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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 2/2/17

How We the People Were Screwed by Obama's Bogus "Recovery"

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Message Mike Whitney
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From Counterpunch

Hacking the Economy
Hacking the Economy
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It's amazing how Obama was able to dupe the American people into believing that the weakest expansion in the postwar era, was an "economic recovery." Frankly, it boggles the mind.

Think about it for a minute: Productivity, business investment, personal consumption, inflation and growth have all been either sputtering-along at half speed or at historic lows for the entire period, and yet, President Flimflam has been out taking bows and high-fiving for his stellar performance as premier steward of the world's biggest economy. It's ridiculous. The whole storyline is completely fake.

So let's settle this once and for all. The economic machinations that transpired under Obama cannot be accurately called a "recovery," which is merely the public relations handle he used to conceal what was really going on below the surface.

And what was going on below the surface?

Why structural adjustment of course. The economy was being rejiggered in a way that deliberately kept growth weak (by withholding fiscal stimulus) in order reduce upward pressure on wages that would have pushed inflation higher forcing the Fed to raise rates. That may sound complicated, but it's actually a very simple and straightforward way to keep inflation at bay.

But why would Obama deliberately want to slow growth merely to keep inflation low?

It's obvious, isn't it? Because if inflation began to rise, then the Fed would be forced to raise rates and stop shoveling trillions of dollars to the big Wall Street investment banks which, by the way, happened to be drowning in red ink at the time. In other words, the economy was deliberately strangled in order to save the banks. But then you probably knew that already, didn't you?

Tell me you haven't noticed how all the money has been flowing upwards for the last eight years while the economy has languished on life support? Tell me you haven't noticed how the chasm between rich and poor has only gotten wider under Obama?

Do you seriously think it was all an accident? Do you really think that physically stuffing the coffers of banks with truckloads of cash behind the silly Madison Avenue-coined moniker "Quantitative Easing" was supposed to trigger more lending, boost hiring, and stimulate growth??

C'mon now, let's be serious. The whole idea is preposterous. We the People have been corn-holed big-time, that's what really happened. There's no other way to put it.

Why do I bring this up now?

Because on Friday the Commerce Department released its report on 4th quarter GDP, so now we can evaluate Obama's economic record en toto and put the whole matter to rest. The new data essentially cuts through the bullshit and allows us to see what a complete catastrophe President Snake-oil really was. Here's a clip from an article in the Wall Street Journal:

"The U.S. ended 2016 on a familiar trajectory of roughly 2% economic growth, the lackluster trend that has prevailed through most of the current expansion... Gross domestic product, a broad measure of the goods and services produced across the economy, expanded at an inflation and seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.9% in the fourth quarter... That has made this the slowest expansion since World War II."
(Economy Returns to Lackluster Growth, Wall Street Journal)

This is the flaccid, under-performing, pathetically-anemic economy about which Obama has been doing handstands and cartwheels for the last eight years. What a joke. No president in modern times has ever squeezed so many accolades out of -- what amounts to -- a complete failure. Here's more from the Journal:

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.

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