No hope here. But lots of change, and for the worse, in a poll taken last week:
Eight of 10 say the economy is in a recession, and nearly as many say it hasn’t improved over the past year. Even more ominous: Six in 10 predict the economy a year from now will be the same or worse than today, a downturn from the public’s views last year and the year before.
In the USA TODAY survey, the public’s economic expectations were reversed from where they stood two years ago, soon after economists calculated the recession officially had ended. In September 2009, 65% predicted the economy would be better in a year; 35% said it would be about the same or worse.
Now, 37% say things will be better in a year; 61% say they will be the same or worse.
While a third of the respondents still attribute some of the blame to President Bush, that particular Democrat talking point is fading:
Twenty-four percent say Obama deserves a great deal of the blame, up 10 points since 2009. For the first time since he took office, a majority of Americans — including six in 10 independents — say he deserves a great deal or moderate amount of blame for the nation’s economic woes.
“The blame-it-on-my-predecessor line is of decreasing help to an incumbent,” says political scientist William Mayer of Northeastern University. “It was perfectly fine when he took office, and even reasonable a year or two in, but eventually, increasingly, it becomes Obama’s economy.
I think Obama pushed the blame-it-on-Bush string much too long. About two years too long. When you campaign on vague promises of hope and change, as the savior of an economy that was teetering on disaster, there had better be solid improvements in people’s economic well-being, relatively quickly. Especially after you made it a point to tell everyone that your predecessor’s economic policies failed, with the implication being that yours are so much better.
So much for that.
In total agreement with Jennifer Rubin here:
The chasm between the president’s agenda (and leadership skills) and the problems we face seems to widen with each passing day. The problem is not the Martha’s Vineyard vacation but the two and a half years that preceded it. The policy initiatives and the president himself seem too small for the challenges we face. He resorts to political stunts to fill the time and directs blame to Congress, the Republicans or whatever else he can think of.
People who complain about the vacation are missing the point. I hear a lot of conservatives complaining about this vacation, as the economy seems to deteriorate with each passing day, and world markets continue to melt, and that the President should be….um, well…I’m not exactly sure what they think he should be doing. Sure the optics look bad, and I honestly don’t think the President really cares. And, as the last four years have shown us, anything the Democrats propose to “help” the economy, is bound to be a disaster.
But more importantly, as Rubin notes, when he does come back from vacation, then what? Democrats, as always, appears to be out of bullets and have nothing to contribute.
[Hat Tip: Instapundit]
This is Maxine Waters, the resident idiot in the Congressional Black Caucus speaking about the President and his current jobs tour through white America:
“We’re supportive of the president, but we’re getting tired, ya’ll. We’re getting tired. And so, what we want to do is, we want to give the president every opportunity to show what he can do and what he’s prepared to lead on. We want to give him every opportunity, but our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don’t know what the strategy is. We don’t know why on this trip that he’s in the United States now, he’s not in any black community. We don’t know that.”
Here’s the thing Congresswoman Waters. Liberal Democrats like President Obama already assume they have the black vote in the bag, regardless of how hard Hope and Change
fifty years of liberal policies has thrown them under the bus. And it’s not so much that he’s going to see white people on his lame bus tour, but rather middle America, which includes whites, as well as blacks, as well as Hispanics, as well as Asians, etc., all across the fruited plain. With that in mind, it’s no wonder he’s out there because those are the votes not in the bag, as it were.
And of course, he needs those votes to get re-elected and continue dragging this country downward. Got it?
UPDATE. Video of the CBC meeting via Big Government:
You really feel the angst in that video. This is the failure of liberalism personified—the uncomfortably dumbfounded look of Ms. Waters (emphasis on the “dumb”), the plight of the people these liberals and their socialist policies were meant to help. All in one clip. Politically, it’s bad news for Obama—coupled with liberal supporters screaming down Debbie Wasserman Shultz in Iowa last weekend—these incidents speak volumes.
Yep, the natives are getting restless, as they were promised big government lollipops, (to borrow a phrase from Mark Steyn) and all they got were…well…nothing.
Of course, that distinction belongs to President 39%, who deserves all the credit:
“There is a dramatic contrast with the governor of Texas” when it comes to his record versus the president’s on job creation,” Wasserman Schultz said. “Not the least of which is that it is extremely difficult for him to deserve credit for that job creation when you have rising gas prices that created oil jobs that he had nothing to do with, when you had military spending as a result of two wars that created military jobs that he had nothing to do with, when you have the Recovery Act championed by President Obama that created jobs in Texas that he had nothing to do with.”
[...] “So it is way overblown to suggest that the job creation in Texas is squarely on the shoulders of [Perry's] policies.”
Democrats, apparently, are born liars. If the Democrat party wants to campaign on the stimulus bill to scream about all of the wonderful jobs they have created, then so be it. Try selling that to the American people for the next 15 months.
Meanwhile here’s Ms. Shultz in Iowa this past weekend, preaching to
getting booed by the Democratic faithful:
If I was a Democrat, with unemployment over 9%, a historic downgrade of our country’s credit, a stalling economy with little or no growth, I wouldn’t exactly be too confident in my party’s outlook right about now. And having this uninspiring moonbat representing the party wouldn’t be helping matters.
