Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Did Obama Reverse the Recession

At a town hall style meeting in Decorah, Iowa President Obama said "We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again.......But over the last six months we've had a run of bad luck."  It is time to examine that statement in light the data that shows a more accurate accounting of how President Obama has, or more to the point, has not handled this economy.

How has the President improved the unemployment situation in this country.  Lets look at a chart of unemployment growth.  The red line indicates the unemployment numbers of President Bush and the blue those of President Obama.

There has been no recovery in this area.  Unemployment under President Obama has worsened, and it didn't happen over the last six months.  The President's policies have steadily eroded the ability of the private sector to sustain long term economic growth and job creation.  There were jobs created in the public sector, but as government stimulas  funds are exhausted those jobs have proven unsustainable, therefore they have not had a long term impact on the unemployment picture.  

An even more telling picture is the labor force participation rate.  This shows the actual number of Americans that are eligible to work that actually have jobs.  This includes a category of people that the unemployment rate excludes, those that have given up on finding work due to extended employment.
 Data points out that this number has been in sharp decline under President Obama, and it did not begin in the past six months.  If this chart were translated into a true unemployment rate, it would reflect a rate that exceeds 11%.   

What about GDP growth? How has that increased under President Obama.  Here President Obama began with some promising numbers.  Beginning in the first quarter of 2009 GDP began to grow and grew slowly, but steadily until the second Quarter of 2010.  Then it stagnated ad has been stagnant since.  What happened.  The worst economic and political travesty perpetrated on the american people in decades.  On March 22, 2010 the Democrats Congress rammed down our throats the Obama Healthcare reform bill.  The economic uncertainty and the mounds of debt added to our already weakened economy became a hindrance to economic growth in this country.

Was President Obama correct that the recession was reversing; he may have been.  However, the facts show several things.  What he reversed by his ill timed policies and lack of knowledge of how economies work, as well as inept leadership, was the growth that would have brought us out of this recession.   The responsibility for our economic hardships are not the cause of bad luck, foreign unrest, or principled leaders in Washington insisting that this government reign in runaway spending and act fiscally responsible in a way that past Democrats and Republicans refused to do.  The responsibility for this economy rest solely on the occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.