Last Friday’s crummy jobs report followed the grim news that economic growth is below 2 percent. We’re slowing down again, after not speeding up very much -- and the storm clouds over Europe threaten to toss the whole world back into full recession. What has this president ever done to help the economy heal?
Fine, Obama took office in the teeth of the Great Recession, with businesses shedding jobs in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis. But that was three-plus years ago.
As the new president, and with the help of a solidly Democratic Congress, he gave us a bunch of stuff he said would turn things around: Nearly $1 trillion in stimulus spending, which was supposed to kick the economy back into gear; ObamaCare, which allegedly fixes long-term problems; the Dodd-Frank financial-reform law, which claimed to tackle the roots of the 2008 meltdown.
Then his party lost big in 2010 -- and he apparently gave up on doing anything to help the economy. He even ignored the recommendations of his bipartisan deficit-reduction panel -- including its push for tax reform, probably the best economic-growth idea to ever come near this White House.
De facto, he’s standing on the “achievements” of his first two years. But we all know how those turned out.
Dodd-Frank almost assures that taxpayers will have to bail out the “too big to fail” banks in the next blowup, while heaping so many regulations on them that they aren’t lending to small business. For all the handouts given to people with underwater mortgages, housing prices remain depressed. And the twin culprits of the housing bubble, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, remain largely intact, still running up new taxpayer-backed debt.
Meanwhile, the “shovel ready” construction jobs his stimulus package was supposed to create never happened -- and the president actually jokes about it. The promised “green jobs” drowned in oceans of red ink at government-backed losers like Solyndra.
They told us the stimulus would bring unemployment down to less than 6 percent by now; it’s 8.2 percent -- and rising.
And only Democratic Kool-aid drinkers think ObamaCare’s going to be anything but a growing hit on the economy.
Click to read Charles Gasparino's complete column in the New York Post