in job growth, with 30,000 new jobs in those areas last month. So it’s a shame that warehouse work is so poorly paid these days, with Amazon and other big shippers creating a new kind of sweatshop.

If you want to get a clear look at the jobs America’s economy produces, one of the best places to go is the Social Security Administration, which tracks earnings by all workers. Their most recent data shows that 53 percent of Americans workers earn less than $30,000 a year. Forty percent of American workers earn less than $20,000 a year.

Let me stop and repeat that statistic: 40 percent of all U.S. workers earn less than $20k a year.

One solution to this situation is to create an economy and education system that generates more good jobs for a work force with better skills. Another solution is to raise wages for low-skilled jobs, which is what the recent wave of labor strikes has been all about.

The U.S. has to pursue both solutions, and others, if we want to create a decent society.

Five years into ObamAmerica, and they’re still bitching about what a terrible people we are. They may be right, but for the wrong reasons. What they seem to hate is a result of Obama, not in spite of Obama. (Fox Butterfield, is that you?)

Rather than blame Amazon for providing the only jobs going, why not be grateful? Exactly how much should “warehouse work” pay? Amazon can run a website, sell a product (thousands of them), deliver them as promised—soon, by drone, within hours. Can government do anything like that? Amazon’s Jeff Bezos even saved the beloved organ of the Washington establishment, the Washington Post. Explain to me how he’s the villain?

“One solution to this situation is to create an economy and education system that generates more good jobs for a work force with better skills.”

D’oh! Why didn’t we think of that?

If by those ingenious suggestions they mean letting the private sector find its way toward profit, and letting families choose the best schools for their kids, I’m on board. But the left doesn’t trust the private, the individual. It’s all about the collective to them. Which is why we are where we are.

Fox Butterfield, is that you?

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What Do You Call Obamanomics?

Dang! I just gave it away!

I call it Obamanomics:

By conventional wisdom, the Great Recession is long over. “Recession” connotes shrinking output. “Expansion” signifies the opposite. That’s how the National Bureau of Economic Research, a group of academic economists, defines business cycles. Following this logic, the bureau determined the economy stopped contracting in mid-2009. Yet, most Americans — 53 percent, says a recent National Journal/Allstate survey — think we’re still in recession, by which they doubtlessly mean “bad times.”

Who is to say they’re wrong? After all, the unemployment rate has exceeded 7?percent for almost five years, despite the withdrawal of millions of discouraged workers from the labor force. Moreover, public attitudes have become deeply pessimistic in ways apparently unprecedented since World War II. In past recessions, more than half of Americans believed their incomes would grow in the next year. Not this time. The share expecting gains collapsed to less than 45 percent after 2008 and is still below half, finds a study by Federal Reserve economist Claudia Sahm. The despondency, she writes, may signal a permanent shift in consumer psychology that undermines recovery.

Something’s changed, but our economic vocabulary hasn’t kept up.

Loyal Bloodthirstani citizens know when the “recession” “ended”: June 2009. America has swelled by over 10 million new citizens—greater than the combined populations New York City and Philadelphia—who have never known recession.

What they have known, to their dissatisfaction, is Obamanomics. Or, if you prefer:

In a recent lecture, former Treasury secretary Lawrence Summers evoked secular stagnation — a “chronic and systemic” economic sluggishness, he said. Krugman, Martin Wolf, the Financial Times’ chief economic commentator, and others also embrace the theme. There is an “investment dearth,” Wolf recently wrote. Low interest rates suggest that there are “more savings searching for productive investments than there [are] productive investments.”

Why? Unlike Hansen, today’s stagnationists haven’t identified causes. The problem might not be a dearth of investments so much as a surplus of risk aversion. For that, candidates abound: the traumatic impact of the Great Recession on confidence; a backlash against globalization, reduced cross-border investments by multinational firms; uncertain government policies; aging societies burdened by diminishing innovation and costly welfare states.

Whatever the cause, we are in unfamiliar territory.

Come on, guys, use your eggheads! What’s the consistent, singular factor over this entire period?

