During the presidential campaign, then candidate Obama made the downturn in the economy one of his cornerstone issues. Now, that he has been president for almost 2 ½ years, time for a “reality check” as Bill O’Reilly would say.
So, welcome to Obamanomics 101 – where the math doesn’t work because the numbers don’t mean a thing.
Obama’s main idea for re-invigorating the economy was “the stimulus package.” This bill was placed on the fast-track because Obama hailed it as the cure-all for the economy that would avert an economic catastrophe. According to Obama, the stimulus would:
Keep unemployment under 8% — This is the one of the better known selling points. So, how did that work?
The unemployment rate when Obama took office was 7.6%. The stimulus was passed in February 2009. According to Obama, it was never supposed to go above 8% — well, it was already at 8.1% when the stimulus became a law. And it never got any better. According to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics, the unemployment rate remained high. There were some predictions that it would stay above 9% until 2012 (and this was from the White House no less). The CBO also predicts that the unemployment rate would be 8.2% come November 2012 which is higher than when he took office.
If you look at the chart provided by the DOL, there was some decline from January 2010 to approximately September 2010. The Obama Administration hailed this as a success for the stimulus package. However, the census was being done at that time which allowed the numbers to remain artificially propped up during this time frame. Once these jobs were completed, these people returned once again to the unemployment line.
Obama’s response shifted from “hope and change” to “it would have been worse” had we not passed the stimulus.
The reality is that the “stimulus package” never lived up to the hype. The reality is that the unemployment numbers which Obama used to gauge the success of the stimulus do not even come close to reflecting the reality of the jobs situation. At the time Obama took office, the U-6 rate, which is also known as the underemployment rate, was at 13.9%. Today, the current underemployment rate is at 19.9% for March 2011.
So, much for Obamanomics!! The promise never lived up to the hype!