Before I get to the primary focus of this week’s newsletter — the Obama administration’s dismal failure on jobs and on maintaining the confidence of the American people — I want to update you on last week’s topic, an all-out effort to prevent the Democrats from using a lame duck session to pass all the radical left-wing bills on their agenda before a new, much more conservative Congress takes over in January.
Yesterday, Congress voted on a resolution offered by Tom Price that would have prevented a lame duck session of Congress after this election. It was defeated by a vote of 236 to 163. Six Democrats voted for the resolution. One Republican voted against.
However, this is not the end of the fight. It is the beginning. In just one week, over 85,000 Americans have signed letters to their representatives telling them to take the No Lame Duck Pledge.
By continuing to pile on the pressure, and make this a big issue in the fall, we can still box in the Democrats so that they are unable to justify holding a lame duck session after the election.
Please visit http://www.americansolutions.com/lameduck/ to sign up for this important effort.
A failure on jobs
What do 9.5% and 71% have in common?
They are both proof of the failure of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid secular-socialist machine.
9.5% was the unemployment rate in June. The Obama administration warned that unless its big government stimulus bill was passed, that unemployment would rise above 8%. The bill was passed (in a panic, without being read) and nevertheless, unemployment rocketed past 8% to settle at 9.5%.
What’s more, the 9.5% unemployment rate is likely too rosy a picture of the American economy. The real unemployment rate – which includes those who are underemployed and those who have given up looking for a job and left the workforce–may be as high as 22% according to some analyses.
The stimulus has clearly failed to create jobs as promised.
Furthermore, the radicalism of the administration and Congress’ domestic policies has hampered the natural resiliency of the American economy, artificially extending the recession.
See the failure to believe the failure
Several charts illustrate the gravity of the left’s failure economically.
The first, produced by American Solutions, shows the Obama Jobs Gap. That’s the difference between the rate of job creation needed to return the U.S. to 5% unemployment by 2015 and the actual track record of this administration. The Obama Jobs Gap surpassed 1 million in July.
Another chart, produced by the Heritage Foundation, shows the Obama Jobs Deficit. That’s the difference between the 3.5 million jobs President Obama promised to create by December 2010 during the 2008 campaign and the 4.1 million lost during his administration. That’s an Obama Jobs Deficit of 7.6 million jobs.
Another, from Calculated Risk, shows just how long it is taking our economy to recover compared to past recessions, and that with last month’s loss of 131,000 jobs, the trend lines are heading in the wrong direction.
Despite the indisputable data, last week in the New York Times, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner boldly declared, “Welcome to the Recovery.”
At 9.5% unemployment, most Americans don’t feel welcomed to a recovery. They might welcome, however, a return to reality at the White House.
Choosing Unemployment over a Job
An article in the Wall Street Journal Monday painted a frustrating picture of the joblessness situation, showing that, despite our high unemployment, many firms are having trouble filling job openings. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, if job openings were getting filled at a normal rate, the unemployment rate would be 6.8% instead of 9.5%.
So there are actually many jobs out there that need to be filled. Yet, in the worst recession since the Great Depression, many employers can’t make hires.
The article cites several reasons for this phenomenon, a few of which are long term trends such as our education system not producing enough qualified engineers. But others factors fall squarely on the backs of this administration and Congress.
For instance, the extension of unemployment benefits has given people a perverse incentive to stay on unemployment rather than accept a job. The part-owner of a machine parts company, Mechanical Devices, is looking for as many as 40 new engineers, but is quoted in the article as saying many applicants at job fairs were “just going through the motions so they could collect their unemployment checks.” The article also quotes an engineer who admits he turned down more than a dozen offers because the salary would have been less than he made on welfare.
This story encapsulates the problem of the long-term unemployed. The depth and length of this recession is at risk of creating a permanent pool of unemployed Americans, who get so used to being unproductive that they are willing to accept welfare indefinitely instead of taking a job.
Uncertainty Also Prevents Job Creation
As I travel to different cities across the country with American Solutions hosting Real Jobs Summits, I always try to hold meetings with the local members of our Jobs and Prosperity Task Force. Comprised solely of small business owners, these meetings always offer a useful perspective about the real world consequences of the administration and Congress’ radical agenda.
The most common theme I hear at these meetings is uncertainty. Small business owners are so paralyzed by the radicalism of the Democrats’ agenda that they are afraid to hire new workers or otherwise invest in their businesses because they are unable to predict with any degree of confidence anything from how much they will owe in taxes in the future to the price of energy if an energy tax is passed.
A major source of uncertainty is the new health care bill, the details of which Speaker Pelosi proudly boasted ignorance of by saying “We have to pass the bill in order to know what’s in it.” With so much uncertainty surrounding how the bill will affect Americans, employers don’t know how to project the future costs of health care. So they simply don’t hire.
The second election repudiating Obamacare
The other number that indicates the failure of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid secular socialist machine is 71%.
71% is the percentage of voters in Missouri – a swing state – who in a vote last week rejected a federally imposed individual health insurance mandate, a key provision in Obamacare that requires all Americans to buy health insurance.
This is actually the second time an election has repudiated the Democrats’ big government health care plan. The special election to replace Ted Kennedy became a referendum on Obamacare and the results there were equally stunning. Republican Scott Brown – an ardent opponent of the health care bill – was elected to replace a man who called government-provided health care for every American the “cause of his life.”
The latest national polls show that a majority of Americans favor repealing the health care bill. Even more Americans believe the bill will cause health care costs to go up.
This series of repudiations means that the President and Congress’s signature achievement – centralized health care – is being firmly rejected by the American people.
President Obama, Speaker Pelosi, and Senator Reid are clearly failures at delivering the results they promised. They promised jobs and an economic turnaround. What they’ve delivered instead is economic stagnation.
They’re also clearly failures at maintaining the support of the American people for their policies. Their most significant victory – the big government health care bill – is so unpopular that most Americans want it completely repealed.
71% repudiation at the polls.
This is what failure looks like. And it is indisputable.
Newt’s Quick Links
• ReAL Chairman Dr. Jim Garlow, one of the original drivers behind the Proposition 8 movement in CA, discusses the losses and consequences of the amendment being overturned. You can read the piece and watch the special video message here.
• The Americano writes about Fidel Castro’s latest public appearance, where he made outrageous accusations about the United States and Israel. Click here.
• Read my take on why Elena Kagan is not fit for the Supreme Court and the proper role of the American judiciary here.