Confidence among U.S. consumers plunged in August to the lowest level since May 1980, adding to concern that weak employment gains and volatility in the stock market will prompt households to retrench.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary index of consumer sentiment slumped to 54.9 from 63.7 the prior month. The gauge was projected to decline to 62, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey.
The biggest one-week slump in stocks since 2008 and the threat of default on the nation’s debt may have exacerbated consumers’ concerns as unemployment hovers above 9 percent and companies are hesitant to hire. Rising pessimism poses a risk household spending will cool further, hindering a recovery that Federal Reserve policy makers said this week was already advancing “considerably slower” than projected.
“We’re really at the bottom of the barrel right now,” Lindsey Piegza, an economist at FTN Financial in New York, said before the report. “Americans are feeling an increasing level of frustration with their leaders in Washington. We’re also seeing a slew of weaker than expected economic reports.”
But don’t worry. President Obama’s just as frustrated and worked up about the economy that he and the Democrats have created as we all are. Doesn’t that make you feel sooo much better?
The report came out this morning, and while the media and the White House give it the expected fluff, it was actually not so good news:
The economy in July generated 117,000 jobs and the unemployment rate declined from 9.2 percent to 9.1 percent.
This is nice until you remember that the economy needs to create about 150,000 jobs just to keep pace with the growing work force. The decline in the unemployment rate was not due to the new jobs, but to people giving up searching for jobs. They are then not counted as unemployed, since they are not even looking.
Now, July was better than June, and the numbers were better than expected. But overall, we’re in worse shape than we were.
As we’ve seen again and again, it’s not so much that the administration is ambiguous and outright deceptive about these economic reports, it’s that the media is complicit in their deception. Par for the course from the left.
Eugene Robinson whines about the lack of cool slogan for progressives:
In the midst of a profound economic slump, with unemployment at crisis levels, we’ve just had a long and bitter budget debate that wasn’t about how government might try to create jobs. It was about budget cuts that will eliminate jobs.
And what is the progressive response? Basically, all of the above — which doesn’t fit on a bumper sticker. Democrats have utterly failed to develop and communicate a Big Idea of their own.
Obama talks about “winning the future,” but that’s too nebulous. I’d suggest something pithier: jobs, jobs, jobs.
People may dislike paying taxes, but they dislike unemployment more. Progressives should talk about bringing the nation back to full employment and healthy growth — and how this requires an adequately funded government to play a major role.
The emphasis was mine, as Robinson’s comments are clueless. Democrats had the better part of three years with control of the White House and majorities in Congress, plus trillions in new debt, and stimulus money. Surely this was and “adequately funded” government at work, no?
Jim Geraghty smacks Robinson around:
Really? Seriously? The president with a stagnant economy, unemployment that never dipped below 8.8 percent since April 2009, and with the rate inching up again is going to run on jobs, jobs, jobs?Of course Obama inherited a troubled economy with an unemployment rate rising fast. The problem is that he was given a heavily Democratic Congress, and he gave us the very best he could do with the stimulus, which hasn’t even come close to bringing it down. In fact, Obama’s A-team of economic advisers didn’t clearly understand the recession, and vastly overestimated how much good their preferred stimulus plan would do [...]What’s the slogan after “Jobs, Jobs, Jobs”? “I swear, I’ll do better next term! This has never happened to me before!”
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the bank with the highest equities-trading revenue, said its rivals are too enthusiastic about second-quarter earnings prospects for Standard & Poor’s 500 Index companies.
Operating profit will total $23.75 a share for the period, or 2.3 percent less than the average Wall Street estimate, said David Kostin, an equity strategist at New York-based Goldman Sachs. He said 2011 and 2012 earnings-per-share forecasts will be reduced by 2 percent and 8 percent, respectively.
U.S. corporations are set to report the slowest earnings gain since the recession ended as companies from Ford Motor Co. to McDonald’s Corp. struggled with rising oil and commodity prices and a slowdown in consumer confidence that may continue to hamper spending this year.
There was nothing good in June’s job report released this morning. The unemployment rate inched up to 9.2% and the economy added about 18,000 jobs for the month. And what’s that odor in the air?
It’s the foul stench of recession:
The U.S. economy generated just 43,000 jobs in the last two months, perhaps taking the world’s largest economy skating closer to recession territory.
It was difficult to find a bright spot in the U.S. Labor Department report. Many key labor market signals deteriorated, and the jobless rate rose unexpectedly to 9.2 percent even though the work force actually shrank.
Shaun Osborne, senior currency strategist at TD Securities, summed it up: “The number stinks.” Watch for forecast revisions to second half U.S. gross domestic product.
The Obama administration has run out of silver bullets, as the Democrats perverse experiment with Keynesian economics has failed miserably.
So what to do? The experts are leaving the door open for the Fed to fire up the printing presses again:
[The Labor Department's report] could raise questions about whether the Fed should take additional actions to support growth.
Yes. Because it’s worked so well with QE1 and QE2.
Politically, the Obama
campaign administration has got to be in full panic mode now. Time is of the essence, but even over a year away from the election, the economy will have to show some strong monthly employment gains to bring that rate down. Some broad tax cutting would be in order to accomplish that, along with some bold moves to cut spending. But I wouldn’t bet on that coming from this White House.
Speaking of panic, the President is holding a press conference to speak about this morning’s employment report at 10:30 this morning.