After years of blaming every economic hiccup on the Bush-43 administration, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz said in June 2011, “We own the economy.” And from that moment forward, according to almost every White House press release and mainstream media account, everything is, for the most part, rosy.
The January jobs report indicated a rise in the unemployment rate from 7.8 to 7.9 percent. This, so fast on the heels of a negative growth in gross domestic product, should have spelled doom and gloom. But The Associated Press described it as a “mostly encouraging jobs report.”
Similarly, the headline from The New York Times proclaimed, “Job Growth Steady.” Job shrinkage is now equated to growth?”
I had to wonder, Are they reading the same numbers I am? Has “a new math” kicked in and nobody told me? Have I fallen down the rabbit hole? If these employment figures are encouraging, what’s normal?
Kimberly Amadeo, economic analyst and president of WorldMoneyWatch.com, reported recently that although unemployment fell as low as 2.5 percent in 1953, unemployment will typically run about 5 percent and never less than 4 percent in a healthy economy.
Indeed, during George W. Bush’s eight years in office, unemployment averaged 5.3 percent, and that included the financial crisis of 2008, when the housing bubble burst and sent the dominoes tumbling.
Almost two years into the Obama presidency, the Federal Reserve gave us a “new normal” of between 5 and 6 percent “over the long haul” in its November 2010 minutes, according to MarketPlace.org. But that’s nothing close to where we are today.
Despite all the government “investing” and “stimulating,” economic growth has remained sluggish, unemployment has remained high, and public debt has skyrocketed.
The Congressional Budget Office most recently forecasted an economic growth of just 1.4 percent, and predicted that 2013 would set a record for the longest period of high unemployment since the Great Depression.
Bush’s highest unemployment rate was 7.7 percent. Obama’s lowest unemployment rate was 7.8 percent. It’s now 7.9 percent. And this is what Obama calls a recovery?
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