Obama’s Economic Failure
With news the U.S. economy contracted by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, the White House was quick to blame the Republican Party. Press Secretary Jay Carney proclaimed, “Our economy is facing a major headwinds, and that’s Republicans in Congress.” In one sentence, Carney not only tried to shift blame, but compared the GOP to a natural disaster (remember Obama’s headwinds speech?).
Let’s think about this for a minute.
President Obama mentioned the economy or used the word “economic” a mere three times in his Inaugural Address, and it didn’t go unnoticed. Scant mention of the economy was advantageous for Obama – regardless of what caused the recent contraction, it is painfully clear that economic growth hasn’t been a highlight of Obama’s presidency.
What is striking, though, is just how cavalier President Obama’s attitude has been regarding the economy, the debt, and trillion-dollar deficits he’s run every year.
He was nonchalant about submitting his budget on time; it will be late this year for the fourth time in five years. Failing to budget properly has significant fiscal implications since, without a budget, it is more difficult to reform unsustainable entitlements, restrain spending, and reduce the deficit.
His big government ideology – embodied by rising red-tape, Obamacare and its hundreds of new rules, and the Environmental Protection Agency’s policies, among others – has acutely harmed the economy. Why? Heritage’s Alison Acosta Fraser explains that, like excessive taxation, regulatory excesses “hamstring investment and innovation and siphon off valuable resources that could be used to create jobs or improve wages.”
Okay. So we’re up to our necks in regulations. But that wasn’t enough for Obama. He decided he wanted to stimulate the economy using 830 billion tax dollars. His plan failed because “government can’t create purchasing power out of thin air. It must first tax it or borrow it out of the private economy, leaving that much less for the private sector to spend.” We were left with the tab, though.
Oh and, by the way, according to a CBO estimate, his failed stimulus cost as much as $4.1 million per job.
How do you like them apples?
Moreover, in 2009, Heritage’s William Beach explains that President Obama has shunned free market principles, which has slowed economic activity in the United States. Obama operates under the assumption “that only government can solve key social and economic problems.” He also “has few qualms about manipulating markets, by-passing institutions of civil society and shouldering aside the private sector to get where [he] wants to go.”
This is about more than a disappointing report that the economy contracted by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. It’s about a philosophical understanding of the role of government in our lives and in the economy. President Obama’s ideas haven’t worked. The economy and the American people have suffered for it. Bottom line.