The Two Year Anniversary of the Obama Recovery
Without a lot of fanfare, the Obama economic recovery officially turned 2 this month. Anyone think we're better off than we were two years ago? . . .
Single family home prices dropped in March to their lowest level since April 2009; the consumer Confidence Index tumbled to a six-month low of 60.8; and regional manufacturing is slowing. In the Chicago area, it fell to its lowest level since November 2009.
Yet if you listened to President Obama and his cheerleaders in the press over the past two years, the answer should have been a resounding yes.
Obama promised way back in February 2009 that his $830 billion stimulus plan would unleash "a new wave of innovation, activity and construction" and "ignite spending by businesses and consumers."
In June 2010, he announced that the recovery was "well under way" and that it "is getting stronger by the day." A couple months later, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner penned a New York Times op-ed headlined "Welcome to the Recovery."
And all along, media simply parroted the White House line, extolling every "green shoot" they could find, celebrating every time a handful of jobs got created, while constantly acting surprised by the ongoing "unexpected" bad economic news.
But the fact is that the Obama recovery is one of the worst ever. Certainly the worst since the Great Depression. It's so bad, in fact, that even 24 months after the recession officially ended there are few places beyond the stock market and corporate profits that have shown much, if any, improvement. A few examples:
• Jobs: The number of people with jobs has barely changed since June 2009 — up just 0.4%.
• Unemployment: While the unemployment rate has dropped a bit, the number of long-term unemployed is up by a third, and the average length of unemployment is now a staggering 38 weeks.
• Earnings: Median weekly earnings are down slightly between Q3 2009 and Q1 2011, after adjusting for inflation, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
• Housing prices: The National Association of Realtors reports that median price for existing home sales dropped 10% since June 2009. . . . .
Yet, incredibly, Obama continues to escape blame for this sorry state of affairs. A Rasmussen survey in May found 54% of the public still blames President Bush, while just 39% blame Obama's policies. . . .