One Major Accomplishment Obama Touted Right Before His Reelection Just Got Blown To Bits

President Obama’s economic recovery has now been proven to be worse than anyone thought. New figures provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis show that economic growth in almost every quarter since 2012 was weaker than previously calculated.

The result is that Gross Domestic Product growth from 2012 to 2014 was only 2%, not 2.3%. “In dollar terms,” an Investor’s Business Daily article notes, “the revisions cut more than $100 billion from the nation’s economic pie.” It also means that President Obama has presided over an economic recovery — now more than six years old — that is far worse than all the previous 10 stretching back 70 years.

However, in a February 2009 interview on NBC’s “Today” show, Obama was referring to the pace of economic recovery when he said, “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.”

President Bush’s recovery after the 2001 recession — attacked by Democrats as too little – proves to be stronger that Obama’s. After 24 quarters, Obama’s GDP is up a mere 13.3%. By this point in the Bush recovery, GDP had grown 18%.

Obama’s recovery – the worst since World War II — has vastly underperformed even his own projections. The administration’s fiscal 2010 budget pegged 2010 growth at 3.2%. Actual growth was 2.5%.

The revisions cut growth in the third quarter of 2014 by one percentage point. At the time the 5% increase was announced, Obama proclaimed that, “America’s resurgence is real.” Administration officials used the figure to counter Republican predictions of damage to the economy from the Affordable Care Act. The revisions announced this week also showed that the economy’s slight contraction of .2% in the first quarter of 2014 was revised upward to .6%

This summer, Obama told The Daily Show host Jon Stewart that the economy “by every metric, is better” than when he took office.

h/t: Wall Street Journal

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Is Obama Really To Blame For Weak Economic Growth?

Editor’s note: This article first appeared at Forbes.com.

A political science colleague sent me an article documenting President Obama’s dismal economic record, and he asked me for added details and perspective. Here goes:

True, economic growth under Obama has been sluggish, fitful, faltering, historically weak, etc. However, if you look at the charts in the article—especially the second and third—you can see that U.S. economic growth has been trending downward for several decades. Conclusion: Our economic woes did not begin with Barack Obama. However, he has done nothing to reverse the trend; on the contrary, he has doubled down on the very policies that have hampered economic growth.

The headwinds opposing economic growth are generated by what Ronald Reagan referred to as “the government disease.” No president has advocated, championed, and imposed more harmful government intervention than Barack Obama.

Here’s a short list of those interventions:

1.) Government spending. Economists as far back as Adam Smith have noted that the true burden of government is what it spends, not what it taxes. When political decisions about where to allocate scarce economic resources supplant market decisions, production inevitably is diverted from the most highly valued needs to less valued things. Thus, less wealth is produced, economic growth is suboptimal, and the people are poorer than they otherwise would be.

While not having increased federal spending by as large a percentage as his predecessor, Obama undeniably has presided over more market-distorting government spending that any of his predecessors. To be fair, some of this spending was already baked into the cake—particularly the rising spending on Social Security and Medicare. Because federal entitlements operate on a “pay as you go” basis, these increasing expenditures to seniors do not consist of real economic returns on capital invested. Instead, they transfer hundreds of billions of dollars from current workers to mostly retirees. Entitlement expenditures artificially inflate GDP and overstate the real wealth of the country because those dollars represent purchasing power that does not arise from the production of actual goods or services.

2.) Rising debt. The greater the debt load, the more present income is diverted from present consumption to pay for past consumption. After a brief downturn following the 2008-9 financial crisis, total debt has risen by over 15 percent to a shade over $59 trillion, according to the Federal Reserve. Over half of the $7.35 trillion increased (some $4.84 trillion) is government debt stemming from Obama’s budgets.

Obama’s policy of encouraging and facilitating loans to college students has seen student debt soar to over $1 trillion with devastating economic consequences for the recipients. Young graduates struggling under the burden of debt have delayed marriage, child bearing, home buying, etc. In too many cases, college debt has stunted young American lives.

3.) Suffocating regulation. The Obama administration has burdened Americans with a record amount of federal regulation as measured by the number of new rules promulgated and pages in the Federal Register. The annual cost of the federal regulatory burden is now approximately $1.9 trillion (only nine countries’ GDPs are larger). As reported in Investor’s Business Daily, “the cost of enforcing federal economic regulations is … up 31 percent since Obama took office, and the ‘Code of Federal Regulations’ is 17,294 pages longer.”

Furthermore, as noted by Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, the Sarbanes-Oxley law (which Obama inherited, but has not revised) and Dodd-Frank (which a Democratic Congress passed in 2010 with Obama’s approval) have “placed significant burdens on the large number of small companies.” Consequently, we are in the unusual and worrisome situation of businesses closing at a faster rate than they are opening, thereby shrinking employment opportunities and slowing economic growth.

4.) Tax policy. Business tax rates have remained unchanged under Obama, and that has had negative consequences in a world that has been shifting toward lower corporate profit taxes. By allowing the United States to have the highest corporate tax rate in the developed world, American businesses are migrating abroad via the corporate inversion maneuver.

5.) The war on work. While constantly professing concern for workers, Obama has consistently supported and implemented policies—ranging from a higher minimum wage to federal jobs programs to anti-business policies—that have shrunk the number of jobs (see the Labor Force Participation Rate). Obama’s prize legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act, has shrunk the number of hours worked (and consequently the amount of wealth created) by incentivizing employers to reduce the number of full-time jobs. According to David Stockman, the United States has two million fewer full-time workers now than it did in 2007.

Bottom line: President Obama’s policies have crippled the American economy.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

This Could Be The Sinister Truth About The Stock Exchange Halt Officials Are Hiding

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was a guest on the Fox Business show Cavuto Coast to Coast, discussing Wednesday’s sudden, mysterious, and highly unusual halt of trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), when he questioned the official assurances that the “technical issue” didn’t involve a possible cyber attack. Noting that neither NYSE officials nor government authorities had said what the problem was, Giuliani wryly observed something to the effect, “If they don’t know what caused it, how can they say it wasn’t a cyber attack?”

And is it possible, even plausible, that the NYSE’s very quick, almost pre-planned, assurance that a hack attack wasn’t involved in the extraordinary measures taken at the exchange was meant to divert our attention from something else that may have been — and may still be — going on?

As Western Journalism reported earlier today, all trading in all symbols was suspended on the floor of the exchange at about 11:30 a.m. ET. The Washington Times‘ coverage of the surprise event noted: “One of the world’s biggest stock exchanges had seen shares trending down throughout the morning because of economic crises in Greece and China, but all trading halted at 11:32 a.m. as data on trades and prices apparently stopped coming into the traders’ computer screens.”

Official communications from the NYSE via Twitter have been sparse and lacking in detail. As of this writing, the exchange’s official Twitter account has seen the issuance of only a handful of advisories. Among them are the two following tweets that vaguely describe the “issue”:

Image Credit: Twitter/NYSE

Image Credit: Twitter/NYSE

Image Credit: Twitter/NYSE

Image Credit: Twitter/NYSE

Hours after the shutdown of activity on the floor of the NYSE, the mystery remains as to what might have happened.

Meanwhile, many anxious investors are left to wonder and worry. Some doubters took to Twitter to express their suspicions about the source of the “technical issue” that caused trading in all securities to be halted shortly after United Airlines was forced to ground all flights in U.S. airports due to reported computer issues.

Some of the skeptical tweets centered on concerns that the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is not being shared with the American people, many of whom have their personal wealth tied up in the stock market. The subject of China and its worsening financial difficulties has been raised by quite a few folks, as you can see below.

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Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.58.18 PM

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.58.03 PM

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.56.53 PM

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.56.30 PM

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.55.56 PM

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.55.18 PM

As Reuters reported in an article on the Chinese economy posted earlier today, Wednesday:

Chinese shares have fallen more than 30 percent in the last three weeks, and some investors fear China’s turmoil is now a bigger risk than the crisis in Greece.

Fears of a slowdown in China will be a concern for U.S. companies, especially materials and industrial companies, which derive a chunk of their profit from the region.

These events and the resulting concerns about the deteriorating condition of the Chinese financial markets add weight to the informed speculation that China — or high-level but undisclosed considerations of serious ripple-effects from China’s perilous situation — may have played some part, possibly a major role, in the mysterious and prolonged shutdown of the New York Stock Exchange.

Then, of course, there are the associated concerns about the massive cyber attacks on government computer systems as well as U.S. infrastructure for which many in the know blame the communist nation or its hired hackers.

