Bob Beauprez
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As mentioned in a feature earlier this week, February 17 marked the third anniversary of President Obama’s signing into law of his infamous economic Stimulus. The ceremony took place in Denver complete with an Air Force One grand entry, a plethora of television cameras and adoring media reporters.  While this Denver appearance didn’t include gargantuan Greek or Roman marble columns, he did pick the Museum of Nature and Science to give a timeless perspective to $825 billion of government extravagance he promised would bring “real and lasting change for generations to come.” 

Three years later it is obvious that history is more likely to record Obama’s folly as the largest waste of money in the history of the world with the least to show for it – a total failure.  Thanks to Investor’s Business Daily for some good statistical research, the following is a summary of the evidence.  In full re-election campaign mode, Obama is now doing his best to spread an “all is well” message, but the numbers tell a very different story – a story that caused a more honest White House campaign strategist to admit Obama can’t “run on (his) accomplishments.” 

Unemployment Rate: Currently identical to February 2009 at 8.3%, after 36 months well above that level.  The month before signing the Stimulus Obama promised it would never go above 8%.  The CBO predicts unemployment to remain closer to 9% through 2012.  

Long-term Unemployment: The number of workers who have been unable to find a job in 27 months or more is up 83% - now totaling 5.5 million people.

Civilian Labor Force: It has shrunk 126,000.  According to IBD, in past recoveries the labor force has expanded by more than 3 million people over comparable time periods.

Labor Force Participation Rate: A measure of the number of age eligible Americans working or looking for a job – the LPR is down 3% to 63.7% - also highly unusual this far into a recovery, and a rate not seen since the early 1980s when fewer women were in the workforce.  About four million people have given up on finding a job.  A low LPR artificially makes the unemployment rate look better that it really is.

Household Income: Median annual household income is about 7% lower than in February 2009 according to the Sentier Research Household Income Index.

National Debt: Up $4.5 trillion – a staggering 41% - to $15.4 trillion.

Deficits: FY 2009’s deficit was $1.4 trillion.  Obama’s new budget projects FY 2012 will be $1.33 trillion.  FY 2010 added $1.293 trillion; FY 2011 another $1.299 trillion.  He had promised to cut “the deficit he inherited” for 2009 in half by the end of his first term.

Gross Domestic Product: Real GDP has climbed just 6% between Q1 2009 (the bottom of the recession) and Q4 2011 making this the slowest recovery since the Great Depression.

Spending by Consumers and Business: At the Stimulus signing, Obama promised the legislation would “ignite spending by businesses and consumers.” But, consumer spending is up just 10% in three years and businesses are sitting on cash – up 27% since Q1 2009 – instead of investing.

This is the real Obama record on “fixing the economy” – something he said would be his top priority just days before he got elected President.  By any objective measure, he has failed. 

He said his #2 priority was “promoting energy independence.” The still unraveling scandal of disastrous squandering of billions on green-energy companies like Solyndra, Beacon Power, and Ener1 while establishing what Steve Forbes called “the most anti-oil and gas record in U.S. history” is proof enough that Obama failed on his second priority, as well.

Obama’s self-imposed third priority was “health care reform” – ObamaCare.   Now that we have had time enough to “find out what is in it,” we know that premiums will go up not down, we really won’t be able to keep our insurance if we like it, nor will our doctor necessarily even be around to take care of us when we need him.  We have seen in recent weeks the violation of Religious Liberty and the First Amendment by rule making fiat from the White House, and the Supreme Court is deliberating whether to toss the entire legislation out as unconstitutional.  By a margin of 54-41, Americans favor complete repeal of the legislation.  That spells failure on Obama’s third priority, as well.  Three strikes and you’re out, Mr. President. 
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Bob Beauprez

Bob Beauprez is a former Member of Congress and is currently the editor-in-chief of A Line of Sight, an online policy resource. Prior to serving in Congress, Mr. Beauprez was a dairy farmer and community banker. He and his wife Claudia reside in Lafayette, Colorado. You may contact him at: http://bobbeauprez.com/contact/