Saturday, June 18, 2011

ORP: Obama's Economic Mulligans

In anticipation of President Obama's highly publicized golf outing with Governor Kasich and Speaker Boehner, the Ohio Republican Party has teed up 18 of the Obama's worst economic mulligans.

The Failed “Stimulus”

Hole #1: Obama Thought His “Recovery” Plan Was Going to Be a Hole-in-One.

President Obama claimed that his trillion dollar stimulus was creating “…progress all across the country. Businesses are beginning to hire again.” He also said that the economy “is now growing at a good clip,” and he gave credit to Democrats in Congress for passing the “successful” stimulus. (Presidential press conference, Columbus, OH, 6/18/2010)

Hole #2: Unemployment Was Supposedly on Par to Stay Below 8 Percent.

“When Obama signed the stimulus, the most recent unemployment statistics (for January 2009) showed a national unemployment rate of 7.8 percent. Obama’s economic advisers had predicted the stimulus would keep the national unemployment rate below 8 percent. Yet, today, the national unemployment rate is 9.1 percent.” (Terence P. Jeffrey, “28 Months Later, Obama Says: Recovery’s ‘Going to Take Time,’”, 6/12/11)

Hole #3: Obama’s “Shovel-Ready” Projects Dug Him into a Sand Trap.

“It was explained to Obama that the permitting process can delay projects for ‘months to years ... and in many cases even cause projects to be abandoned ... I'm sure that when you implemented the Recovery Act your staff briefed you on many of these challenges.’ At this point, Obama smiled and interjected, ‘Shovel-ready was not as ... uh .. shovel-ready as we expected.’ The Council, led by GE's Jeffrey Immelt, erupted in laughter.” (“Obama Jokes at Jobs Council: ‘Shovel-Ready Was Not as Shovel-Ready as We Expected’,” Fox News, 6/13/11)

Increased Unemployment

Hole #4: Ohio’s Employment Has Lost Its Swing.

Ohio has lost nearly 40,000 jobs since the stimulus was signed and our unemployment rate is no longer decreasing: “It's a pause after 14 straight months of falling unemployment.” (Associated Press, 6/17/11)

Hole #5: Employment Has Taken a Double Bogey.

“Twenty-eight months after Congress passed President Obama’s signature economic stimulus law, and nearly one year after he declared the summer of 2010 to be ‘Recovery Summer,’ 1.9 million fewer people are employed.” (Matt Clover, “1.9 Million Fewer Americans Have Jobs Today Than When Obama Signed Stimulus,” CNS News, 6/14/11)

Hole #6: The Unemployed Are in for a Long-Drive.

Since the start of Obama’s recovery summer, the average length of unemployment has increased from 34.8 weeks to a record 39.7 weeks. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics,, Accessed 6/16/11)

Hole #7: Obama Forces Millions of American’s to Work on Their Short Game with Part-Time Jobs.

6.2 million are working part-time jobs due to economic reasons. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics,, Accessed 6/16/11)

Economic Indicators

Hole #8: The Stock Market Fell into a Hazard.

“Fears that the global economic recovery is stalling pushed the Dow Jones industrial average below 12,000 for the first time since March and drove the stock market lower for the sixth straight week.” (Daniel Wagner, “Dow Finishes Below 12,000, Longest Losing Streak Since 2002,” Associated Press, 6/12/2011)

Hole #9: More Expensive Groceries Just Aren’t Cutting It.

“Eighty-eight percent (88%) of adults report paying more for groceries now than they were a year ago.” (“88% Are Paying More For Groceries Now Than A Year Ago,” Rasmussen Reports, 6/10/2011)

Hole #10: Americans Are on the Hook for Trillions in New Debt.

“The federal budget deficit is on pace to break the $1 trillion mark for a third straight year. Record deficits are putting pressure on Congress and the Obama administration to come up with a plan to rein in government spending.” (“Budget deficit moves closer to $1 trillion mark,” Associated Press, 6/10/11)

Hole #11: The Housing Forecast is in the Rough.

“U.S. home prices fell 4.2% in the first quarter of 2011, a new post-bubble low, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index released last week.” (Alan Zibel, “Home Builder's Economist Lowers 2011 Housing Market Forecast,” The Wall Street Journal, 6/9/2011)

Hole #12: The Auto Industry Is Seeing a Divot.

U.S. auto production is down 15.7% from this time last year and down 20.3% from April to March. (Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Leading Indicators – April 2011, p. 3)

Hole #13: The Economy Hasn’t Teed-Up as Expected.

“In the latest sign that the economic recovery may have lost whatever modest oomph it had, more small businesses say that they are planning to shrink their payrolls than say they want to expand them. That is according to a new report released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business, a trade group that regularly surveys its membership of small businesses across America.” (Catherine Rampell, “A Slowdown For Small Business,” The New York Times, 6/14/11)

Hole #14: Economists Are Giving Forecasts a Penalty Stroke.

“The quarter when the economy was supposed to stage its comeback is looking just as bad as its disappointing predecessor. We’ve had a slew of distressing economic data come in during the last few weeks. As a result, economists have been steadily downgrading their forecasts for economic growth in the second quarter.” (Catherine Rampell, “The Great Growth Disappointment,” The New York Times’ “Economix”, 6/15/11)

Hole #15: The Economy Seems to Be Puttering Out.

“That quarter began with a forecast of 3.5 percent, which slid downward as the weeks rolled on and ugly economic indicators rolled in. The Commerce Department’s latest estimate for growth that quarter was 1.8 percent.” (Catherine Rampell, “The Great Growth Disappointment,” The New York Times’ “Economix”, 6/15/11)

Hole #16: The Economic Recovery Seems to Have Some Backspin.

Cleveland Federal Reserve President, Sandra Pianalto: “[T]he unemployment rate remains stubbornly high and higher than it typically would be this far into an economic recovery.” (Mark Williams, “Jobless rate in Ohio still high,” Columbus Dispatch, 6/2/11)

Obama’s Economic Mulligans

Hole #17: America Wouldn’t Give Obama the Cup for Handling the Economy.

NBC/WSJ Poll: 54 percent of Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy and 62 percent of Americans think the country is on the wrong track. (NBC News/Wall Street Journal Survey, 1000 A, MoE 3.1%, 6/9-13/11)

Hole #18: The Obama Administration Is Asking for a Mulligan on the Economy.

“The White House downplayed a disappointing May jobs report Friday that showed unemployment inched up to 9.1 percent, with President Obama’s chief economist Austin Goolsbee calling the latest number one of the ‘bumps on the road to recovery.’” (Kara Rowland, “Poor Jobs Numbers ‘Bumps on the Road to Recovery,” Washington Times, 6/3/11)