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  • Morning Bell: Unhappy Anniversaries, President Obama

    The Obama Administration has seen its fair share of milestones this month. Yesterday marked the first anniversary of the Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act, Obamacare is just over one year old, it has been more than 800 days since the Democrat-controlled Senate passed a budget, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau opened its doors on Thursday–the first new federal agency in nearly a decade. You’ll notice that no one is celebrating any of them.

    Perhaps it’s because those milestones have led to an even more ignominious one that the White House achieved in June. As of last month, 30 percent of the 14.1 million unemployed Americans have been out of work for more than a year. The average length of unemployment is now 39.7 weeks, the longest since the Department of Labor began tracking it.

    Those unemployed Americans help comprise President Obama’s 9.2 percent unemployment rate, and they are suffering from stagnant job growth that hit new depths last month. The Wall Street Journal reports on what the long-term unemployment news means for the unemployed, the economy, and the government:

    Elevated long-term unemployment is likely to be a persistent problem. Americans who are sidelined for protracted periods often see their skills depreciate. The longer they are out of work, the harder it is for them to find jobs. Some end up dropping out of the labor market altogether and, in those cases, they rarely re-enter the work force. For the government, that translates into a permanent productivity loss and higher expenses if jobless workers turn to Social Security disability for income.

    The persistent unemployment and stagnant job growth are the result of an economy stuck in neutral, dragged down by a series of policies that have inhibited its growth. Take the 2,300-page, one-year-old Dodd Frank bill for starters, along with its 243 separate rulemakings (by 11 different agencies), costly regulations and ensuing audits and litigation. In a new paper, Heritage’s Diane Katz explains that the bill (and its spawn, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), was intended to prevent another financial meltdown and protect consumers. Instead, it has served only to introduce uncertainty into the marketplace, impose new costs on consumers, and stifle economic growth. Katz writes:

    Dodd Frank’s results to date have been less than stellar to say the least. With few of the rules actually finalized, financial firms now inhabit a regulatory purgatory of sorts, while billions of dollars are funneled into expanding the size of government.

    Ironically, Dodd–Frank supporters claim the monstrous regulatory rollout was intended to inject certainty into a market made jittery by the 2008 crisis. The uncertainty is now worse than ever—and nothing beats uncertainty for inhibiting investment and job growth.

    Dodd Frank, though, isn’t the only piece of legislation that has constrained economic growth. Obamacare, what many on the left see as the President’s crowning achievement, has discouraged hiring in several ways, says Heritage’s James Sherk. Smaller businesses have an incentive to stay small (in order to avoid having to provide government-approved health insurance or pay a penalty), larger businesses are facing increased health care costs, and employers are facing uncertainty over what health care costs will be in the future. All of those factors discourage growth. It’s no wonder that, as Sherk writes, “within two months of the passage of Obamacare, the job market stopped improving.”

    Then there’s the President’s National Labor Relations Board and the Department of Labor, both of which have taken action and proposed regulations that would strengthen and grow unionized labor, all at the expense of the economy. Those include a proposal to reduce the time it takes for union elections (known as “snap elections”) and another to allow the creation of “micro unions” within businesses. The proposals would deny workers an informed choice, disenfranchise workers, prevent career advancement, redistribute wages to non-union employees, and increase burdens on business.

    And finally, there is the uncertainty that has dominated the headlines for months. When and how will Washington address America’s long-term spending problems? Will entitlements finally be reformed? Will Congress tackle spending? Will the President get his wish and raise taxes? No one seems to know. Meanwhile, job creators are left scratching their heads, not knowing what the future holds.

    In an op-ed in this morning’s USA Today, President Obama wrote, “In the short term, my No. 1 focus is getting our economy back to a place where businesses can grow and hire,” while also saying that “the American people deserve the truth from their leaders.” That truth is that President Obama’s first focus when elected was on enacting policies that immediately halted business growth and scared employers away from hiring and growing. Those policies have left the economy in the lurch for the short term, the long term, and everywhere in between.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    46 Responses to Morning Bell: Unhappy Anniversaries, President Obama

    1. Alex says:

      Right. And the GOP holding the US/int'l economy hostage in this debt ceiling debate hasn't contributed to a stagnant economy…

    2. Robert, TX says:

      Which is why we elected tea party people and republicans last November. To "make government smaller, take back our country, and repeal obamacare, blah, blah, blah." But they have done NOTHING. Millions of hard working taxpayers that consider themselves to be democrats have zero representation in Congress. Millions of hard working taxpayers that consider themselves to be republicans have very little representation in Congress. And the independents and libertarians? Zero again. We cannot win the battle without these people, and many of them will never ever vote for another lying republican (myself included).

      • D. White says:

        To get any progress to do all the needed changes to restore our country you have to have both houses of congress. The House has delivered but the do nothing Senate (850 day without a budget bill?) has just been a growling dog in the manger at the bidding of its excessive spending master in the White House. Instead of complaining get busy and support fiscal conservative candidates at all levels. Those in the Texas legislature have done a good job, let em' know you appreciate their efforts.

