- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Obama administration claims it bears no responsibility for America’s persistently high unemployment rate. At least that’s what Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. said in a press briefing last week. President Obama went further in his Saturday morning radio address, accusing Republicans of making life difficult for the jobless millions. Don’t believe the hooey.

Mr. Biden defended White House predictions - made on Feb. 28, 2009 shortly after the O Force took office - that the unemployment rate would not rise above 8.1 percent. “This recession was so much deeper, so much more profound than anyone, most people, thought it was,” he said defensively. The veep’s historical revisionism ignores incessant warnings Mr. Obama made about how bad the economy was during 2008 and early 2009.

On Nov. 16, 2008, President-elect Obama warned, “We’ve got an unprecedented crisis, or at least something that we have not seen since the Great Depression.” In his first radio address to the nation as president on Jan. 24, 2009, Mr. Obama declared, “We begin this year and this administration in the midst of an unprecedented crisis that calls for unprecedented action.” During his first national press conference on Feb. 9, 2009, he repeatedly referred to our “unprecedented crisis.” Shortly thereafter, while addressing the mortgage meltdown on Feb. 18, 2009, the president said the nation was in a crisis 24 times, frequently describing in apocalyptic terms that the crisis would drag down the entire economy.

There’s simply no legitimacy to Obama administration claims of being caught unawares of the seriousness of the economic downturn. The president routinely exaggerated how bad things were to push his massive spending programs. The 8.1 estimate was made 11 days after the $787 billion stimulus bill was signed into law, which occurred after the fourth quarter 2008 gross domestic product numbers were released. At that point, it was obvious the economy was headed down fast.

The White House is pleading ignorance to distract from the fact that Obama policies have delayed recovery. The Democrats’ unprecedented increase in government spending sparked a movement away from private-sector jobs and into new government-funded positions. Any federal spending change is a catalyst for temporary unemployment as workers move from one job to another to follow the funding. After Mr. Obama’s orgiastic spending spree, the number of jobs lost was greater than jobs created, which explains why the unemployment rate turned out so much worse than economic forecasters expected in the beginning of 2009.

It’s a myth that government can create wealth by spending more money. Those dollars come from employers and your wallet.