Continued from page 1

Nevertheless, economic growth has been anemic and 2011 isn’t looking any better. Economists who have been making bullish forecasts of higher growth of up to 4 percent are lowering their estimates. A survey of top business economists by the CNBC business network found that nearly 40 percent of them think the economy will be weaker this year.

The reasons: Oil prices are surging to more than $100 a barrel and likely to climb higher. Gas prices hitting $4 a gallon or more are expected to remain high, hitting every sector of the economy with higher costs that will boost prices across the board, from food to transportation.

Another huge factor threatening the economy’s future prosperity, which remains a major issue with voters: Uncontrolled government spending that is nearing $4 trillion a year and running up a $1.6 trillion deficit this fiscal year that is bleeding needed investment capital out of the economy.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office issued a report this month that said Mr. Obama’s spending blueprint would lead to $9.5 trillion in deficits over the next 10 years, $2 trillion more than the White House’s estimates. Worse, his budget policies would double the government’s national debt held by the public, pushing it to $20.8 trillion by 2021.

The national news media here in Washington may be ignoring all of this on their nightly network news shows. But ordinary Americans struggling to make ends meet - or still looking for work - know the economy remains the No. 1 problem facing our country - and that Mr. Obama doesn’t know how to fix it.

Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.