Karen and the Obama economy

Your Editor probably should have checked the numbers and done the math a few days ago, but better late than never. Under President Barack Hussein Obama, the man who had told us, in June of 2008, that it was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic” for President Bush to have presided over a $4 trillion increase in the national debt in eight years, has himself presided over an increase of $5,805,742,375,789.98 increase in the national debt during his first four years in office, from $10,626,877,048,913.08 to $16,432,619,424,703.06 on January 18, 2013, the last business day of his first term.

Of course, we have been told by our friends on the left that we just have to engage in deficit spending right now, because the economy is so weak, and that we need the stimulating effects. Well, after four years under our 44th President and his policies, just how well has that been working out for us? From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:

U.S. Economy Unexpectedly Contracts in Fourth Quarter

By Josh Mitchell | Updated January 30, 2013, 2:05 p.m. ET

The U.S. economy shrank for the first time in more than three years in the fourth quarter, underscoring the halting nature of the recovery. But the strength of consumer spending and business investment suggested that the economy will grow, albeit slowly, this year.

Gross domestic product—the broadest measure of goods and services churned out by the economy—fell at a 0.1% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to the government’s initial estimate out Wednesday.

The details weren’t as discouraging as the headline. The drop, a surprise, was driven by a sharp fall in government spending and by businesses putting fewer goods on warehouse shelves, as well as by a decline in exports. The mainstays of the domestic private economy—housing, consumer spending and business investment in equipment and software—were stronger.

Research firm Capital Economics called the report “the best-looking contraction in U.S. GDP you’ll ever see.” Forecasters didn’t see the decline as a harbinger of recession. They predicted the U.S. will expand at around a 2% pace in the current quarter, though the mood could shift Friday when the government releases its monthly snapshot of the job market.

More at the link; hat tip to Karen.

“The best-looking contraction in U.S. GDP you’ll ever see,” huh? Were I to be polite, I’d call that silver-liningism; were I to use one of my best friend’s stock expressions, I’d say, “Other than that, Mrs Kennedy, how was Dallas?”

So, the professional economists project that the current quarter will see an annualized expansion rate of 2% in the current quarter. Well, perhaps that will happen, but, if it does, that will mean that the last half year saw an expansion in GDP at an only 1% annualized rate. At what point, your Editor would ask, will we start to see some actually good economic news under President Obama and his Administration? A 1% or 2% annualized growth rate will not lead to sufficient job creation, will not lead to enough new jobs being created to reduce unemployment significantly.1

Karen also linked to this video from Fox News. Of course, Karen and her favorite husband are paying rather close attention to the economy, and she related two letters that they have received, one from a materials supplier noting significant price increases and another notifying her that her family’s group insurance coverage premiums would be increasing by 10% starting in April:

Mr. LC and I purchase our health insurance through our family business. I just received a notice informing us that the cost of the group plan that covers our family is rising by 10% a year beginning in April. A separate letter indicated that part of the increase is due to federal mandates regarding women’s reproductive services. We pay more for health insurance than we do for our mortgage.

Note that her insurance company specifically stated that part of the increase is directly due to higher costs due to federal regulations. Why, it’s almost as though nothing about health care coverage is free.

I really recommend looking at Karen’s brief article concerning material price increases. The letter she quotes has substantial percentage price increases listed, and that means the costs to contractors doing jobs will increase . . . which means that fewer people will be able to get work done that needs to be done. Some jobs that need to be done simply have to be done: if you need a new roof, you have to get that done, or the rain will destroy your house. But if you were considering new vinyl siding to upgrade an existing older home, well maybe you can live with the old stuff a while longer; if you were hoping to improve your home by adding a deck, maybe you’ll just have to put off that deck for another year or four. This means less business for home improvement contractors, and higher prices for new home construction. Those are things which, in the aggregate, slow down the economy and slow job creation, which is just what we have seen. yet, at the same time, Obama Administration regulations are directly increasing costs for things like health insurance.

The election is over, and we can’t somehow unelect President Obama; we are stuck with him and his cockamamie economic policies for another four years. But we can urge our Republican congressmen to do everything that they can to block his policies: don’t fund his new programs, and don’t pass any enabling legislation to authorize his policies. The Republicans won’t be able to help the economy, but maybe they can stop the Democrats from hurting it so much.