Just yesterday, the South China Morning Post published an investigative piece with the shocking headline: “Top Hong Kong Universities caught up in major hack attack on more than 100 global institutions.”

And only seven days ago, The Daily Beast noted an FBI warning to U.S. firms to be on the lookout for Chinese hack attacks of the kind that recently compromised the personal information of millions of government workers in the database of the Office of Personnel Management.

The FBI is warning U.S. companies to be on the lookout for a malicious computer program that has been linked to the hack of the Office of Personnel Management. Security experts say the malware is known to be used by hackers in China, including those believed to be behind the OPM breach.

So, has the sketchy economic health of China — one of the world’s biggest economies and a super-important U.S. trading partner — impacted the operations of the venerable New York Stock Exchange? Despite official disclaimers that there’s no cyber attack to blame for the halt of trading, it may turn out that somebody, somewhere pulled a plug to turn off the system and keep it from crashing in spectacular fashion.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

This Could Be The Sinister Truth About The Stock Exchange Halt Officials Are Hiding

Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani was a guest on the Fox Business show Cavuto Coast to Coast, discussing Wednesday’s sudden, mysterious, and highly unusual halt of trading on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), when he questioned the official assurances that the “technical issue” didn’t involve a possible cyber attack. Noting that neither NYSE officials nor government authorities had said what the problem was, Giuliani wryly observed something to the effect, “If they don’t know what caused it, how can they say it wasn’t a cyber attack?”

And is it possible, even plausible, that the NYSE’s very quick, almost pre-planned, assurance that a hack attack wasn’t involved in the extraordinary measures taken at the exchange was meant to divert our attention from something else that may have been — and may still be — going on?

As Western Journalism reported earlier today, all trading in all symbols was suspended on the floor of the exchange at about 11:30 a.m. ET. The Washington Times‘ coverage of the surprise event noted: “One of the world’s biggest stock exchanges had seen shares trending down throughout the morning because of economic crises in Greece and China, but all trading halted at 11:32 a.m. as data on trades and prices apparently stopped coming into the traders’ computer screens.”

Official communications from the NYSE via Twitter have been sparse and lacking in detail. As of this writing, the exchange’s official Twitter account has seen the issuance of only a handful of advisories. Among them are the two following tweets that vaguely describe the “issue”:

Image Credit: Twitter/NYSE

Image Credit: Twitter/NYSE

Image Credit: Twitter/NYSE

Image Credit: Twitter/NYSE

Hours after the shutdown of activity on the floor of the NYSE, the mystery remains as to what might have happened.

Meanwhile, many anxious investors are left to wonder and worry. Some doubters took to Twitter to express their suspicions about the source of the “technical issue” that caused trading in all securities to be halted shortly after United Airlines was forced to ground all flights in U.S. airports due to reported computer issues.

Some of the skeptical tweets centered on concerns that the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is not being shared with the American people, many of whom have their personal wealth tied up in the stock market. The subject of China and its worsening financial difficulties has been raised by quite a few folks, as you can see below.

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.59.07 PM

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.58.54 PM

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.58.18 PM

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.58.03 PM

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.56.53 PM

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.56.30 PM

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.55.56 PM

Screen shot 2015-07-08 at 1.55.18 PM

As Reuters reported in an article on the Chinese economy posted earlier today, Wednesday:

Chinese shares have fallen more than 30 percent in the last three weeks, and some investors fear China’s turmoil is now a bigger risk than the crisis in Greece.

Fears of a slowdown in China will be a concern for U.S. companies, especially materials and industrial companies, which derive a chunk of their profit from the region.

These events and the resulting concerns about the deteriorating condition of the Chinese financial markets add weight to the informed speculation that China — or high-level but undisclosed considerations of serious ripple-effects from China’s perilous situation — may have played some part, possibly a major role, in the mysterious and prolonged shutdown of the New York Stock Exchange.

Then, of course, there are the associated concerns about the massive cyber attacks on government computer systems as well as U.S. infrastructure for which many in the know blame the communist nation or its hired hackers.

Just yesterday, the South China Morning Post published an investigative piece with the shocking headline: “Top Hong Kong Universities caught up in major hack attack on more than 100 global institutions.”

And only seven days ago, The Daily Beast noted an FBI warning to U.S. firms to be on the lookout for Chinese hack attacks of the kind that recently compromised the personal information of millions of government workers in the database of the Office of Personnel Management.

