Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Obama’
November 14th, 2016 at 11:38 am
NY Times’s Paul Krugman Discredited In Record Time
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

There may be no commentator more exposed and discredited in recent years than The New York Times’s Paul Krugman.

Where to even begin?  My personal favorite might be his call for a massive spending “stimulus” when Obama entered office, which he estimated should be approximately $600 billion, to return economic health to the nation.  ”When I put this all together,” he said, “I conclude that the stimulus package should be at least 4% of GDP, or $600 billion.”  Obama ended up getting something much larger, closer to $1 trillion.  Yet when the U.S. proceeded to suffer the worst decade of economic performance in U.S. history and multiple failed “recovery summers,” Krugman just shamelessly published a later piece entitled “How Did We Know the Stimulus Was Too Small?”

Fast forward to election night, when he moped and went on record predicting that markets would never recover from Donald Trump’s victory.  You can’t make this stuff up:

It really does now look like President Donald Trump, and markets are plunging.  When might we expect them to recover?

Frankly, I find it hard to care much, even though this is my specialty.  The disaster for America and the world has so many aspects that the economic ramifications are way down my list of things to fear.  Still, I guess people want an answer:  If the question is when markets will recover, a first-pass answer is never.”

So what happened immediately after Krugman’s solemn prediction?  Well, markets reached another record high on Friday.

Perhaps Krugman simply recognizes the wreckage of Obama’s legacy, and masochistically seeks to outdo him?

November 4th, 2016 at 10:07 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Dakota Access Pipeline
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

October 14th, 2016 at 12:15 pm
Image of the Day: Liberals Need to Stop Trumpeting Their Economic Performance Record
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Remember back in 2008, when the unemployment rate stood essentially where it stands this year, the deficit over the preceding seven years was a tiny fraction what it has been over the past seven years, and liberals were acknowledging how great the economy was?

This is hardly exhaustive, but it provides a rough illustration of why Obama, his apologists and the political left skate on thin ice when they attempt to trumpet their economic performance.

Economic Performance Record

Economic Performance Record

August 16th, 2016 at 4:23 pm
Ugly Stat of the Day: Economic Productivity Decline Worst Since the 1970s
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In our recent Liberty Update commentary “Obama Didn’t Save the Economy, He Subdued It,” we noted the depressing fact that the current cyclical economic “recovery” under Obama is the worst since accurate recordkeeping began after World War II.

Unfortunately, it gets worse.  The U.S. Labor Department reports that economic productivity remains in the midst of its longest decline since the 1970s:

It was the third consecutive quarter of falling productivity, the longest streak since 1979.  Productivity in the second quarter was down 0.4% from a year earlier, the first annual decline in three years.  That was further down from an already tepid average productivity growth of 1.3% in 2007 through 2015, itself just half the pace seen in 2000 through 2007, and the trend shows little sign of reversing…  Productivity is a key ingredient in determining growth in wages, prices and overall economic output.”

And the culprit?  As The Wall Street Journal notes, “The slowdown in recent quarters has likely been reinforced by weak business investment in new equipment, software and facilities that could help boost worker efficiency.”  Of course, that’s what tends to happen when an administration saddles the economy with record levels of regulation and makes no real advance toward finally reducing the developed world’s highest corporate tax rate.

Thanks, Barack!

May 27th, 2016 at 12:52 pm
“Reset” Fail: Russian Approval of U.S. Leadership at Record Low 1%
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In this week’s Liberty Update commentary “Captain America, Barack Obama and Surrender of U.S. Internet Authority” we highlight the Obama Administration’s uninterrupted pattern of foreign policy failure to illustrate one reason its plan to surrender oversight of the open Internet to the “international community” is a toxic idea.