  1. The official unemployment rate might decline somewhat, as it has been through most of the Obama Administration, but that has been primarily due to so many people leaving the workforce rather than jobs being created.


  1. A separate letter indicated that part of the increase is due to federal mandates regarding women’s reproductive services.

    Another “Brilliant” consequence of Obamacare. Politicians thinking they have the right to tell insurance companies what kind of policies they have to sell, and, by extension, their customers what kind of policies they have to buy.

    Didn’t they try this shit in East Germany? Folks, that’s where we’re headin’ …

  2. Pingback: I Guess This Makes Me The Opposite Of Julia | The Lonely Conservative

  3. Pingback: Economics 101: It’s not a nail « THE FIRST STREET JOURNAL.

  4. Looks Orwellian to me. Up is Down, Poor is Rich, Deficits are Surpluses, and the Alfred E. Neuman approach ot the concumer confidence of 58 from 71, and a negative growth of -0.1% Is Progress. Got that? And don’t forget, the higher tax rates are NOT part of these figures. The Fiscal Cliff and restoration of the SS 2%.

  5. I brought in my younger daughter’s — now Elaine’s — old laptop, and I hate it! But it’s better than nothing.

    It’s not so much that President Obama and his team are economic morons — though I believe that they are — as much as it is that the government does not control the economy. The most it can do is to tweak around the edges, and that is usually marginally harmful.

    If the government controlled the economy, we’d never have recessions; no President, Republican or Democrat, wants economic hard times. But Obamanomics isn’t about economics, but the left’s cockamamie notions of “social justice.” Karen’s family company is going to be paying 10% more for their health insurance not because health care costs are rising 10%, but because the Obamabots believe that it is just social justice to require health insurers to provide contraceptive coverage, with no co-pays, for everybody. The Republic survived, and the birthrate fell (precipitously) without health insurance companies providing contraception coverage for 236 years, but now, the left are in power, and we just have to have it, or we’re all doomed.

  6. Karen noted that the Democrats are still blaming the evil Republicans for the state of the economy.

    It will be George Bush’s fault right up until January 20, 2017 . . . unless something good happens, in which case the Democrats made it happen. If a Democrat is elected in 2016, then it will be George Bush’s fault at least through January 20, 2021!

  7. as I often refer to Elaine as my favorite wife, and she’s the only one I have!

    If you converted to Islam, you could change that, you know!

    Actually, now that we’re going to have gay “Marriage”, why not polygamy next? If it’s “Discrimination” not to have gay marriage, then it’s just as much discrimination not to have polygamy. After all, one major religion (Islam) specifically allows for polygamy and some offshoots of another (Mormonism) condone it, too. So you could say it’s religious discrimination not to legally allow them to live out their faith.

  8. If the government controlled the economy, we’d never have recessions

    Well, the government did control the economy in Communist countries, and they never had recessions. Well, they pretty much had permanent recessions, as the economy was always lousy.

    As I said in a post right after the election, economic malaise has become “The New Normal”. I don’t think Obama mentioned unemployment once his his inaugural speech.

    O’Reiily had on Beckel last night. Beckel tried to spin the economic news as being good for Obama, but O’Reilly would have none of it. He sagely pointed out that if a football coach had four losing seasons under his belt and was still blaming the previous coach, he’d be out on his ass. Obama, OTOH, seems to be immune from the sort of performance expectations that govern 98% of the rest of us.

  9. but because the Obamabots believe that it is just social justice to require health insurers to provide contraceptive coverage, with no co-pays, for everybody. The Republic survived, and the birthrate fell (precipitously) without health insurance companies providing contraception coverage for 236 years

    In fairness, some insurance companies provided that coverage if you wanted it, but it was purely optional and you had to pay extra for it.

    Of course, the Sandra Fluck’s of the world now think they’re getting their birth control for “Free”. Which is, of course, nonsense. The insurance company is going to charge you for it, and by the time you factor in the insurance company’s overhead, labor costs, marketing/advertising costs, and of course, profit, it would be much cheaper if you just went to the drugstore and bought the damn pills or rubbers yourself.

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