In the days leading up to the budget sequester deadline, President Obama — in full demagogue mode — promised that all future economic news would be tainted by the sequester’s mandatory 2.4 percent cuts in future spending that he helped to create.
What about today’s unsatisfying but better February unemployment numbers? Did the sequester create jobs?
That’s what he likely would have said had the unemployment rate increased (despite the fact that the cuts would not really have had an impact on February at all). It didn’t — the official rate for joblessness actually fell two-tenths of a point.
But Obama’s threat last week does play to his craven need to campaign rather than govern. It shows that he is willing to even politicize poor performance on his own part as a means of obfuscation and to prolong the downward spiral he has created.
This lack of leadership in Washington is decried by Project 21 member Derryck Green. A regular commentator on the monthly unemployment numbers and what it means to the average American, Derryck finds all of this a “shameless attempt to recreate America in his big-government image.” Furthermore, he doesn’t see and end to it as Obama is now no longer feeling burdened by the need to seek voter approval for himself.
Our economy is continuing to stagnate under President Barack Obama’s leadership.
According to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed Americans went down — but not by much. The 7.7 percent figure reported for February was still far higher than what President Obama promised it would be if the American people put him in the White House.
What’s worse, the alternative U-6 measure of unemployment that includes the unemployed, underemployed and those who have given up hope and are no longer looking posted at a very high 14.3 percent.
Additionally, key demographic groups — groups that put their trust in President Obama and helped him win another term — are still suffering disproportionately. For example, the teen unemployment rate rose to 25.1 percent. Blacks posted a unchanged rate of 13.8 percent unemployed. Hispanics have a slightly improved 9.6 percent unemployment rate.
Why the continued malaise?
In February, gas prices hit a all-time high for the month with a national average of $3.79 per gallon. The average price for a gallon of unleaded at the end of the first week in March is still a very high $3.72.
Also, the government borrowed nearly $254 billion in just the month of February — almost six times the reported amount that sequestration will cut in 2013.
At the same time, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected tax revenue will top $2.7 trillion this year — another record. The CBO further reported that tax receipts for the rich — those Obama demanded “to pay a little more” — will be close to a 30-year high in 2013.
This seems to directly refute the President’s reported assertion to House Speaker John Boehner that “we don’t have a spending problem.” We sure don’t seem to have a revenue problem!
All this indicates that Obama is wholly unconcerned about the American economy. A signal of this came in his State of the Union Address. The speech was largely devoid of serious consideration for improving economic confidence. But it was chock full of fantastical aspirations about creating a big-government paradise and lacked in a serious and genuine intent to create an economic environment that might put more Americans back to work.
The President appears to intend to continue spending — or, as he calls it, “investing” — more money on “green energy.” It’s been seen time and time again, however, that the only thing green about green energy is the taxpayer dollars continually being thrown away on this currently unreliable pursuit. There’s also the desire to give amnesty and open up a stream of entitlements to illegal aliens, increasing the minimum wage — a sure bet to increase unemployment — and increasing restrictions for law-abiding citizens to exercise their Second Amendment right to own and safely use firearms.
Despite the clear and present economic danger, Obama also made no serious mention of how he might work to reduce yearly deficits or the nation’s growing debt that is now well over $16.5 trillion.
If one needed even more proof the President is more interested in increasing spending and government growth than concerned debt, one need look no further than his inexcusable behavior regarding sequestration. According to several sources, including veteran journalist Bob Woodward, the idea of the sequestration and support for it came directly from the White House. Yet the President spent the week prior to the actual sequester deadline whining — blaming conservative lawmakers for impending cuts while, at the same time, employing apocalyptical scare tactics that he’s now scaling back in an attempt to intimidate Congress into removing the spending cuts altogether.
This campaigning is apparently in lieu of Obama providing the obligatory leadership that his position demands and an adversity to working with Congress to considering redirecting cuts to other budgetary items.
In an attempt at compromising and giving Obama the ability to judiciously apportion the cuts as he preferred — and to push him toward leading — Senate conservative offered a bill to give the President legislative discretion to evenly distribute the cuts in a manner that might minimize the economic pain he predicted would result. In a move that’s not surprising to anyone, Obama refused to take the lead — thus giving more weight to the notion that he is playing a political game of charades when it comes to sequestration.
And the House also recently passed legislation to deal with sequestration and keep the government operating until the end of September. Now, it awaits Senate action. Will Obama call his old friend, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to put this on the fast-track so the government avoids a end-of-month shutdown?
Keep in mind that the President himself admitted that unemployment numbers may shift upward if the cuts happened — which obviously means that more unemployment in the months ahead should be considered directly his fault because he admitted his intent to veto any bill that removed impending cuts.
More specifically, if he already knows — as he implies — that unemployment rates will increase as a result of the sequester and he didn’t sincerely attempt to work with Congress to avoid them through cutting other areas, he played politics with the livelihood of countless Americans.
That Obama is arguing against cutting virtually any government spending that could control the ever-growing debt is a definitive indicator that the man is intent on increasing government by any disingenuous means necessary. The man wants bigger government, and his endorsement of liberal anti-sequestration legislation in the Senate that would have added over $7 billion to the budget is evidence of that fact.
But, in all of this, Obama did find time to encourage his Justice Department to interfere in the Proposition 8 gay marriage case before the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to influence the justices’ consideration of legalizing gay marriage in California. His wife found the time and the money amidst all of the cuts to fly around the country to promote her child fitness and nutrition program.
Priorities? The President is ideologically unchained.
These are yet more examples of President Obama’s shameless attempt to recreate America in his big-government image. With no election to look forward to, he seems to be finding his stride.
lower photo credit: iStockphoto