President Barack Obama is traveling the country to give speeches on the economy and jobs, and he has stated some verifiable truths. The problem, though, is his belief as to what has caused those truths.
For example: “Even though our businesses are creating new jobs and have broken record profits, nearly all income gains of the past 10 years have continued to flow to the top 1 percent.”
That’s true, but as Washington Examiner political columnist Timothy P. Carney noted: “It’s odd that Obama touts these facts, because the facts indict his policies.”
Indeed. Obama’s first term was spent pursuing policies that either had nothing to do with the economy or flat-out hindered it. Tax hikes, repressive regulations (many by executive fiat), bailouts, new subsidies and expansions of old ones. The result, as Mr. Carney notes, was stock market gains and corporate earnings records, as the rich got richer. Meanwhile, the median income of Americans is down 5 percent since 2009, when the Great Recession officially ended, but also when Mr. Obama took residence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
This proves false Mr. Obama’s belief that more government means more equality. Rather, as government grows, Mr. Carney writes, “the wealthy, the big and the well-connected pull away, and the rest of us struggle.”
The president claims Republican obstructionism — all those “phony” scandals — have kept Congress from paying proper attention to the economy. Just one year ago, the president said “the private sector is doing fine.” Mr. Obama’s priorities since taking office have been tax increases, giveaways to green energy companies and the job-killing time bomb that is ObamaCare.
If Mr. Obama were truly concerned about middle-class jobs, why won’t he approve the Keystone XL pipeline? The project has been vetted and revetted and even rerouted, meeting every demand of the administration, yet it still isn’t approved. It would create thousands of direct and indirect jobs, and it would go a long way toward containing energy costs for all Americans — putting some of that 5 percent loss in median income back in our pockets. And all of this at zero cost to the government. Sorry, Mr. President, Republicans aren’t obstructing the creation of those jobs.
Mr. Obama’s war on coal also belies his push for good middle-class jobs. Cheap coal accounts for 20 percent of Nevada’s power generation — second only to natural gas (68.7 percent) and well ahead of more costly renewable energy. Soon coal will disappear from Nevada’s power portfolio, and if the president and the environmental lobbies have their way, thousands upon thousands of people who live in coal country will lose their jobs, and Nevadans and all Americans will be paying a lot more for energy. For a president who purports to care about the poor, such a policy is particularly punitive to low-income residents.
In June, the unemployment rate increased in 347 metropolitan areas and fell in just 12. The national U6 rate, which includes people who can only find part-time work or are too discouraged to look for a job, jumped to 14.3 percent.
If President Obama is indeed interested in a better economy that creates more good-paying jobs and puts more money in Americans’ wallets, he should take a hard look at the past five years and consider doing the opposite.