- Divided court strikes down big porn award
- Jimmy Carter: Don’t hurt Russian people with sanctions
- Oldest ex-MLB player dies in Cuba, 2 days shy of 103rd birthday
- ‘Top Gun’ for drones: Squadrons of carrier-based killers have Navy’s approval
- Bill Clinton to endorse Charlie Rangel for re-election
- Pfc. Bradley Manning is now Pfc. Chelsea Manning: Court says so
- Secret base U.S. special forces used to train Libyans now under terrorist control: report
- 9th suspect in N.C. kidnapping turns self in to FBI
- L.A. sheriff admits to testing flyover spy program without notifying residents
- Foreign minister vows response if Russians are attacked in Ukraine
LAMBRO: Obama’s double-whammy economy
Statistics show with few jobs created, dispirited workers simply drop out
It should be clear by now that President Obama is running against the U.S. economy, and as of last week, the economy was beating him. A couple of weeks ago, as Mitt Romney was locking up the Republican presidential nomination, Mr. Obama’s anemic polling numbers were hitting 50 percent, up from the mid-to-upper 40s, and his prospects were looking up. Then, in the past week, two bleak economic figures knocked him off his shaky pedestal and he was back in the 40s again and in a dead heat with Mr. Romney.
The salient characteristic of Mr. Obama’s presidency has been a mediocre, subpar economic recovery, the weakest since the Great Depression. And his only hope of winning a second term is an improving economy that is creating a lot of jobs.
But just as he was officially kicking off his re-election bid last week, his campaign was hit by a withering political body blow that even his vaunted oratory is finding hard to overcome.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that job growth, which was weak to begin with, was slowing down even more. Mr. Obama’s economy had created just 115,000 jobs last month, after a mediocre jobs report in March.
Perhaps the second-most-stunning number in the BLS report was the 342,000 discouraged workers who said they’ve given up looking for employment because of the lack of jobs. In the perverse way the government defines the unemployment rate, those workers were dropped from the job-seekers column, and that pushed unemployment down to 8.1 percent.
“In the weakest recovery since the Great Depression, more than four-fifths of the reduction in unemployment has been accomplished by a dropping adult force participation rate,” wrote University of Maryland business economist Peter Morici.
It was further proof that the economy is slowing down at a critical point in Mr. Obama’s desperate effort to avoid becoming another one-term president.
His campaign already was reeling from a feeble 2.2 percent economic growth rate in the first quarter, with top economists forecasting weaker growth for the rest of this year and next.
Now his candidacy is bleeding from two back-to-back jobs reports that reminded long-suffering Americans of the president’s biggest failing: getting the economy running at full throttle again.
“This is a time when America wants to have someone who knows what it takes to create jobs and get people working again,” Mr. Romney said last week.
Mr. Obama was caught flat-footed as he campaigned in Ohio and Virginia, two pivotal swing states that he carried in 2008 but are considered tossups, at best.
He repeated his usual excuses that the economy was still creating some jobs but had to admit sheepishly that it was not nearly enough. “There’s still a lot of folks out of work, which means that we’ve got to do more.”
He said he would soon “take some actions … that can accelerate even more job growth” but didn’t say what they would be.
“It may not matter,” according to the Wall Street Journal. “Economists say it is probably too late for any policy out of Washington to affect the economy before November’s election.”
Until last week, Mr. Obama had a clear edge over Mr. Romney. That is, until the jobs report came out and, in a double whammy, the stock market dropped sharply, with the Dow falling by nearly 170 points, the biggest drop in nearly a month.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
TWT Video Picks
Feds who send arms against ranch families betray American values
Get Breaking Alerts
- CARSON: When government looks more like foe than friend
- Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy hailed as patriot, ripped as lawless deadbeat
- Pentagon plans to replace flight crews with 'full-time' robots
- Texas is next! AG warns BLM wants 90,000 acres after Bundy ranch standoff
- Georgia governor signs bill expanding gun rights
- Harry Reid using tax dollars to fight Koch brothers, La. GOP chair charges
- America is an oligarchy, not a democracy or republic, university study finds
- Opposition rising to Colorado gun control laws
- IRS revokes conservative group's tax-exempt status over anti-Clinton statements: report
- Ukraine claims torture by pro-Russian forces on the heels of Biden's stern warning to Moscow