Perhaps nothing better represents Obama’s record of failure better than Russia, where he and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton bungled their infamous “Reset” attempt.  For all of its efforts to placate Vladimir Putin to the detriment of U.S. allies like Poland and Ukraine, a new Gallup survey shows that Russians’ approval of U.S. leadership has fallen to a record low of 1%:

Just 1% of Russians approved of U.S. leadership in 2015 – the worst rating in the world last year, and the lowest approval Gallup  has measured for the U.S. in the past decade.  Remarkably, this is even worse than their previous record low 4% approval in 2014.”

It’s as if Obama and Clinton should receive commemorative shirts reading, “I Caved to Russian Dictators and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.”   Regardless, neither Obama nor Clinton can claim a single substantive foreign policy success during their tenures.  It’s again something to keep in mind as the administration pursues its inexplicable goal of surrendering U.S. Internet oversight before he coasts into retirement and leaves the rest of us to deal with the consequences.

April 29th, 2016 at 11:42 am
GDP Report Confirms Our Commentary on Obama’s Economic Record
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

In this week’s Liberty Update, we highlight the falsity of the persistent claim that Barack Obama somehow prevented a great depression:

[T]he federal government’s own economic data shows that Obama actually inherited an emerging recovery.  The American economy was already rebounding before he even officially became president.  What he has done is impose policies that have resulted in the slowest decade of economic growth in recorded U.S. history.”

Yesterday’s official report on first-quarter 2016 economic performance provided same-day confirmation.  More specifically, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product (GDP), the basic metric by which the economy is measured and by which recessions and recoveries are defined, grew at a disturbing 0.5%.  Not only is that number alarmingly low, it amounts to the worst mark in two years.  Echoing our own commentary, The Wall Street Journal emphasizes how this places Obama’s legacy in perspective:

The reality is that the first quarter is further evidence of what has been the weakest economic expansion in the postwar era.  The 0.5% growth is subject to revision but it follows 1.4% in the fourth quarter.  Growth over the last six months has averaged about 1%, and under 2% over the last 12 months…  The American economy hasn’t grown by more than 3% since 2005 (3.3%), the longest such stretch of malaise that we can find in the Bureau of Economic Analysis tables going back to 1930.  Even the Great Depression saw a snapback to rapid growth from 1934-1936.”

The explanation for that is simple.  Obama has pursued the most hyper-regulatory, big-government, wasteful-spending economic policy in U.S. history.   That’s illustrated among other things by his horrific deficit record, which saw four consecutive deficits in excess of $1 trillion dollars, and more accumulated debt than all previous presidents combined.  Until America has a president and Congress that pursue the proven supply-side policies that result in economic prosperity (see, e.g., Ronald Reagan), this will likely remain the new normal.

March 16th, 2016 at 7:54 am
Hear No Evil, See No Evil
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

March 7th, 2016 at 11:52 am
WSJ’s Crovitz: Emails Expose Obama Administration Illegality in Pushing Internet Regulation
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

On this day in 1876, twenty-nine-year-old Alexander Graham Bell received a patent for inventing the telephone.

Now 140 years later, the Obama Administration continues its counterproductive and legally dubious effort to regulate the Internet as if it were little more than an old-fashioned telephone service of the Bell variety.  CFIF and other free-market groups have consistently opposed that effort, and courts have repeatedly rebuked the Obama’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) various schemes to impose it.

Today, The Wall Street Journal’s “Information Age” columnist Gordon Crovitz details how a Senate committee has discovered evidence that the Obama Administration’s behavior in attempting to regulate the Internet as an old-fashioned utility violated the law.  In fact, even FCC regulators expressed shock at the degree to which their administrative independence was disregarded:

FCC staffers cited nine areas in which the last-minute change violated the Administrative Procedure Act, which requires advance public notice of significant regulatory changes.  Agency staffers noted ’substantial litigation risk.’  A media aide warned:  ’Need more on why we no longer think record is thin in some places.’  These emails are a step-by-step display of the destruction of the independence of a regulatory agency…  Mr. Obama’s edict resulted in 400 pages of slapdash regulations the agency’s own chief economist dismissed as an ‘economics-free zone.’”

