Posts Tagged ‘Stimulus’
November 12th, 2020 at 11:49 am
Images of the Day: Unemployment Claims Plummeted Faster After $600 Checks Expired
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As the nation debates continuing coronavirus stimulus, AEI offers an eye-opening analysis:  Unemployment claims plummeted and the employment picture improved much faster after those $600 checks expired, reestablishing that while we always want to help those who cannot help themselves, government payouts can sometimes reduce incentives and ability to return to the workforce.  And this doesn’t even reflect remarkably positive employment reports released by the government since the end dates:


Unemployment Claimes Dropped

Continuing Unemployment Claims Dropped





Initial Unemployment Claimes Dropped

Initial Unemployment Claims Dropped

October 28th, 2020 at 6:21 pm
Ramirez Cartoon: Pelosi Negotiates
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez…

November 14th, 2016 at 11:38 am
NY Times’s Paul Krugman Discredited In Record Time
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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?

September 17th, 2013 at 12:29 pm
Three MORE Stupid Ways the Government Wastes Your Money

1) No manned space missions to Mars will be possible for at least 25 years, according to NASA projections. Still, NASA spends about $1 million a year “researching and building the Mars menu.” According to Sen. Tom Coburn’s annual “Wastebook” publication, NASA passed out an additional $947,000 in 2012 to researchers at Cornell University and the University of Hawaii to pretend they were on Mars and eat food that could be served on the Red Planet.

2) Because the federal government couldn’t actually afford to fund President Obama’s ill-conceived $833 billion stimulus debacle, American taxpayers will continue to pay for the scheme for years to come — with interest.

Among the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s more outrageous expenditures was a $20,785 handout to the Miccosukee Indian Village in Florida that funded, among other things, a high school-age alligator wrestler. Two other alligator wrestlers from the Miccosukee Tribe have been severely injured performing with gators in recent years. Now, thanks to Obama, taxpayers are helping to pay for a kid to engage in the senseless stunt.

3) In February the Government Accountability Office revealed that American taxpayers spent millions to shuttle the Attorney General and the FBI Director around in two high-tech luxury jets.

The pair of Gulfstream V jets were supposedly purchased for counterterrorism purposes, but were used more than 60 percent of the time for “non-mission flights” from 2007 to 2011. Flying Attorney General Eric Holder, his predecessor in the Bush administration and FBI Director Robert Mueller around on those “non-mission flights” cost taxpayers $11.4 million.

August 2nd, 2013 at 9:35 am
Labor Department: Another Disturbing Jobs Report for July
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In my column this week, I detail how U.S. economic growth has hit stalling speed.  Today’s jobs report from the Labor Department demonstrates that the same is true of the nation’s employment situation in the fifth year of Obama’s economic program.

Only 162,000 jobs were added in July, which was significantly below analysts’ expectation of 190,000.   Even worse, and putting that number in context, 240,000 people dropped out of the workforce last month, while the labor participation rate fell again to 63.4%.  That dropoff explains why the headline unemployment rate declined a bit to 7.4%, which is the number the Obama Administration and sympathetic media will highlight.  But that number only counts people who are actually looking for a job, so those hundreds of thousands who continue to drop out make the surface unemployment rate look better than it actually is.  Moreover, keep in mind that Obama promised at the outset of his administration in February 2009 that his economic policies and trillion-dollar spending “stimulus” would have the unemployment rate down to 5% by now.

The number of part-time workers also amounted to 174,000, showing once again that the approaching ObamaCare mandates are forcing employers to make those they do decide to hire part-time.  All in all, yet another lackluster Obama era jobs report.

October 10th, 2012 at 7:45 pm
Corporate Jet Industry Has More Jobs than Obama “Created”

A hat tip to my father-in-law and former flight instructor Grady Conner for sending along a link from Flying Magazine that reproduced the National Business Aviation Association’s response to President Barack Obama’s debate night swipe at corporate jets:

In an open letter to Obama, NBAA head Ed Bolen said the remarks show that the president is out of touch with reality.

