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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/20/13

Obama Destroys the Middle-Class

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According to a survey conducted by Gallup on August 15, 2013, Obama's Economic Approval rating has slipped to 35%. A full two-thirds of the American people are now dissatisfied with Obama's performance vis a vis the economy. The survey mirrors the results of an earlier poll (Aug 12) which found that a mere "Twenty-two percent of Americans say they are satisfied with the direction of the country... Three-quarters of Americans are now dissatisfied with the nation's course." (Gallup)

The surveys show that people are finally beginning to realize that Obama has been an unmitigated disaster and that the propaganda about economic recovery is just meaningless hype. To underline how bad things really are, consider this:

"'Over the last six months, of the net job creation, 97 percent of that is part-time work,' said Keith Hall, a senior researcher at George Mason University's Mercatus Center quoted by McClatchy Washington Bureau. Hall was head of the US Bureau of Labor (BLS) Statistics from 2008 to 2012.

"Citing the BLS Household Survey, Hall said that over the past six months 963,000 more people reported that they were employed while 936,000 of them reported they were in part-time jobs. Hall continued, 'That is a really high number for a six-month period. I am not sure that has ever happened over six months before.' ("Report: 97 percent of new US jobs are part-time," World Socialist Web Site)

The only jobs being created under Obama are low-paying service sector positions that don't pay enough to meet the rent. Which is why a record number of young people are living at home. Have you seen this?

"Last year, a record 36 percent of people 18 to 31 years old -- roughly the age range of the generation nicknamed the millennials -- were living in their parents' homes, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of Census Bureau data. ...And despite the frequent stories of recent college graduates stuck on their parents' couches (or in their basements or above their garages), it is actually young people without bachelor's degrees who are most likely to be living at home." ("Millennials, in Their Parents' Basements," Catherine Rampell, New York Times)

Don't kid yourself, it's nearly as bad for college grads. The only difference is that after you've wracked up $40,000 or $50,000 in student loans, you can proudly display your sheepskin on the wall in your Dad's attic where you spend your days combing the internet for jobs that no longer exist in the good old USA.

And another thing: The only reason unemployment has gone down at all is because so many people have stopped looking for work altogether and fallen off the radar. If the BLS counted these lost souls, we'd be looking at 11.2% unemployment instead of the bogus 7.4 percent figure. But who cares what the numbers are at this point. What matters is that the economy stinks, and the smiling idiot at the top deserves a lot of the credit for that.

Did you know that according to the National Institute on Retirement Security, 45 percent of working-age households have no retirement savings at all? On top of that, high unemployment and hard times have forced more and more people to dip into their 401Ks just to make ends meet, which means that things are worse than the numbers indicate. Has Obama made any effort to address the pension catastrophe facing baby boomers and Generation Xers in the years ahead?

Sure, he has. He appointed a commission of deficit hawks (Bowles-Simpson) to figure out clever ways to cheat people out of their Social Security. That's why Obama's approval rating is circling the plughole, because people are finally wising-up to what a phony he is. Check this out from Dean Baker:

"It is unfortunate that President Obama has proposed a budget that has substantial cuts to Social Security. The vast majority of seniors are already struggling. The proposed cuts would be a reduction in their income of more than 2 percent. By contrast, his tax increase last fall cut the after-tax income of the typical wealthy household by less than 0.6 percent...

"President Obama has accepted the agenda of the Washington elite, putting cuts to Social Security and Medicare at the center of his budget and offering little that will help to speed the growth of the economy and create jobs." ("Obama Accepts the Agenda of Misguided Washington Elites," Dean Baker, CEPR)

Amen, to that, Dean. And have you noticed the strong growth surge under Obama?

No, of course not, because there hasn't been one. The second quarter (Q2) GDP just clocked in at a miserable 1.7 percent, most of which was due to an unexpected uptick in inventories. Absent that, GDP would have been below 1 percent which would be an embarrassment for anyone except the narcissist in chief. Get a load of this from Nick Beams at the WSWS:

"Over the past three quarters the US economy has grown at an annualized rate of only 0.96 percent, exposing the claims of the Obama administration that a 'recovery' is underway. The fact that the US economy is able to achieve a growth rate just one sixth of the post-World War II average indicates that deep structural changes have taken place within the American economy and anything approaching previous growth rates will not be seen again." ("US growth and jobs figures point to continuing economic breakdown," Nick Beams, World Socialist Web Site)

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.

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