Hart: Why Democrats fail on the economy

Hart: Why Democrats fail on the economy

June 10th, 2016 by Ron Hart in Opinion Columns

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a concert at the Greek Theater, Monday, June 6, 2016, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

The primaries, where Democrats debate over who loves African-Americans the most and Republicans debate who loves Jesus more, are over. Now, both parties must sell us on who will be best for the economy.

Hillary Clinton said that, as president, she would put Bill Clinton in charge of the economy. Yes, the feminist icon is letting the man handle the checkbook. Bill wants an office in the basement of the White House so Hillary can't just pop in on him.

Maybe Bill Clinton's first move to reduce costs at the White House will be to fire the older salaried employees and hire interns.

In reality, while President Obama grasps at taking credit for an economy that will go down in history as the weakest of any president's, he's only spinning it. Obama will be the only president ever to preside over an eight-year period without a single year of at least 3 percent GDP growth. Oh, and he doubled our federal debt, adding more debt (about $10 trillion) than all 43 presidents before him.

He says he led us out of the recession with all of his community organizing skills. He was inaugurated in January 2009, and the recession ended that June. He and Senate Majority Leader "Dingy" Harry Reid had not even unpacked their copies of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" yet. Obama acted like the end of the recession was such a major accomplishment, but the reality is that we have had 47 recessions in the U.S. since records have been kept, dating back to 1790. Recessions come along every five years or so, and we come out of every one of them.

His right-hand hatchet man, Rahm Emanuel, said it best: "Never let a good crisis go to waste." Obama preyed on the economic fears of the country to load on big-government regulations and taxes that have, in fact, slowed the economy. Per the Wall Street Journal, "Mr. Obama will likely go down as having the worst economic-growth record of any president since the trough of the Great Depression in 1933 — over eight decades spanning 13 administrations, Mr. Obama thus far has overseen 1.7 percent average annual economic growth."

Big recessions are historically followed by robust recoveries. This didn't happen under Obama because he decided to grow government, not jobs and the economy. Ronald Reagan inherited a recession from Jimmy Carter in 1981, but Reagan grew the economy an average of 4.6 percent a year by getting government out of the way and by cutting taxes.

Obama touts the unemployment rate, now 4.7 percent, but that number is misleading. New unemployment claims slow seven years after a recession ends. Workers can't claim but about 99 weeks of unemployment. The real number to watch is the dismal labor-force participation rate, down to 62 percent from 66 percent when Obama took office. The latest bad jobs numbers tell us that 94 million Americans are not in the labor force. Our country's safety net has become a hammock. An estimated 18 percent of unmarried males and 23 percent of unmarried women ages 25-54 are not in the labor force.

No wonder Hillary Clinton is distancing herself from Obama's economic record. He has created costly government, not jobs. He has picked industries he doesn't like, such as coal, for-profit colleges, payday lending, etc., and instructed his goons to regulate them out of business.

Donald Trump resonates with the American people because this supposed recovery has not helped the middle class as Democrats had promised. The average family now makes $53,700 per year, down from about $56,000 when Obama started working his "magic" on the economy. And now it is estimated that the average family pays $15,000 a year in regulatory costs. The Competitive Enterprise Institute says this hidden tax, in the form of 3,600 new regulations and 175,000 pages in the "Code of Federal Regulations," includes more than 1 million regulatory restrictions that burden every family. They just don't see it.

Obama had no business experience. He couldn't even get hired as head of diversity at Trump University. Ditto for other liberal "stewards of our economy" like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Reid grew up in a Nevada town with no high school and worked as a janitor cleaning brothels before becoming the Senate leader of the Democratic Party — a lateral move.

Contact Ron Hart at Ron@RonaldHart.com or @RonaldHart on Twitter.

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