“Your comments seemed to illustrate a complete lack of understanding about the importance of business aviation in the U.S., and appear to be at odds with your stated interest in promoting job growth, stimulating exports, driving economic recovery and restoring America to its first-place position in manufacturing,” Bolen wrote.

Bolen was referring to Obama’s response to a question from debate moderator Jim Lehrer about tax policy, in which Obama stated: “Why wouldn’t we eliminate tax breaks for corporate jets? My attitude is if you got a corporate jet, you can probably afford to pay full freight, not get a special break for it.”

Bolen first countered those remarks in a statement issued to news organizations before the Wednesday night debate had concluded, which noted that the business aviation industry is responsible for 1.2 million American jobs, and contributes $150 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

For those scoring at home, the 1.2 million American jobs maintained by the business aviation industry dwarf the 300,000 non-farm payroll jobs created since President Obama took office.  (And that’s being charitable.  The CNN fact checkers who determined that number didn’t count government jobs.  If they had, the Obama economy would actually have 400,000 fewer Americans working today than in January 2009.)

As a devotee of stimulus, the President should appreciate that tax breaks for corporate jet purchases help stimulate people to buy such aircraft, which in turn help employ 1.2 million domestic workers and generate $150 billion.

Then again, maybe the President just resents the fact that free people in an open market can do a better job stimulating the economy than government experts.

June 1st, 2012 at 9:05 am
Another Atrocious Unemployment Report
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Economists projected that the U.S. economy would add 160,000 new jobs last month.  Instead, the Labor Department announced today that we only added 69,000.

Additionally, the unemployment rate increased to 8.2% in May from 8.1% in April.  That makes 40 consecutive months above 8%, a new record.  Keep in mind that the Obama Administration claimed we wouldn’t reach 8% in the first place if his failed “stimulus” spending bill passed back in early 2009.

This announcement also arrives one day after the Commerce Department announced that the American economy grew only 1.9% in the first quarter of 2012, short of its initial 2.2% estimate.

More broadly, the economy must add 200,000 jobs each month just to keep pace with population growth and materially reduce the unemployment rate, and today’s report follows a disappointing 115,000 number in April.  The Obama Administration claims that the last recession was “the worst since the Great Depression,” but that’s false.  The early-1980s recession was substantially worse – higher unemployment, higher inflation and higher interest rates.  President Reagan’s policy of lower taxes and less regulation, however, rapidly reduced unemployment from 10.4% to 6.7% in the three years following the effective date of his tax cuts in January 1983.  In contrast, Obama’s policies of higher spending, higher deficits, higher taxes and more regulation have caused the worst cyclical recovery since the Great Depression.

May 11th, 2012 at 1:05 am
Ask Obama: Whose Idea Was That?

Reason has a great review of a new book on the Obama economic advisers who tried and failed to spend and regulate the economy into recovery.  But for all the space devoted to those around President Barack Obama, it’s the way he treats them – and wants them to treat him – that is most disturbing:

But Obama was not exactly a man without a team. He was loyal to the cult of policy smarts. He may have even been its high priest. As Scheiber reports, outside analysts reporting to the president were advised to highlight their expert credentials so he would know he wasn’t talking to cranks and dummies. Obama also wanted his inner circle to credit his own abilities: The president, Scheiber writes, “craved intellectual affirmation” and often badgered his lieutenants into acknowledging when his own ideas were perceived to have succeeded. Obama “had a habit of prompting his aides to acknowledge his wisdom and foresight,” Scheiber writes. The president would sometimes wonder aloud, “Whose idea was that?” when he deserved credit.

Whatever is Obama’s conscious motivation for overemphasizing credit and credentials at every turn, this window into his personality reveals a deeply insecure person.

Remember, this is the same man who’s boasted about being a better campaign manager than the one he employs, a better speechwriter than his scribes, and so on.

If this is the way the President wants to play it, why not let him own every decision by his administration?

$787 billion in stimulus spending and no change in the unemployment rate – Whose idea was that?

A federal takeover of the health care industry that raises the deficit while reducing services – Whose idea was that?

Selling thousands of guns to Mexican drug cartels so they could be traced to crime scenes – Whose idea was that?

The list could go on and on and on…

April 9th, 2012 at 1:03 pm
Obama’s Spending vs. Canada’s Cuts

It’s been said by some supporters of President Barack Obama’s $787 billion stimulus spending spree that we can’t really know if it failed because we can’t ‘re-run’ the last three years to see if something else might have worked.

But according to economist John Lott, we don’t have to.

In a wide-ranging interview with The Daily Caller about his new book, , Lott compares the different approaches by the liberals in Debacle: Obama’s War on Jobs and Growth and What We can Do Now to Regain Our Future the Obama White House and the conservatives running Canada’s government.  The results aren’t pretty.

How do we know the stimulus package made the economic situation worse?

Compare the U.S. and Canada. Their unemployment rates increased in lock step from August 2008 until six months later, in February 2009, when the stimulus was passed in the United States. During those six months, the U.S. unemployment rate rose by 2.1 percentage points, from 6.1 percent to 8.2 percent, and the Canadian rate grew by 1.9 percentage points, from 5.1 percent to 7 percent (using the BLS [Bureau of Labor Statistics] measure to make the Canadian measure of unemployment comparable to the U.S. rate). The graph that we have showing this is actually stunning.

Canada adopted a much smaller and quite different “stimulus” program that emphasized cutting tax rates and regulations and that produced dramatically smaller deficits. On a per-capita basis, Canada’s stimulus was about a third that of America’s, costing $979 per person compared to our $2,730. The conservative Canadian government chose not to introduce any big programs.

Obama, meanwhile, adopted big-ticket Keynesian programs, believing that government spending for its own sake creates wealth. But Democratic emphasis on “green” energy, government-approved investments and technology and higher salaries for public-school teachers merely moved money away from where Americans and companies would have otherwise spent it.

Obama’s stimulus also raised the effective marginal tax rates that some individuals face, discouraging work; Canada, by contrast, cut some marginal rates. Obama kept the corporate tax rate stuck at 35 percent, while Canadians cut their corresponding rate from 21 percent in 2007 to 16.5 percent this year — with a further cut to 15 percent planned for next year. By last year, Canada had the lowest overall tax rate on business investment of any major industrialized country.

Canada also didn’t run the huge stimulative deficits that we ran here in the U.S. They didn’t saddle their kids with a huge debt that they were going to have to pay off.

But if Obama’s program — including a massive 21 percent hike in spending from 2008 to 2011 and corresponding massive deficits — worked so well, why has our unemployment rate risen more since those policies were adopted than have the rates of the European Union, South America, Japan, Australia or New Zealand?

April 4th, 2012 at 12:13 pm
Head of Federal Government’s Cost-Cutting Agency Resigns Amidst Revelations of Taxpayer-Funded Excesses
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Every week or so it seems there’s another story out of Washington about the federal government spending an eye-popping amount of money on something that’s either dramatically overpriced or outright unnecessary: $115,000 a year for someone to update the Interior Department’s Facebook page, for instance, or the Maryland town where more than $800,000 of stimulus money was spent in order to publicize how well stimulus money was being spent.

Perhaps, in a fit of rage at one of these stories, you’ve wondered why there isn’t a government watchdog tasked with reining in these expenditures. Though it’s little know outside of Washington, there actually is such an organization, the colorlessly named General Services Administration (GSA), which describes its mission as “to use expertise to provide innovative solutions for our customers in support of their missions, and by so doing, foster an effective, sustainable, and transparent government for the American people.” And now the head of the organization, Martha Johnson, is stepping down after the GSA went on a taxpayer-funded spending binge.

From the Federal Times:

GSA’s Public Buildings Service spent $822,000 on the biennial Western Regions Conference in Las Vegas for only 300 employees, according to an inspector general’s report.

The expenses included $147,000 for airfare and hotel lodging for six planning trips by conference organizers. That figure included $100,000 on two “scouting trips” and five off-site meetings and an additional $30,000 on catering costs for those trips, according to the report.

Among the other expenses were $3,200 for a mind reader; $6,300 on a commemorative coin set displayed in velvet boxes; and $75,000 on a training exercise to build a bicycle, according to the IG report, which was obtained by Federal Times.

GSA also promised the hotel an additional $41,480 in catering charges in exchange for the “concession” of the hotel honoring the government’s lodging limit.

The agency also spent $44 a person per breakfast and $95 per person for its closing reception dinner.

The agency also spent money on mementos for attendees, clothing for GSA employees and tuxedo rentals, according to the report.

The GSA: Looking out for the taxpayers since 1949. But who will watch the watchmen?

h/t — Mollie Hemingway at Ricochet.

February 22nd, 2012 at 1:55 pm
The Economic Illiteracy of the Obama Administration, Volume 1,075
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Wherein Valerie Jarrett, perhaps the most consistently insipid of the White House courtiers, declares unemployment a form of stimulus:

February 13th, 2012 at 4:10 pm
One Month Sufficient Lead Time for “Stimulus,” But Three Years Insufficient for Keystone XL Pipeline?
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My nominee for quote of the day goes to Texas Governor Rick Perry, writing in today’s Wall Street Journal on the absurdity of the Obama Administration’s “insufficient time” rationalization for rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline and the thousands of domestic jobs it would create:

Hoping to appease environmental radicals, President Obama said no, claiming that he didn’t have time to adequately consider the pipeline.  This despite the fact that the original request was made in September 2008, and Keystone was the subject of dozens of meetings on multiple levels of his own administration, as well as exhaustive environmental impact reviews.  Certainly, three-and-a-half years is more than enough time to make his decision.  His reasoning becomes even more laughable when you put it up against his massive, ill-conceived stimulus bill, which he muscled through Congress and signed within the first month of his presidency.”

February 3rd, 2012 at 9:04 am
Jobs Picture: Lackluster Is the New Excellent Under Obama
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Today’s Department of Labor report that unemployment declined slightly from 8.5% to 8.3% in January will surely be celebrated and trumpeted by the Obama Administration.  Which only serves to illustrate the terrible quality of his economic performance in office.

First of all, today’s announcement means that unemployment has now exceeded 8% for 36 consecutive months, three entire years.  That’s an all-time record since recordkeeping began.  Second, that new record is not somehow a reflection of the fact that the most recent recession was “the worst since the Great Depression,” as Obama and his apologists constantly claim.  Unemployment actually reached a higher peak in the early 1980s recession, but quickly plummeted from 10.8% to 6.7% following implementation of Reagan’s tax cuts.  In contrast, unemployment has increased under Obama from 7.8% to over 10% and three straight years over 8%.  Moreover, inflation and interest rates were far higher in the early 1980s recession, and monetary policy was much tighter, meaning that conditions were less hospitable for economic improvement.  Third, for all of the deficit spending the Obama Administration heaped upon American taxpayers, it promised that unemployment under its agenda would be down to around 6% by now.

Instead, we’re barely treading water and mediocre news is characterized as wonderful.  This is the Age of Obama.

December 2nd, 2011 at 9:56 am
Unemployment Exceeds Obama’s Promised 8% Ceiling for Record 34th Consecutive Month
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When Barack Obama entered office and proposed his nearly $1 trillion spending “stimulus” bill, his administration promised that unemployment would peak at 8% in the fall of 2009 if we passed his plan.  They also predicted that unemployment would be down to approximately 6% by now.

Instead, following today’s latest report from the Department of Labor, unemployment has now exceeded Obama’s promised 8% ceiling for a record 34th consecutive month.  Although some will focus on the decline from 9.0% to 8.6%, most of that statistical decline is due to people giving up and dropping out of the labor force, rather than from sudden job creation.  That is illustrated by the fact that only 120,000 net jobs were added, less than the anticipated number.  That’s also fell far below the 200,000 new jobs needed each month to reduce the unemployment rate by just 1% over the span of a year. Additionally, the broader labor participation rate again declined and now stands at 64%.

In contrast to the destructive effects of Obama’s borrow-and-tax-and-spend agenda, Ronald Reagan’s tax-cutting agenda saw unemployment plummet from 10.4% to 7.1% over the same period of time.  As the old Latin saying goes, “res ipsa loquitur” – the fact speaks for itself.

November 4th, 2011 at 9:08 am
The Obama Freeze: 9% Unemployment, Fewer Jobs Created in October
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The nation’s unemployment remained at or above 9% again last month, and has now exceeded 8% for 33 consecutive months since February 2009.  That’s the longest stretch since the federal government began issuing monthly reports in 1948.

Here’s why that 8% benchmark and February 2009 are important.  When Obama passed his nearly $1 trillion “stimulus” bill that same month, his administration projected that unemployment would never exceed 8%, and be all the way down to approximately 6% today.  Instead, unemployment quickly climbed to 10.1%, and has remained above 9% for all but four months during that record 33-month span.  Moreover, the economy only added a disappointing 80,000 jobs for September, less than the expected 100,000 and far below the estimated 200,000 necessary each month to reduce the rate by just 1% over the course of a year.

It’s instructive to compare the real-world results of Obama’s economic agenda with Ronald Reagan’s.  In the same 33-month stretch following the effective date of Reagan’s tax cuts, unemployment plummeted from 10.4% to 7.1%.  The comparison speaks for itself, yet now Obama tells the nation that what we need is more of the same – more “mini-stimulus” government spending.  Obama’s agenda has demonstrably failed, and it’s time to return to what demonstrably works.

October 7th, 2011 at 9:37 am
The Obama Jobs Freeze: Unemployment Remains 9.1%
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Unemployment remained unchanged at 9.1% last month, and has now exceeded 8% for 32 consecutive months since February 2009.  That’s the longest stretch since the federal government began issuing monthly reports in 1948.

And there’s a reason why that 8% benchmark is important.  When Obama passed his nearly $1 trillion “stimulus” bill that same month, his administration projected that unemployment would never exceed 8%, and be all the way down to approximately 6% today.  Instead, unemployment quickly climbed to 10.1%, and has remained above 9% for all but two months in that record 32-month span.  Moreover, the economy only added a lackluster 100,000 jobs for September, far below the estimated 200,000 necessary each month to reduce the rate by just 1% over the course of a year.  Compounding that depressing figure, keep in mind that approximately 45,000 of the jobs that were added came as a result of Verizon employees returning to work after striking in August.

It is helpful to compare the real-world results of Obama’s economic agenda with Ronald Reagan’s.  In the same 32-month stretch following the effective date of Reagan’s tax cuts, unemployment plummeted from 10.4% to 7.1%.  The comparison speaks for itself, yet now Obama demands that the country pass more of the same – his new “mini-stimulus.”  Mr. Obama, it’s time to return to what demonstrably works, not continue what demonstrably doesn’t.

September 2nd, 2011 at 9:32 am
Happy Labor Day? Zero Jobs Added to Economy Last Month
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Zero.  That’s the number of net jobs created in America last month according to the Labor Department’s monthly update, and the unemployment rate remained at 9.1%.

We are now more than two years since the recession officially ended in June 2009, and at the stage where the Obama Administration predicted that his trillion-dollar deficit spending “stimulus” would reduce unemployment to approximately 6% after topping out at 8% all the way back in the fall of 2009.  Instead, we suffered a post-war record number of months over 9%, and it continues to fester there.  By way of background, keep in mind that economists generally agree that a minimum of 150,000 to 200,000 jobs must be added to the American economy each month just to keep pace with natural population growth.  Also consider that economists had forecast a rise of somewhere near 100,000 jobs for July.

In contrast, in the same 30-month period following the effective date of President Ronald Reagan’s tax cuts in January 1983, unemployment plummeted from 10.4% to 7.4%.  We know what economic policies actually work.   What hath the opposite approach wrought?

August 16th, 2011 at 9:40 pm
$20 Million Obama “Green Jobs” Program Creates Work for 14 in Seattle
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In the Obama era, the news on any given day seems seems like a real-time seminar on the disutility of Keynesian economics and “green energy” faddishness. The latest such entry comes from KOMO-TV news in Seattle, which reports the following:

Last year, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn announced the city had won a coveted $20 million federal grant to invest in weatherization. The unglamorous work of insulating crawl spaces and attics had emerged as a silver bullet in a bleak economy – able to create jobs and shrink carbon footprint – and the announcement came with great fanfare.

McGinn had joined Vice President Joe Biden in the White House to make it. It came on the eve of Earth Day. It had heady goals: creating 2,000 living-wage jobs in Seattle and retrofitting 2,000 homes in poorer neighborhoods.

But more than a year later, Seattle’s numbers are lackluster. As of last week, only three homes had been retrofitted and just 14 new jobs have emerged from the program.

Fourteen jobs instead of 2,000. That means the Administration’s estimates were off by 99.3%. Since this president is so fond of telling us how much he respects the private sector, how about a few analogies from the real world?

— A baseball player with this level of accuracy would be hitting .007

— A financial adviser with this level of accuracy would have invested $250,000 and ended up with $1,750.

— A doctor with this level of accuracy who saw 850 patients a year would misdiagnose 844 of them.

If you had that baseball player, you’d cut him. If you had that financial adviser, you’d fire him. And if you had that doctor, you’d find a new physician and probably report the old one for malpractice. If you had this president …

July 29th, 2011 at 12:34 pm
Pathetic Economic Growth Report Illustrates Failure Of Obama Spending “Stimulus”
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Barack Obama and liberals fraudulently claim that their massive spending binge “prevented another Great Depression.”

It’s more accurate to say that their spending and regulatory onslaught stifled our natural cyclical recovery and heaped more debt upon the American people.

Today’s economic growth report card from the Commerce Department provided the latest evidence of that reality, as if any additional clarity was necessary.  For the second quarter of 2011 (April through June), American gross domestic product (GDP) only grew 1.3%.  That fell substantially below the expected 1.8% rate, which itself constitutes sluggish growth.  Moreover, first quarter GDP was revised shockingly downward to 0.4% from its initial 1.9% estimate.  That is simply pathetic and unacceptable.

In comparison, the American economy jolted to life after Ronald Reagan’s very different response to the early 1980s recession (which was actually worse than the most recent recession, despite liberals’ persistent claims to the contrary).  According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, in the eight quarters since Obama’s wasteful “stimulus” in 2009, we’ve witnessed growth rates of 1.7%, 3.8%, 3.9%, 3.8%, 2.5%, 2.3%, 0.4% and now 1.9%.  That’s an average of just 2.5%.  But in the eight quarters following the effective date of the Reagan tax cuts, GDP exploded at rates of 5.1%, 9.3%, 8.1%, 8.5%, 8.0%, 7.1%, 3.9% and 3.3%.  That’s an average of 6.7%.

Today’s depressing report simply shows once again that lower taxes and less government create prosperity, while bigger government and more spending create stagnation.

July 8th, 2011 at 4:11 pm
Unemployment Rises: At What Point Do Obama and Liberals Get the Signal?
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Responding to this morning’s terrible unemployment report, President Obama mused, “We still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do.”

No, Mr. President.  That’s precisely what the nation fears.  We’ve already allowed you to go too far and do too much, but you’re apparently not getting the clue.

For the month of June, unemployment unexpectedly rose to 9.2% and added a negligible 18,000 jobs, far below the 150,000 that economists had expected.  That means the unemployment rate has risen from 7.8% when Obama signed his massive government spending “stimulus” to 9.2% over two years later.  Keep in mind that his administration promised at the time that the “stimulus” would cap unemployment at 8% in the fall of 2009, and be down to around 6.5% by now.  Instead, it rose all the way to 10.2% and has remained above 8% for a post-war record 29 consecutive months.

Ignoring that, Obama and liberal pundits like Ezra Klein appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” claimed that what we need is even more of the same.  At what point do they finally get the signal?