The strongest component of the Federal Reserve’s Leading Economic Indicators currently is stock market performance. Such equity strength is more a case of artificial stimulation by the Federal Reserve through Quantitative Easing and the cozy relationship between Washington and Wall Street than it is a sign of a healthy economy or White House policies that have been conducive to growth. After nearly six years of President Obama’s economic policies, there is unmistakable evidence that White House policies have severely hampered economic viability.
The middle class real median household income in 2012 was less than it was at the end of the ’80s, and it’s down 9 percent from its high in 1999. The biggest portion of that decline, 8.3%, came in just the past five years.
The median net worth of a family in 2010 was $77,300, compared to $126,400 just three years earlier. In 46 of our 50 states, the poverty rates have increased over the past six years; and the national poverty rate is over 15% for the fourth year running. The last time that happened was in 1965. More and more families are dropping from the ranks of the middle class into poverty.
One of the greatest factors adversely affecting median household income and net worth is the loss of jobs and extended unemployment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the Participation Rate, which is represented as a ratio or a percentage of the total population, is at the lowest levels in 50 years–with about 62.8% of the population working. According to the BLS U-6 data, 13% of the population is still unemployed or underemployed–and marginally attached to the labor market.
The job situation is directly affected by administration policies and will not improve appreciably until the cost of doing business starts dropping. Last year, the Small Business Administration reported that regulation costs American business $1.75 trillion per year–and costs small businesses as much as $10,585 per employee. Just the costs of Obamacare, Financial Regulatory Reform, and new EPA regulations are projected to increase that cost per employee as much as 30%, according to Investor’s Business Daily.
In 2012, the President said, “This country doesn’t succeed when we only see the rich getting richer. We succeed when the middle class gets bigger. We grow our economy not from the top down, but from the middle out.” He was correct. But none of his policies have done what he gives such great lip service to.
In spite of the president’s consternation over income inequality, the income gap has increased exponentially under Obamanomics. As MSN Money declares, “The top one percent of Americans — those earning above $366,623 a year — have taken 81 percent of the fruits of the recovery. And the top 0.01 percent — earning about $8 million a year — took an astonishing 39 percent of the growth.”
Let’s look at the economy in general. The National Bureau of Economic Research officially scored the recession as ending in June 2009, just five months after Obama’s inauguration. Historically, the nation has rebounded with significant growth coming out of a deep recession; but this has been the most tepid recovery in the last 100 years, according to Forbes. They point out: “Under President Obama, the American people have now suffered the worst 5 years since the Great Depression.”
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This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom