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Assessing President Obama’s Economic Agenda ^ | March 9, 2014 | Daniel J. Mitchell

Posted on 03/09/2014 7:15:53 AM PDT by Kaslin

In recent weeks, I’ve pontificated on Obama’s spendthrift budget, Congressman Dave Camp’s timid tax reform plan, and the corrupt cronyism of Washington.

I got to elaborate on all these topics – and more – in this interview with Professor Glenn Reynolds, more widely known as Instapundit.

If there was an overall theme, it’s that President Obama’s statist agenda is not helping the country.

Punishing the Productive Classes: Why Obama's Budget Will Break the U.S. Balance Sheet

Other than my hair looking strange, I think this was a good interview.

But here’s a point I probably should have included when assessing the President’s performance. If you look at the Census Bureau’s data on median household income (adjusted for inflation), you’ll see that the median American is earning less during the Obama years. And that’s true whether you use 2008 or 2009 as the base year.

Median Household Income

Now let me provide three caveats on this data, two that help Obama and another that is less favorable.

1. First, if you look at the historical data from the Census Bureau, you’ll see that median household income is a lagging indicator. That means that incomes don’t improve in the first year or two of a recovery.

In other words, you can argue, with considerable justification, that Obama inherited bad numbers.

2. Second, median household income is an incomplete measure of living standards. If you peruse the data, you’ll see that median income for 2012 (the latest available year) is lower than it was the year Reagan left office.

I’m a big Reagan fan, so I’m tempted to say the country has lost ground since he left office, but that would be an exaggeration. We obviously have higher living standards today, notwithstanding the Census Bureau numbers.

3. But I’m not making excuses for Obama. My third and final caveat is that the median numbers don’t tell the full story. If you look at the Census Bureau’s numbers for various income groups, you’ll see that the only cohort that has enjoyed higher real income during the Obama years is….drum roll, please…the rich!

You read correctly. The bottom 20 percent have suffer lower incomes. The three middle-income quintiles have lost ground. Even the top 20 percent have lower median incomes. The only group that is ahead is the top 5 percent.

In other words, Obama may use lots of class-warfare rhetoric to pretend he’s on the side of ordinary people.

But his policies (TARP, Solyndra, etc) have been enormously beneficial to the cronyists and insiders that have made the Washington metropolitan area so wealthy.

Here’s some of what Senator Portman of Ohio had to say about the topic.

It’s been five years since the experts said the recession was over, but for millions of Americans, it feels like it never ended. We’re living through the weakest economic recovery since World War II, and a lot of folks are struggling to make ends meet. Unemployment remains stubbornly high; the number of long-term unemployed is actually at record levels. But these statistics only tell half the story. Eleven million Americans have become so discouraged that they’ve given up looking for work altogether. Poverty rates have gone up, salaries have gone down, with the average family now bringing home $4,000 less than they did just five years ago.

Just in case you doubt Portman’s remarks, here’s the chart I produced using data from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank.

It shows every recovery since end of World War II. The red line is Obamanomics.

Hmmm….this is almost enough to make one think that maybe we should try free markets and small government instead.

P.S. This Gary Varvel cartoon provides a good synopsis of Obama’s economic policy.

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

I also like Varvel’s take on Obamacare, and here’s another one of his cartoons on Obamanomics.

Varvel is the best at exposing the spending-cut hoax in DC, as you can see from this sequester cartoon and this deficit reduction cartoon. This cartoon about Bernie Madoff and Social Security, however, is at the top of my list.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Editorial

1 posted on 03/09/2014 7:15:53 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

This is just more yob, yob, yob. We know this. We know Obama has tried to destroy the economy. We know he will continue to do so. So what can anyone do about it???

2 posted on 03/09/2014 7:18:18 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: Kaslin

I’d rather be ‘poor’ in America than anywhere else on Earth.

That said, Worst. President. Ever. Worst. Congress. Ever.


3 posted on 03/09/2014 7:27:39 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: ilovesarah2012; All

“So what can anyone do about it?”

Since I believe in Personal Responsibility above all else, all we CAN do is go into hunker-down mode until this passes. And if it doesn’t pass and the GOPe eff up ANOTHER election cycle by running a RINO, you’ll already be in these habits:

Pay off any debt that you have and quickly. Buy land if you have the means, or at least pay off your house. Stockpile guns, ammo, gold & silver (protects wealth, buy in the dips!), canned goods, dry socks and turn any other cash you have into hard assets.

Also - change your payroll deductions and STARVE THE BEAST. Don’t let Mother Government have your hard-earned dollars all year long while you wait for a ‘refund’ which you’ll be taxed on again in the following year.

It’s working for me. Your mileage may vary. :)

P.S. My parents and I survived the Carter Administration. At this point we have HIDDEN inflation (all the stuff they conveniently LEAVE OUT of the accounting data), but we don’t have ungodly interest rates. Yet. Take advantage of that!

4 posted on 03/09/2014 7:35:03 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

I wish everyone would change their withholdings. Of course, they can just print more money. How long until our cash is useless? Or they issue million dollar bills?

5 posted on 03/09/2014 7:38:59 AM PDT by ilovesarah2012
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To: ilovesarah2012

Well, a dollar is currently worth 72.1 cents. It can’t hold on much longer!

6 posted on 03/09/2014 7:43:48 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin (I don't have 'Hobbies.' I'm developing a robust Post-Apocalyptic skill set...)
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To: Kaslin

Thanks for the info and pics.

7 posted on 03/09/2014 12:28:09 PM PDT by charlie72
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