It didn’t take long for the Republicans to start blaming Barack Obama for America’s current economic crisis. Two days after the election, the biggest mouth in the Republican propaganda machine announced:
· “The Obama recession is in full swing, ladies and gentlemen. Stocks are dying, which is a precursor of things to come. This is an Obama recession. Might turn into a depression. He hasn’t done anything yet but his ideas are killing the economy.”--Rush Limbaugh, 11/06/08
Keeping in mind that Barack Obama became President on January 20, 2009; let’s review a few facts about the economy:
· “The federal budget deficit will hit a record $1.18 trillion this year even before President-elect Barack Obama can spend a dime of taxpayer money to stimulate the economy....”--The Washington Times, 1/709
According to Labor Department figures, 3.5 million American jobs disappeared in 2008. This is the most jobs lost in a single year since the Great Depression; and half of those jobs were lost during the last three months of the year, with 577,000 lost in December alone. The new year started off even worse, with 598,000 job cuts in January, raising the national unemployment rate to 7.6 percent--and that may be the good news:
· “We see job losses accelerating for at least the next several months to the point where that 600,000 mark will soon be a dot in the distance behind us,”-- economist Guy LeBas of Janney Montgomery Scott LLC.
· “If underemployed and marginally attached workers are counted, the US unemployment rate stands at 13.9 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal.”
· “When Bush took the oath of office in 2001, the national debt stood at $5.7 trillion. As Bush departed, [it was] more than $10.6 trillion – a quantum increase of nearly 100 percent.”
· The nearly $1.2 trillion federal deficit is equal to 8.3 percent of U.S. GDP, the highest ratio since World War II.
No matter what measure of the economy you look at, the numbers are bad:
· “U.S. manufacturing activity decreased in December at its fastest pace in nearly 30 years.”-- The Washington Post, 1/3/09