Here’s why it matters in the real world, in terms of economics and innovation:  Crovitz notes that in just one year since Obama’s edict was imposed, “regulatory uncertainty has led to a collapse in investment in broadband.”  As CFIF has also detailed, he is correct in that unfortunate observation.

On a more encouraging note, however, Obama’s latest attempt to regulate the Internet in ObamaCare fashion is back before the same appellate court that has twice rebuked it on this issue.  As Crovitz wryly observes, “The Senate report should make fascinating reading for the federal appellate judges considering whether to invalidate the regulations…  The appeals court has plenty of evidence proving White House meddling with a supposedly independent agency.”

For the good of American consumers and continuing Internet innovation, we certainly hope so.

March 1st, 2016 at 10:51 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Scarecrow
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

February 18th, 2016 at 12:57 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: The Hypocrite In Chief
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 15th, 2016 at 9:19 am
Obama’s Executive Action on Gun Control
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

In an interview with CFIF, Cam Edwards, host of NRA News’ Cam & Co., discusses President Obama’s proposed executive action on gun control, how the president’s stated belief in the Second Amendment is inconsistent with his executive action, and why the executive actions will do nothing to stop violent crime.

Listen to the interview here.

January 13th, 2016 at 12:01 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The State of the Union
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

January 6th, 2016 at 10:52 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Obama’s Executive Action on Guns
Posted by CFIF Staff Print

Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

Shooting At the Constitution

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

December 23rd, 2015 at 9:31 am
Entering 2016, Americans Say Big Government Is Greatest Threat
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

As 2015 draws to a close and the presidential election year of 2016 arrives, a new Gallup survey offers an overarching theme and context for the campaign.  Namely, after seven years of Barack Obama, who made it his goal to reverse Ronald Reagan’s legacy and rehabilitate Americans’ faith in big government, the public continues to identify it as the nation’s greatest threat:

Americans overwhelmingly name big government as the biggest threat to the country in the future.  The 69% choosing big government is down slightly from a high of 72% in 2013, the last time Gallup asked the question, but it is still one of the highest percentages choosing big government in Gallup’s 50-year trend.”

Notably, the percentage of Americans identifying big government as the nation’s biggest threat was just 35% in 1965, when the “Great Society” onslaught of spending and regulation and administrative state growth commenced.  Just as conspicuously, that percentage stood at 53% when Obama assumed office in 2009, but quickly shot upward to a record high of 72% as his own big-government agenda kicked into gear.

In addition to once again confirming Obama’s reverse-Midas touch, it demonstrates that the more that Americans get to know big government, the less we like it.  That provides an important lesson to frame the upcoming 2016 race.

December 8th, 2015 at 9:57 am
Iran: Obama’s Other Legacy “Achievement” Continues to Unravel
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Last week we highlighted the latest manifestation of ObamaCare’s ongoing failure, and noted how the emerging question is whether that law or Obama’s similarly disastrous Iran nuclear deal will prove the worse of his two signature “achievements” as president.  Well, don’t look now, but the Iran deal just staked its latest claim to that title:

Iran tested a new medium-range ballistic missile last month in a breach of two U.N. Security Council resolutions, two U.S. officials said on Monday…  All ballistic missile tests by Iran are banned under a 2010 Security Council resolution that remains valid until a nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers is implemented.  Under that deal, reached on July 14, most sanctions on Iran will be lifted in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program.  According to a July 20 resolution endorsing that deal, Iran is still ‘called upon’ to refrain from work on ballistic missiles designed to deliver nuclear weapons for up to eight years.”

But not to worry – we can rely upon the U.N. to discipline Iran and steer it back into better behavior as a member of the “international community,” right?  Oh, wait:

In October, the United States, Britain, France and Germany called for the Security Council’s Iran sanctions committee to take action over a missile test by Tehran that month that they said violated U.N. sanctions.  So far, no action has been taken by the committee.”

