While I am enjoying my end of the year break, I thought I would share this piece from Investors Business Daily. They do a good summarization of the reality people are facing, but you have to ask yourself if they would publish this on any day other than the day before Christmas; a day they know most people are not paying attention.
Economy: “The economy’s getting stronger … confidence is growing.” The media and Obama repeated these like a mantra. But as IBD reported earlier, real weekly earnings for American workers have fallen 3.5% since Obama took over, a declining trend that has continued post-election.
How about other signs of well-being? The Census Bureau reported after the election that the number of Americans in poverty grew by 712,000 people in 2011. A far-more bullish report issued in September said it had fallen by 96,000. Oh yes, and a record 47 million people today are on food stamps — up 47% since Obama took over.
Meanwhile, we also heard that consumer confidence was strengthening — and that would lead to a spurt of new economic activity in the new year. But in December, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index tumbled to 72.9, its lowest reading since June, from 82.7 in November.
Our own IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index fell 7.6% in December to 45.1, a pessimistic reading and the lowest since December 2011.
For small businesses, whom Obama regularly claimed to be helping while on the stump, the picture’s no better. The National Federation of Independent Business’ Small Business Optimism Index fell 5.6 points in December to 87.5 — one of its lowest readings ever.
“Between the looming ‘fiscal cliff,’ the promise of higher health care costs and the endless onslaught of new regulations, owners have found themselves in a state of pessimism,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. Remember: Small businesses create 80% to 85% of all jobs.
• Employment: Yes, unemployment has dropped to 7.7%. But only because hundreds of thousands of Americans have left the workforce. In September and October, nonpayroll farm jobs were reported as rising 148,000 and 171,000, respectively, solid gains. The mainstream media played it up as a major turnaround for the economy, giving Obama a boost.
In early December, a new government jobs report highlighted that job growth was a 146,000 in November, less than the 151,000 average since the start of the year. And it revised September and October job growth down by 49,000.
Yes, the total number of people with private-sector jobs has grown by 2 million over the last year, as the White House proudly trumpets — and did on the campaign trail. But what never gets reported is that 2.4 million people have left the workforce entirely over the same stretch — so there is no net real job growth.
• Regulations: President Obama stayed virtually mum on the topic of regulation during his campaign. Smart move. The EPA is set to release a tidal wave of new rules to slash CO2 that will close as many as 332 energy plants, while costing the U.S. economy $700 billion, according to the Manhattan Institute. The rules will hit Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia — states that voted for Obama — especially hard. Think they might have liked to know that before voting?
• Budget: Obama promised a “balanced” approach to taxes and spending. But data from the CBO and OMB show spending will surge 55% over the next 10 years under Obama — nearly $2 trillion in added spending — swamping Obama’s promised “cuts” of $880 billion.
• Taxes: Remember how Obama and his Democratic surrogates taunted Republicans repeatedly, saying they wanted to raise taxes only on “millionaires and billionaires” while cutting taxes for the middle class?
When Republicans tried to do just that, Obama said no thanks. In fact, he has major tax hikes in store for middle-class Americans — starting with ObamaCare’s 18 or so new taxes, and ending with the admission of key Democrats such as former presidential candidate Howard Dean that taxes on everyone must rise dramatically to pay for the Democrats’ spending orgy.
• Benghazi: The White House described the early- September attack on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, which killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans, as a reaction to an anti-Muslim film clip that appeared on the Internet.
In recent weeks, we’ve found that the film played no role at all — and that Obama and his national security staff did nothing to save the lives of those under attack, even though they knew the attack was ongoing.
• War On Terror: Obama claimed the war against al-Qaida was basically over. Now we find out that isn’t true. Governments friendly to al-Qaida, if not its aims, have taken over in Libya and Egypt. Syria may be next.
For those who think the fight’s done, think again. Quietly, Obama is sending troops back to Iraq to help stabilize the country. And he plans to send Army teams to as many as 35 countries in Africa to battle growing terrorist threats — mainly from al-Qaida.
So were Americans duped? Sure. They were told to believe one thing only to discover right after the election reality was something else.