While the talk among the political class is of guns and gay marriage, the concern out in the country is, doubtless, about jobs and economic growth. And the hope is that the recovery will show a little pride and act like a real recovery and that business will start expanding and hiring. The prospects, however, are not promising. Not according to the National Federation of Independent Business, whose chief economist, William C. Dunkelberg, issued this statement following the organization's March employment report:
... while actual job creation appears to be rising, plans to create jobs took a dive, falling 4 points to a net zero percent of small employers who plan to increase total employment. It seems that the stamina for growth is waning, even with decent reports on consumer spending at the macro level.
Americans must be wondering how much more of this “recovery” they can afford. New figures from the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey, compiled by Sentier Research, show that the typical American household’s real (inflation-adjusted) income has actually dropped 5.7 percent during the Obama “recovery.” Using constant 2012 dollars (to adjust for inflation), the median annual income of American households was $53,718 as of June 2009, the last month of the recession. Now, after 38 months of this “recovery,” it has fallen to $50,678 — a drop of $3,040 per household.
For 280 consecutive months before President Obama took office — a span of more than 23 years — the portion of Americans who were employed always exceeded 60.0 percent (according to official tallies from the Bureau of Labor Statistics). In marked contrast, last Friday’s jobs numbers show that, under Obama, the portion of Americans who are employed has remained below 60.0 percent for 40 consecutive months.
Why would the president oppose raising taxes when economic growth was 5.6 percent but propose raising taxes when it’s at 1.9 percent? When it’s politically advantageous to be seen as raising taxes on the rich.
President Obama just announced from the White House a plan to maintain current tax rates for the middle class, while hiking the tax rates for those earning above $250,000 per year. And while Republicans have already voiced opposition to the president's plan, Democrats are now beginning to express their dissatisfaction.
By noon today, the Dow Jones Industrial Index had tanked by yet another 400 points. So what's a hands-on, crisis-oriented president to do? Should he let the veritable army of in-house chefs crank out another executive lunch from the White House kitchen and stay close to the unfolding mayhem of the global financial crisis? Good golly, no—that’s what those üntermenschen predecessors would have done!
Former President George W. Bush recently gave a speech before a business group meeting in Houston, Texas. In the speech, he explained how he came to endorse bailouts for financial companies, auto companies, etc., toward the end of his term. He said that his personal inclination was to avoid bailouts – that if people or companies do imprudent things they need to suffer the consequences – including bankruptcy. He felt our system depended on that.