‘The Economy, Right Now, Is Headed in the Right Direction’

So says President Obama.

Forget for a moment that the economy shrank last quarter. Or that the $16.5 trillion national debt is 106 percent of GDP and growing. Or that entitlements plus interest on the debt consumes more than 70 percent of all tax revenue — a figure that’s also growing.

Whatever may be going in the right direction is outweighed by those things going in the wrong direction.

Four years into the Obama presidency, more people are dropping out of the workforce than are finding jobs. The labor participation rate has been stuck at historic lows for more than a year and long-term unemployment remains the worst since the Great Depression. Indeed, if the labor participation rate were the same as when Obama took office, the unemployment rate today would be near 11 percent. Over 8 million more people are without jobs than when President Obama first took the oath of office — and that number is growing, not shrinking.

Median household incomes continue to plummet, down more than 8 percent in the last four years. Gas prices set a record high for February and health-insurance premiums are spiking. Unsurprisingly, the number of Americans living in poverty continues to skyrocket, with 11 million more people in poverty than at the outset of this administration. A record 9 million people are receiving federal disability benefits – twice as many as just 15 years ago. The number of people receiving foodstamps continues to rise — to a record 47.5 million. College graduates continue to face bleak employment prospects and the number of twenty-somethings living with their parents continues to grow.

These problems are trending in the wrong direction. These are the aspects of the economy that affect the people the president claims to champion. Yet he persists in making assertions untethered to reality.

And we’re supposed to be okay with letting this man decide which of us gets assassinated?

Well, what difference, at this point, does it make?

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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