Talk about driving the nation into a ditch! Government nationalization of whole industries (mortgages, student loans, health care); tax uncertainty (renew or repeal Bush tax rates); random and pointless market intervention (Cash for Clunkers); hostility toward business leaders; demonizing the rich—if you’re not risk averse, you’re not paying attention.

It doesn’t matter what you call it, Obama owns it. That’s why I choose to call it Obamanomics. That’s what it is.

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Good News, Bad News

First, the good news on unemployment:

There were a net 204,000 new jobs created for the month…

Good news indeed, but that’s all there is, there ain’t no more. Now, the bad news:

[T]he unemployment rate rose to 7.3 percent and households reported a huge drop in employment, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said. A separate measure that includes the underemployed and those who have quit looking also moved higher, from 13.6 percent to 13.8 percent.

The numbers easily topped economist expectations of 120,000 new nonfarm payroll jobs for the month, though it matched estimates for a slight increase in the headline jobless rate.

“I find this bizarre,” Moody’s economist Mark Zandi told CNBC. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this gets revised to some degree…down.”

Not so fast:

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for August was revised from +193,000 to +238,000, and the change for September was revised from +148,000 to +163,000. With these revisions, employment gains in August and September combined were 60,000 higher than previously reported.

Enough with the good news. Let’s get down and dirty with the bad:

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.0 percent), adult women (6.4 percent), teenagers (22.2 percent), whites (6.3 percent), blacks (13.1 percent), and Hispanics (9.1 percent) showed little or no change in October. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.2 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.1 million in October.

The civilian labor force was down by 720,000 in October. The labor force participation rate fell by 0.4 percentage point to 62.8 percent over the month. Total employment as measured by the household survey fell by 735,000 over the month and the employment-population ratio declined by 0.3 percentage point to 58.3 percent.

Those are wretched, awful, terrible numbers—completely at odds with the notion of robust job creation.

Let me draw you a picture:

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See that little upward blip around January 2010? That’s the “recovery” kicking in. The economy started growing again in June ’09; jobs, a lagging indicator, followed six months later.

And then what happened?

Let me draw you another picture:

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Lindsay Vonn couldn’t handle that slope!

One last picture:

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I ask you: what has this president done right with the economy?

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Barack “Heartless Bastard” Obama

Strong, maybe. But how else would you describe someone who takes money away from “folks”?

Starting Friday, Joyce Lewis and her family will lose $44 from their monthly food stamp benefits.

The food stamps buy a lot of economical rice-based meals for the family — four adults and a grandson who live with Lewis in Spring Hill, Florida.

Occasionally, when her grocery store is running a deal, Lewis indulges the family with spare ribs or chicken.

The benefit — totaling $800 for four adults — never lasts Lewis and her family a full month.

“When I get to the end, we always run out. I try to go to all the food pantries,” Lewis said.

Food stamp benefits will be trimmed by $5 billion starting Friday, when a temporary bump-up enacted during the recession expires. Millions of families will be affected.

What about that free money he once gave away in Detroit from his “stash”?

But you may have noticed something hidden in the language. It’s not a cut; it’s an end to a increase (a “temporary bump-up”). This was all part of Obama’s “stimulus” package. Nancy Pelosi and Obama defended these payoffs as job-creators. Hey, someone’s gotta stock those packages of Doritos and Slim Jims.

Do I sound heartless myself? If the shoe fits… But at least I never promised you could keep your doctor. And I would just ask those receiving these benefits: how you liking your recovery? We’re into our fifth year of it, but you-all know how that feels:

Enrollment in food stamps, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, has soared.

Some 47.6 million people, or nearly 15% of the population, get them, according to September federal data. That compares to 26.3 million, or 8.7% of the population, in 2007.

If the extra few bucks are job-creators, why doesn’t Ms. Lewis have one? Why is she still on food stamps, and why are there now two of her for every one there used to be?

Forty-seven million people get food stamps; 93,000,000 may lose their health insurance plans. You know what Stalin called people like that? A statistic.

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