      • Devil Dog, USMC,DAV says:

        Yes, Robert, and pray tell how a majority in the house is going to overide the idiot lefties in the senate, and the gangster administration in the white house?——THINK ABOUT IT, BEFORE SPOUTING OFF.

    3. 2012 can't come fast enough!

    4. wayne says:

      I am more fearfull now than at any time in the history of this country. I look back at Vietnam and actually feel comfort compared to this. What we really need and quickly is for the whole country to get involved in the conservative movement or we may be looking at a no way back situation.

    5. james nearen says:

      What exactly is meant by Brownfield's statement that "snap elections" and the unionization of the workplace will "redistribute wages to non-union employees?" I think exactly the opposite will occur.

    6. G. Hugh Bodell says:

      The Obama Legacy.
      Thank you Mr. Brownfield, the last paragraph in particular is one of the more concise descriptions of Mr. Obama's destructive actions I have seen. Are they intentional?

    7. Roger Crassi says:

      If anyone out there is thinking to himself – or out loud – "May God help us!", you might as well keep silent. As a country, we kicked HIM out several years ago. If as a nation we do not wholeheartedly repent, we are headed for complete destruction. We've already got a good head start! I grieve for our children.

    8. Minuteman says:

      When are we going to wake up???? We need to defeat Democrats and RINOS in this next election or suffer the consequences of the agenda of this Anti-American administration and democrat controlled senate. If we do not we will no longer be known as the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. Chile, once run by a dictator has more freedom than we do. Ignore the warninigs of the Heritage Foundation at your own peril !!!!

    9. Andrea says:

      Financial reform legislation was just another lid to Pandora's box

    10. carol,az says:

      When will H.F. come out and state the bottom line WHY this has happened in the first place?_ We have NO leadership from the executive branch and certainly NO fiscal accountability. _ Any Commander-in-Chief would set aside all other agenda, to come to the table for a decision. Any leader would demand for the dignity of office for all of us, a sound resolve._ Any leader through leadership would disallowed the continued drama and weakness , the rat toying with the mouse . _In this leadership: the policy and procedure has killed off thousands of jobs, attacked businesses , destroyed numerous existing industries , outsourced thousands of jobs, increased foreign Visa waivers, passed by Congress, refuse to enforce illegal immigration, allowed unions to dictate unacceptable demands, and most State are caving-in from debt passed-on for welfare for programs that start from cradle to grave ._Where's the accountability from your well penned summary as the King stands naked before the rest of America?
      We have no leadership in the Executive Branch with no resolve for this issue.

      • Judy says:

        Right on Carol. Could not have been better stated. I'm tired of all this drama. Obama's plan is to detroy this Great Country. We are not going to let it happen. The sleeping giant is now awake and ready to fight to keep her.

    11. Nancy says:

      Obama wouldn't know how to create a job to save his life. He's had a total of one experience in private industry and he referred to that company as "the enemy". He thinks this country can be made great again through government policies. This country was made great, and can be again through a true free market economy and limited government. I heard him the other day say, "People don't want us wasting our time on political divides, they want us writing policy!" This was in regards to the debt ceiling debate. I have news Mr. Obama, we do NOT want you writing policies. Every time you come up with a new policy the economic numbers worsen, the economic outlook worsens, our pocket books are effected negatively and ours and other investors from around the world no longer feel any trust in our country. Having faith in the continued strength of our institutions is what has made the USA such a magnet for global investors. Now that faith is gone and nobody knows what to expect. I sure hope we get rid of this bunch in 2012.

      • carol,az says:

        Touche` Nancy:
        IF all of us, and our state of the union can last another 300 days.
        If our voting polling stations aren't compromise as seen in CA, NV, CO, Ill, and other lawsuits now being heard by judicial Watch
        When the campaigning does begin, I'm certain that the stink from the dirty politicking will be thicker than a smoker with a pig on a spit.
        The news media lined-up like jackals feasting on human road kill towards Sarah and Michelle
        No one fully reports DC staffers on all levels, running from their jobs faster than rats from a sinking ship. Do you think that Frist lady, Michelle is proud of America now?
        If you remember, she described America as, " Mean spirited."

    12. Mike the Bike says:

      I would like to see our federal government get out of the business of micro-managing the economy.

    13. Clearhead says:

      The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good. Offended by the word, “fools”? WHO put this “ruler” in place?

    14. Curt Krehbiel says:

      The president's plan to socialize America is right on track. High unemployment with extended benefits, creating new government agencies and hiring thousands of people to union jobs to staff them, ordering lending institutions to make home ownership loans available to people that could not afford conventional loans, ordering the EPA to shut down drilling for oil and gas to cripple the industry, etc. etc, etc, and doing it all on borrowed money. If he is re-elected in 2012 this country is doomed.