The FBI is warning U.S. companies to be on the lookout for a malicious computer program that has been linked to the hack of the Office of Personnel Management. Security experts say the malware is known to be used by hackers in China, including those believed to be behind the OPM breach.

So, has the sketchy economic health of China — one of the world’s biggest economies and a super-important U.S. trading partner — impacted the operations of the venerable New York Stock Exchange? Despite official disclaimers that there’s no cyber attack to blame for the halt of trading, it may turn out that somebody, somewhere pulled a plug to turn off the system and keep it from crashing in spectacular fashion.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

Our Dismal Economic Stagnation … Diagnosing The Slowest Recovery Since The Great Depression

The Bureau of Economic Analysis has reported that in the first quarter of this year, the U.S. economy declined at a 0.7 percent annual rate. Although growth may be higher for the rest of the year, this is another reminder of how slowly the economy has grown during more than five years of economic recovery from the recession of 2008-09. The rate of economic growth for the 23 quarters since the second quarter of 2009 is the slowest for any economic recovery since the Great Depression. These results are not due to bad luck; they are due to bad policy—particularly the Federal Reserve’s enormous expansion of the monetary base and the near doubling of the federal government’s debt since the end of 2007, both of which have been supported by the Obama administration.

In response to the financial crisis of 2008, the Federal Reserve used newly created money to purchase hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities and government debt. Because much of the newly created credit was used to buy the bad loans that were the cause of the financial crisis, less money was available to invest in productive capital, which would have contributed to job creation. The resulting low interest rates also made it easier for the government to borrow and spend on boondoggles such as “cash for clunkers” and to expand programs like unemployment compensation and food stamps. Instead of creating jobs, extended unemployment compensation and increased eligibility for food stamps made it easier for unemployed workers to turn down job opportunities.

Keynesian economists like Paul Krugman argue that the recovery would have been stronger if the government had provided more economic stimulus spending. In their view, more government spending was needed to increase demand for goods and services and create more jobs, which in turn would have had a multiplier effect on the output of the economy. They ignore the fact that someone has to pay for the additional government spending; and as a result, fewer resources are available for private-sector firms to invest and create jobs.

Recessions can eliminate the excesses caused by a credit-fueled economic boom. Without bailouts, firms that borrowed heavily to invest in unprofitable projects would be forced to liquidate those investments. Declining demand during recessions leads to falling prices, which give incentives for consumers to buy more of the goods and services they want, thus leading to the creation of new jobs. Economic stimulus spending and Federal Reserve monetary expansion prevented prices from falling and capital from being reallocated to produce the goods that consumers wanted. The Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funneled government money to firms that took too much risk and should have gone bankrupt while the Federal Reserve used newly created money to rescue banks from the consequences of reckless lending.

The policies that caused the financial crisis and the bailouts and unprecedented monetary expansion that followed were chosen by the Federal Reserve, the Bush administration, and the Congress to benefit politically powerful interest groups that included financial services firms and wealthy investors. Barack Obama had an opportunity to repudiate these policies when he took office. Instead, he not only supported them but also expanded them. In addition, he reappointed Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in 2010, in spite of the irresponsible policy choices he presided over during the financial crisis.

Bernanke’s policies emphasized helping banks, particularly the large money center banks, whose balance sheets were loaded with bad mortgages and other toxic assets. By keeping interest rates close to zero, monetary policy under Bernanke made it much more difficult for ordinary Americans to save for retirement. This policy did, however, enable large banks’ profits to soar so they could offset their losses during the financial crisis.

Although his first campaign was all about change, President Obama, as much or more than his predecessors, supported bailouts, subsidies, and regulation that rewarded politically powerful businesses and created obstacles for responsible entrepreneurs. These included the practice of allowing small businesses to bear the full consequences of their losses, while firms the government deems too big to fail won special benefits if they were mismanaged. To this fiscal folly he added health care reform, which was designed in such a way as to enhance the profits of large insurance companies while its mandates discourage job creation.

The slow recovery since 2009 is the consequence of Federal Reserve monetary policy and a series of ill-conceived policies by the federal government, most of which began before Barack Obama took office. By endorsing and in some cases expanding these policies, President Obama must bear some of the blame for the results. Instead of correcting the bad policies that caused the crisis, he used the crisis as an excuse to expand the government’s control over the economy, further hampering the ability of businesses and entrepreneurs to create jobs and restore economic prosperity.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth