Tag Archives: U.S. economy

What happened to the calamity?


Just a shade less than a quarter-million jobs were added to the U.S. non-farm, non-government payrolls in February, according to the Labor Department’s latest monthly report.

The unemployment rate remained at 4.9 percent.

The federal budget deficit continues to decline.

But by golly, we keep hearing along the presidential primary campaign trail that Barack Obama is presiding over an economic calamity. We’re heading for the crapper. Bernie Sanders keeps harping on the “1 percent” who are making all that money at the expense of the rest of us.

It’s time to give Barack Obama some credit.

Tim Egan writes in the New York Times:

“By any objective measurement, (Obama’s) presidency has been perhaps the most consequential since Franklin Roosevelt’s time. Ronald Reagan certainly competes with Obama for that claim. But on the night of Reagan’s final State of the Union speech in 1988, when he boasted that ‘one of the best recoveries in decades’ should ‘send away the hand-wringers and doubting Thomases,’ the economic numbers were not as good as those on Obama’s watch.

“At no time in Reagan’s eight years was the unemployment rate lower than it is today, at 5 percent — and this after Obama was handed the worst economic calamity since the Great Depression. Reagan lauded a federal deficit at 3.4 percent of gross national product. By last fall, Obama had done better than that, posting a deficit of 2.5 percent of G.D.P.”

I’m not going to give the president all the credit for the economic recovery. However, I’m damn sure not going to condemn with the ferocity that we’ve been hearing — primarily from the Republican candidates for president — about all the gloom and doom.

On other side of the great divide, we hear Democratic challenger Bernie Sanders yammering about the richest Americans not paying enough taxes. He wants to enact fundamental economic change.

I can’t help but wonder: Why?

Yes, we’re in the midst of a contentious political campaign. Candidates are bound to say anything to get attention.

Which is precisely, as I see it, what they’re doing when they keep harping on the economic disaster that hasn’t arrived.

House GOP 'survey' loaded with baloney

Nice try, U.S. House Speaker John Boehner.

You sought to ask me my views on how you and National Republican Congressional Committee are seeking to save the country from those reckless and feckless liberals in the White House. I ain’t taking the bait, Mr. Speaker.

You’ll get your State of the Nation Survey back in the mail. I even signed my name to it to validate its findings.

You see, sir, I don’t share your view that President Obama has wrecked the country. Almost every question you pose in your survey presumes that you and your party are right and the president and his party are wrong … across the board.

To be fair, I do agree with a few of the questions you pose. I believe, as you do, that the feds should work “closely with state and local officials to stop border violence and enforce federal immigration laws.” I also believe in the Second Amendment’s guarantee that we have a right “to keep and bear arms.” I agree with you that our legal system should “better protect victims and consumers while also giving manufacturers and small businesses confidence to keep jobs in America.” I even believe in “Republicans’ landmark ban on all earmarks” attached to federal legislation.

So, Mr. Speaker, your survey isn’t a total loser with me.

However, I do not subscribe to your notion that liberal/progressive policies are inherently bad for the country. I happen to be a good-government liberal who thinks the Obama administration has done well to revive the economy and keep us safe from terrorists. I also believe, contrary to your view, that our standing in the world hasn’t been diminished. Furthermore, I believe that the Affordable Care Act, which likely needs more fine-tuning, should remain on the books, as it is providing millions of Americans with health insurance they didn’t have before it was enacted.

Those are my views, Mr. Speaker, and I’m sticking with them.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to vent.

God bless the United States of America.