Your move, ObamaCare.

Tags: , ,
November 30th, 2015 at 3:56 pm
“Contained?” ISIS Captures First City Beyond Iraq or Syria
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Just hours prior to the terrorist massacre in Paris, Barack Obama foolishly claimed that ISIS was “contained.”  This morning, we awoke to more bad news, and additional refutation of Obama’s assertion.  Namely, ISIS has now captured Sirte, Libya, meaning that it now controls its first city beyond Syria or Iraq:

Even as foreign powers step up pressure against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the militant group has expanded in Libya and established a new base close to Europe where it can generate oil revenue and plot terror attacks.  Since announcing its presence in February in Sirte, the city on Libya’s Mediterranean coast has become the first that the militant group governs outside of Syria and Iraq.”

So much for “containment.” What has become undeniably clear is that Obama’s foreign policy generally, and anti-terrorism leadership specifically, are failures.  Fortunately, there will be a new Commander in Chief in just a few months.  But unfortunately, there’s a lot more damage that he can do before then.  The key for the American electorate is to choose a replacement who will bring improvement.

Tags: , ,
November 20th, 2015 at 9:55 am
In Other News, ObamaCare Is Now a Slow-Motion Disaster
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

As ObamaCare enters the real world and departs Barack Obama’s “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” fantasy world, it is already proving a slow-motion disaster for Americans.  This week, The Wall Street Journal featured a front-page article entitled “Rising Rates Pose Challenge for Health Law,” and the news is grim:

Insurers have raised premiums steeply for the most popular plans at the same time they have boosted out-of-pocket costs such as deductibles, copays and coinsurance in many of their offerings.  The companies attribute the moves in part to the high cost of some customers they are gaining under the law, which doesn’t allow them to bar clients with existing health conditions.  The result is that many people can’t avoid paying more for insurance in 2016 simply by shopping around – and those who try risk landing in a plan with fewer doctors and skimpier coverage.”

The report proceeds to describe the magnitude with greater specificity, and it is astonishing:

Premiums for individual plans offered by the dominant local insurers are rising almost everywhere for 2016, typically by double-digit percentage increases, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of plan data in 34 states where the Healthcare.gov site sells insurance.  More than half of the midrange ’silver’ plans are boosting the out-of-pocket costs enrollees must pay, while more than 80% of the less-expensive ‘bronze’ plans are doing so.”

Meanwhile, a new Gallup survey released this week shows that the percentage of Americans rating their healthcare quality as excellent or good has plummeted from 62% in 2010 when ObamaCare was enacted to 53% now.  The survey also reveals that the percentage who are satisfied with healthcare costs has actually declined from 26% in 2009 to 21% today.

As experience with ObamaCare increases with implementation, the situation promises to get worse by the day.  Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi passed, now we’re staring at the reality of what was in it.

November 16th, 2015 at 2:31 pm
Obama Shows More Anger Over Alleged Anti-Muslim Discrimination by Republicans Than Toward ISIS
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Barack Obama, the man who once dismissed ISIS “junior varsity” and labeled it “contained” mere hours before Friday’s deadly attacks in Paris, held a press conference this morning while attending the G-20 summit in Turkey.

It is worth watching in its entirety, if for no other reason than that he was forced to confront reporters challenging him about his pronouncements regarding ISIS and his anti-terrorism policies.  Most notable, however, is the fact that Obama, as usual, maintains a listless, detached, dispassionate, cold demeanor when discussing radical Islamic terrorism and the acts it undertakes.  But note his sudden change in tone, how animated and forceful he becomes when he shifts his focus toward fellow American political figures whom he accuses of anti-Islamic bigotry.  Would that Obama demonstrated the same hostility toward America’s overseas enemies as he does fellow Americans who happen to hold different political points of view.

