Mitt Romney's new advertisement reveals just how out of touch Obama is when it comes to the issue of the economy. It is a powerful reminder Obama's policies and his careless remarks about his own lack of performance on the economic that generates the bad economic news has a real impact on the lives of everyday Americans.
President Obama's statement is appalling for another reason.
First, let us review how well the economy is doing right now. No matter what section of the economy you look at, it isn't doing well. The housing market is barely breathing since home prices in the United States have sunk to their lowest levels since 2002, falling 4.2 percent in the first quarter of 2011 and that further drops in home prices are expected in the future. There has been a steep slowdown in the manufacturing sector despite the fact that we are experiencing record highs in exports.
Most importantly, jobs aren't growing or declining but are simply stalling with only 38,000 Americans added to the workforce in May, the smallest increase since September. Unemployment currently stands at 9.1%. To look at things from a different perspective, just 19% of working Americans now report that their firms are hiring while 23% say their firms are laying workers off. Lets not forget that Obama's environmental policies will cause electricity prices to go higher and possibly cause the collapse of the coal industry which will lead more people out of jobs.
Since Obama has taken office as President, we have been doing $1 trillion dollar in deficit for the third straight year. We have a national debt of $14 trillion. As a result, Moody has threatened to cut our credit rating which is causing investors to be worried about a future correction in the stock markets as a result of Obama bad economic policies. According to Senator Paul Ryan, if things stay the same as they are now, America won't survive past 2037.
As a result, Americans are increasingly growing pessimistic about the economy. 48% of Americans say that another Great Depression is likely to occur in the next year. 49% of Americans think that they will be paying higher interests rates next year. 79% of American adults are at least somewhat concerned about inflation while there are 52% of American adults who consider themselves as very concerned about inflation. Consider the latest Consumer Index Report that reports that an extremely high percentage of Americans think the economy is doing poorly:
11% of consumers rate the U.S. economy as good or excellent, while 55% rate the economy as poor. Twenty-five percent (25%) say economic conditions are getting better, while 53% say they are getting worse.
As a result, 64% of voters say the country is heading down the wrong track while only 28% think America is heading in the right direction. Thus, its no surprise that unemployment was the number one concern with the economy following as the number two concern for Americans and it continues to be the primary concern today:
Not surprisingly, with that much economic angst, the economy is the number one issue, the only one that more than half of the public says will be extremely important to their vote for president next year. Nearly all issues that at least four in ten say will be extremely important to their vote are domestic issues. Terrorism also makes that list, but Afghanistan is fairly low and Libya is tied for dead last out of the 15 issues tested. Abortion and gay marriage also rank very low, indicating that 2012 may be an election that is shaped more by bread-and-butter issues than social and moral concerns.
With Obama's liberal/progressive policies of promoting more federal government regulation and intervention, its no surprise that Americans don't want another four years of Obama in office. This is reflected in the fact that 47% of likely voters are worried more that the federal government will do too much rather than not enough in reacting to the nation's economic problems.
It is no wonder that Americans cannot take Obama seriously as an economic leader. Barak Obama has zero credibility when it comes to his promises of reducing unemployment and fixing the economy. Even his own actions demonstrate that this man isn't serious about the economy. Look this chart which takes a look at a wide range of economic indicators to show how disastrous Obama's has been for American economy in the first 25 months of his term. That is why even Obama's closest allies are starting to be upset with the fact that Obama hasn't done enough to create jobs in America.
Obama is scrambling to bring down unemployment so that he can keep his job as President. Currently, he's in North Carolina as part of a listening tour to promote his economic polices while at the same time find ways to bring down unemployment. But it is too late Obama to reverse his own horrible policies in order to fix the economy.
Which brings me back to why President Obama's statement about the long line of bad economic news is merely a bump in the road is so appalling. What Obama is trying to do is make a mountain of bad economic news into a a molehill of bad economic news. By downplaying the seriousness of our financial situation, its not just the fact that Obama is ignoring or trivializing the impact his policies have had on the American people but its also a gargantuan distortion of how bad things are in America economically.
As a result, its evidence that Americans and Obama have different perspectives about the current state of the economy. Obama has a distorted view of the economy whereas Americans have a correct view of it. J.D. Foster, a columnist writing for the National Review, drives this point home eloquently:
An economy is more than bricks and mortar, goods and services, labor and capital. It is also people acting in their own best interests guided by their expectations of what could be. Hope, confidence, expectations, whatever the label — it is a key factor often left out of the economics textbooks. But hope builds a bridge of positive actions from a weak recovery to a strong recovery. In purely economic terms, confidence arbitrages belief in a strong economy in the future and pulls some of that strength into the present, helping to make prosperity a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Presented with abundant evidence, the American people have rightly judged Obama economic policies failures, and they recognize he intends to continue those policies. Thus, they expect the economy to continue to muddle along, at best. Those are likely to be self-fulfilling expectations unless and until there is real change in Washington.