The Campaign Spot

By His Own Criteria, Obama Is Failing as President

President Obama, speaking at a DNC fundraiser in Philadelphia, Pa. last night:

  Now, let me tell you why I thought it was so important to run — even though Michelle, she wasn’t so sure.  (Laughter.)  And why you guys got involved.  I just want everybody to remember.  We ran because we believed in an economy that didn’t just work for those at the top, but worked for everybody — where prosperity was shared, from the machinist on the line, to the manager on the floor, to the CEO in the boardroom.          We ran because we believed our success isn’t just determined by stock prices and corporate profits, but by whether ordinary folks can find a good job that pays for a middle-class life — where they can pay the mortgage, and take care of their kids, and send their kids to college, and save for retirement, and maybe have a little left over to go to a movie and go to dinner once in a while.  (Laughter and applause.)

Well then, Mr. President, by your own standards, your presidency is a failure of colossal proportions. He has moved us from what he labeled “an economy that just worked for those at the top” to an economy that doesn’t work well for anyone, and works worst for those on the lower rungs.

“Find a good job…” Now, “nearly 14 million Americans are looking for work – and millions of those who have found jobs are working for less.” And “about 6.2 million Americans, 45.1 percent of all unemployed workers in this country, have been jobless for more than six months – at its highest since the Great Depression.”

…”pays for middle-class life”… Gas prices up, food prices up, state and local taxes significantly higher…

… “pay the mortgage”… Several years of record foreclosures, with millions more Americans owing more than their house is worth. “West Coast Democrats note that you don’t see [Obama] making stops in neighborhoods recovering from housing foreclosures, because there’d actually have to be a housing market recovery.”

…”take care of their kids”… Harder to afford than ever, in fact: “If prices were to remain constant, a family with a child born in 2010 will spend $226,000, nearly a quarter of a million, before that child reaches the age of 18. Even adjusted for inflation, that is 23% more than people were spending just 30 years ago.”

… “send their kids to college”CNN: “‘As the out-of-pocket costs of a college education go up faster than incomes, it’s pricing low and medium income families out of a college education,’ said Mark Kantrowitz, publisher of financial aid sites and The numbers confirm what most middle class families already know — college is becoming so expensive, it’s starting to hold them back.”

… “save for retirement”… “Putnam Investments survey, which polled almost 3,300 working Americans, found that American households are on track to replace 64% of their current income in retirement.” Obama has yet to propose, much less enact, serious entitlement reform to keep Social Security financially stable in the long term, and in fact demagogues others’ efforts to do so.

… “and maybe have a little left over to go to a movie and go to dinner once in a while.” Dinner? Maybe. But no vacation: “Still-high gas prices and lingering concerns about the economy will keep many would-be travelers home – or closer to home – this Fourth of July weekend.”

Meanwhile, let’s check in on those stock prices and corporate profits that Obama dismisses as useful indicators of economic health.

Actually, they’re doing quite well. First, “Despite high unemployment and a largely languishing real estate market, U.S. businesses are more profitable than ever, according to federal figures released on Friday. U.S. corporate profits hit an all-time high at the end of 2010, with financial firms showing some of the biggest gains.” And while the markets have bounced around quite a bit over the past three years, they have had some high points during Obama’s term, including this observation from January 2011: “Detractors of President Barack Obama should remember one thing — Wall Street has been booming under this president. Since Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up about 48 percent, the S&P 500 Index  is up 60 percent and the tech-focused Nasdaq Composite Index  is up 90 percent.”

So the only economic indicators that are thriving under Obama are the ones he said are not true indicators of success.

Meanwhile, we muddle along with subpar growth, the U.S. economy, as measured by real Gross Domestic Product, has grown 2.6 percent in 2009 and 2.9 percent in 2010.

Obama ran because he believed in many wonderful things, none that have occurred on his watch yet.


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