One cannot drink oneself into sobriety. Yet that is precisely what Congressional Democrats and the Obama Administration have attempted with our economy for the past year with predictable and painful results.
Unemployment continues to stand at an official 10% for the third month in a row, the worst joblessness in 27 years. The real unemployment rate is far worse. Included in the December economic figures was a shocker – the percentage of adult men who are working has fallen to the lowest level in recorded U.S. history at just 80%. That means that one in five men in this country between 18 and 54 are neither working nor claiming unemployment. They have fallen completely out of the workforce.
That helps explain why December’s unemployment rate remained at November’s 10% rate in spite of an additional 85,000 Americans losing their jobs. At the same time the new jobless claims were added, many of the previously unemployed were simply removed from the workforce numbers altogether.
Economists estimate our true jobless rate as high as 17%, and that could grow in coming months as more Americans exhaust their unemployment benefits and lose homes to foreclosure.
When Barack Obama was sworn into office last January, unemployment stood at 7.2%. President Obama of course blamed this on the preceding Bush Administration, while ignoring the fact that his fellow Democrats had total control of the House and Senate since 2006.
We were told that unless we passed his $757 billion stimulus plan immediately, unemployment could jump to 8% before we started recovering midway through 2009. Democrats passed it, and unemployment has soared to over 10% and stayed there.
Did any of this budget-breaking spending do any good? Not according to the Associated Press:
“Spend a lot or spend nothing at all, it didn’t matter, the AP analysis showed: Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless of how much stimulus money Washington poured out for transportation, raising questions about Obama’s argument that more road money would address an ‘urgent need to accelerate job growth” (AP, 1/11/10).
So Congressional Democrats and the President pushed for a “cap and trade” energy tax and a health care takeover that will add millions more to the jobless roles through massive new taxes, higher consumer prices, oppressive regulations, and out-of-control federal spending and deficits.
The unemployment rate soared even higher, but Obama and Pelosi learned nothing. They pushed another “stimulus” bill through the House in December, putting taxpayers another $75 billion in debt.
Deficit spending undermines economic growth. Shoring up failed businesses and business practices undermines economic growth. Piling on debt for our children and grandchildren undermines economic growth. Lack of economic growth means more joblessness.
The Obama Administration and the House of Pelosi spent 2009 in a drunken binge of government spending and power grabs. We are left in January 2010 with a splitting deficit hangover, and the only way to recover is to set aside the bottle of fiscal irresponsibility.
We can begin by repealing whatever is left of the Bush and Obama Administration “stimulus” plans, ending the energy and health care takeovers, and recovering the taxpayer funds handed over to failed companies.
Then we can start creating sustainable new jobs through cutting taxes for individuals and small businesses, taking the burden of debt off our children, and restoring the vibrancy of our free market economy that has been stifled by Washington.
Cross-posted from Big Government