“We’ve taken our forecast down just a bit, taking into account factors like weaker construction and possibly just a bit less momentum in the economy,” Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said last week.
Even some of Mr. Obama’s liberal economic cheerleaders were becoming downright gloomy.
“In normal times, that’d be disappointing. In a recovery, it’s downright terrible,” said Ezra Klein, the Washington Post’s economic analyst said in reference to the 1.8 percent GDP growth.
“We’re 7 million jobs below where we were when the recession began,” Mr. Klein writes. “The dictionary defines recovery as a ‘restoration to a former or better condition.’ Our economy isn’t anywhere near its former condition, and 1.8 percent GDP growth isn’t enough to get us there.”
But other major fiscal and economic headwinds continue to batter the Obama economy. Global oil prices are rising to more than $114 a barrel, pushing gasoline prices to more than $4 a gallon. The housing industry remains in a depression with many more foreclosures still to come.
Clearly, Mr. Obama’s $1 trillion economic stimulus has proven to be an abject failure, ballooning government spending and record debt levels as well. Mr. Obama’s budget deficit this year is expected to hit $1.6 trillion. And for the first time in modern U.S. history, Treasury bonds may no longer receive a AAA rating.
These and other bleak fiscal and economic forecasts are not going to change anytime soon, sending Mr. Obama and his party into the 2012 elections with a set of issues that has turned a majority of the electorate against them.
How much will bin Laden’s death count politically 18 months from now? With severe inflationary pressures, a debt-ridden government, $4 a gallon gas, near 9 percent unemployment and weak economic growth on the horizon, probably not much.
Donald Lambro is a syndicated columnist and former chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.