Commentary Magazine


Obama May Be Only One Proud of Economic Record

Having arrived at the half-way point of President Obama’s third year in office, things are continuing to look quite bad for his presidency and for the country.

For example, the Associated Press  is reporting fewer people bought previously occupied homes in May, lowering sales to their weakest point of the year. Home sales decreased 3.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million homes, the National Association of Realtors said today — far below the roughly 6 million annual sales rate typical in healthy housing markets. Last year, home sales reached only 4.91 million, the worst showing in 13 years.

According to Gallup, the president’s approval rating dropped four points in a single day while his disapproval ratings increased five points (the split is now 45 percent approve v. 48 percent disapprove).

And to add insult to injury, in a speech before a DNC audience last night, those in attendance laughed at Obama’s claim that “over the last 15 months we’ve created over 2.1 million private sector jobs.”

In his remarks, Obama went on to say, “I’m extraordinarily proud of the economic record that we were able to produce over the first two and a half years.”

I wonder why. The president has presided over an economy that has lost 2.5 million jobs since he was sworn in and has created only 600,000 jobs during the two years since the recovery began (the summer of 2009). The unemployment rate is up 25 percent since Obama took office and has been above 8 percent for almost 30 months (after the Obama administration promised it would not exceed 8 percent if his stimulus package was passed in early 2009). The debt has increased 35 percent during the Obama presidency. Gas prices have more than doubled. The housing crisis has recently entered a double dip and is now worse than the Great Depression. For the nine economic quarters Obama has been in office, real annual growth in GDP has been just 1.5 percent, just barely above  what it was during the decade of the Great Depression (1.3 percent). And chronic unemployment is worse than the Great Depression.

If Obama is extraordinarily proud of his economic record, he may be the only one.