by Nick Stone of Drawnlines Politics.
As Americans head to the ballot box in November 2012, they will be asking themselves a fundamental question: Am I better off than I was 4 years ago?
For too many Americans, the answer is either doubtful, or a firm “no”. During the Obama years, cost of living has gone up in concrete but often overlooked ways. Meanwhile, personal incomes have become unsteady or disappeared altogether. Personal wealth has dried up between roller coaster markets and declining home values. Gas and electric prices are much higher than they were on inauguration day 2009, and ticking higher by the day. Abroad, Obama’s global charm offensive has resulted in complete collapse of the Middle East and Northern Africa. Then there’s that pesky, sluggish job market back at home.
So, suppose it’s no wonder that Peggy Noonan and others have suggested that Obama may not be re-elected in 2012. But why isn’t America better off under the care of the Great One? Why hasn’t Obamanomics turned our economy around yet? Will it ever? Economist Arthur Laffer answered in an opinion last year:
Firms choose whether to hire based on the total cost of employing workers, including all federal, state and local income taxes; all payroll, sales and property taxes; regulatory costs; record-keeping costs; the costs of maintaining health and safety standards; and the costs of insurance for health care, class action lawsuits, and workers compensation. In addition, gross wages are often inflated by the power of unions and legislative restrictions such as “buy American” provisions and the minimum wage. Gross wages also include all future benefits to workers in the form of retirement plans.
For a worker to be attractive, that worker must be productive enough to cover all those costs plus leave room for some profit and the costs of running an enterprise. Being in business isn’t easy, and today not enough workers qualify to be hired.
The burden of employing workers has become heavier in the past several years, and the president isn’t done yet. Obamacare burdens and punishes employers for employing, the War on Energy punishes manufacturers for manufacturing. Desperately needed consumers are punished for consuming. Indeed, the entire economy has been hogtied by Obama and his liberal allies. Yet, the president seems baffled -even angry – that companies aren’t hiring.
Political strategist Dick Morris calls our economic malaise the new normal. Unemployment has become chronic rather than acute, with many jobless well past 99 weeks. On this Tax Day, some 45% of Americans make too little income to pay any net taxes. Fewer Americans pay the tab while more become dependent on Uncle Sam for their well being. Rather than unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit of the American people, Obama stops at nothing to move America toward a European style of big government and high unemployment.
This is Obama’s America.
If the goal of the Obama presidency was economic recovery, the Keynes-Hoffa-Obama agenda of more regulation, more unionization, more taxation-and-spending has been a complete disaster. But will he be punished or rewarded for his watch over our economy? Do Americans really want four more years of a voracious government sucking money and resources out of our economy?
This president has little more than a year to convince voters that he is serious about job creation and economic recovery. If he fails that task, he may find himself behind other Americans in the unemployment line.