It’s increasingly difficult for anyone to deny that Obama directs his disgust more toward fellow Americans than he does foreign terrorism.

November 13th, 2015 at 9:38 am
NY Times: Obama Years Have Devastated His Own Party
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

Throughout Barack Obama’s tenure, we’ve understandably delighted in highlighting the “Reverse Midas” touch of this man who openly aspired to become a transformative president on the level of Ronald Reagan.  In a number of ways, he has actually accomplished that, although not in the way he had hoped.  From driving down trust in government to record lows to helping elect Republicans at the national and state levels with his unpopular behavior, Obama has indeed been transformative.

Today, The New York Times details the degree to which Obama has devastated his own party from within:

“While Mr. Obama’s 2008 election helped usher in a political resurgence for Democrats, the president today presides over a shrinking party whose control of elected offices at the state and local levels has declined precipitously.  In January, Republicans will occupy 32 of the nation’s governorships, 10 more than they did in 2009.  Democratic losses in state legislatures under Mr. Obama rank among the worst in the last 115 years, with 816 Democratic lawmakers losing their jobs and Republican control of legislatures doubling since the president took office – more seats lost than under any president since Dwight D. Eisenhower.  ’Republicans have more chambers today than they have ever had in the history of our party,’ said Tim Storey, an analyst at the National Conference of State Legislatures.”

That devastation extends beyond the state level, as the report explains:

It has also meant a hollowing out of the roster of potential Democratic candidates for major races…  The absence of up-and-coming Democrats is evident in Washington, where the party leadership in Congress consists largely of aging veterans.  The average age of the three top Democratic leaders in the House is 75, while the three most senior Republican leaders – with the new Speaker of the House, Paul D. Ryan – average 48 years old.  There are a handful of young, ambitious members of the Democratic caucus, especially in the House, but it may be years before they are ready to play a bigger role on the national stage.”

So Barack:  mission accomplished?

November 9th, 2015 at 10:11 am
TechNotes: Latest Evidence Surrendering U.S. Oversight of Internet Is a Dangerous Prospect
Posted by Timothy Lee Print

CFIF opposes the Obama Administration’s effort to surrender longstanding U.S. oversight over the Internet to the so-called “global community” for many of the same reasons that surrendering any form of U.S. authority to international groups like the United Nations is a dangerous idea.

L. Gordon Crovitz, The Wall Street Journal’s weekly “Information Age” columnist, also opposes the prospective transfer of authority, and has emphasized the particular threat of Internet censorship by nations like China and Russia as a primary reason.  In today’s column entitled “China’s ‘Soft’ Power Exposed,” Crovitz highlights just the latest evidence justifying such fears.  Namely, witness the covert effort by the state-controlled China Radio International to control American radio stations:

Last week it came to light that Beijing’s state-run China Radio International secretly owns 60% of a U.S. company, G&E Studio, which leases stations and airtime in Washington, Philadelphia, Boston and San Francisco, among other cities.  Beijing uses similar subterfuges in Europe and Australia.  China went to great lengths to hide its role.  Reuters broke the story after deploying 39 reporters to investigate in 26 countries, including the review of ’scores of regulatory, zoning, property, tax, immigration and corporate records, including radio station purchase contracts and lease agreements.”

So why does that matter?  Because it parallels other ongoing efforts to censor content from the global Internet, including control of .xyz domain addresses and words like “freedom” or “democracy” or even “1989,” which was the year in which the Tiananmen massacre occurred.  Fortunately, as we have highlighted, there’s something Congress can do.  And as Crovitz concludes, “Congress should ask the U.S. Commerce Department to explain why it would allow Icann – which it oversees for now via a contract intended to protect the open Internet – to become the global enforcer of the Chinese regime’s censorship against Chinese citizens.  China’s plan to censor Web addresses highlights the folly of the Obama Administration’s plan to end U.S. protection for the Internet.”

Good advice, and we agree.