    15. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      We need to defeat Obama next year and the economy's the only way to do it. His record's abominable.

    16. W. C. Walker says:

      Another big loser this past year is the moratoriun on offshore drilling. It's not only cost thousands of high paying jobs, but hugh losses in royalty income and billions in halted lease sales. All these ignorant decisions have been made while oil prices are high by people who had no knowledge of deep water drilling.

    17. Sandy Adams says:

      At what point will the government stop spending more than they take in. Revenue is not the problem. If you increase taxes every time Congress decides to increase spending eventually workers will just be signing over their checks. At what point is the taxpayer paying his fair share, at any income level? Who gets to decide the meaning of "fair share"?
      Right now we're in a position where were facing an increase in the debt limit because we've over extended ourselves. If a private individual were facing this problem, they would have two choices.
      A) They could borrow money against a new credit card to make payments on the old credit card. (This would be the Senate & President's solution) This way they could maintain like a hampster in a wheel.
      B) They could cut down on spending like cable, Starbucks, movies, dinners at restaurants, those new shoes, etc… until they got their expenses down to the point where they could make payments towards their over extended credit card with the money they saved from other unnecessary spending.
      Call me crazy but I'd pick "B".

      • D. White says:

        C) Roll back President, Congress, Department heads and all their aides salaries and benefits to 1990. When you are a fat cat living off the lean you have no reason to get off your comfy cushion and make needed changes.

    18. kaydell bowles says:

      The only way to get job growth is for Congress and the Administration get the hell out the way; reduce the regulations, reduce the tax to fair values compared to other countries; bring back maunfacturing jobs to the shores; and get back to a sound fiscal policy spending only on the needs to accomplish the job growth and eliminate all the wants and rewarding the lobbyists.

    19. Curt Krehbiel says:

      The president's plan to socialize America is right on track. High unemployment with extended benefits, creating new government agencies and hiring thousands of people to union jobs to staff them, ordering lending institutions to make home ownership available to people that could not afford conventional loans, ordering the EPA to shut down drilling for oil and gas to cripple the industry, etc, etc, etc, and doing it all on borrowed money. If he is re-elected in 2012 this country is doomed.

    20. toledofan says:

      I have to say, how can Obama get away with saying " In the short-term, my No. 1 focus is getting our economy back to a place where businesses can grow and hire,” while also saying that “the American people deserve the truth from their leaders.” I mean, you guy at HF have debunked everything he's said and shown time and again what he says usually is the opposite of what he does and what he has done is next to nothing but continues to move the country further left socially, growing the government and basically thumbing his nose at the majority opinion. Dodd/Frank is a business buster, but consider, the lack of drilling, the Gulf Debacle, the Czars and their influence on the economy and the burden of the regulations they are trying to impose, OMG, look at the light bulb issue. Heatlhcare is going to be the next Manassas. Keep up the fight, sooner or later the light bulb or should I say the new light bulb may burn brighter and just maybe people will start to see the real problem.

    21. dollygirl_7877 says:

      Obama… stop mess around … stop the inport coming in start the small factory up like shrit and pants and shoe ….stop all in port of car and steel and other thing we have it here take that money you going to give away use it here put the american ppl back to work … stop buying from other country …..look around ppl done draw unemployed check and looking for work ppl here are losing there home and everything they work for and some ppl don't electric …some ppl are living in tent …now go out and look …. you need to low the card cared interest's take good look at ur bank's here to this credit score thing they have.. ppl pay the bank a high rate interest's now take a good luck at this counrty now … do something about the interst's ppl paying to much …. now i can help you do these thing … you will get it ppl back to work …. if not ,, well it be a new president … next 4 years ….

    22. Brad - Detroit says:

      Not sure if I agree with this article. I am pretty sure that business aren't hiring from uncertainty about what this administration is doing, but rather – they are CERTAIN that what is in store is NOT good. Also, a good indicator of Obama not getting re-elected is the stock market. The stock market is traditionally a forward looking device. How forward is fairly debatable, but it is anywhere from a year to two years ahead. You would have thought that all of this debt ceiling crisis and the US defaulting blather would have crashed the market in the last two weeks. Nope. It is looking to the future and when Obama is gone, business can grow and hire once again. That is one thing that I am certain of.

    23. Bill Person says:

      Does anyone eklse understand the definition of Government—disfunctional!!

    24. The Razorback says:

      The comments and observations relative to ObaMao's leadership are facts which are crystal clear to most Americans; except, perhaps for those folks living on the government's dole. Even beyond his lack of understanding of economics, he is also putting our nation at risk; e.g., supporting the UN's proposed land grab from Israel. I do not think he has a clue that Israel will stand firm to protect its nation's
      borders. In the 1967 war, one major mistake, in my opinion, by Israel was to relinquish the property known as the 'Dome Of The Rock' which was built on the ruins of Soloman's temple. History is clear on the fact that this land was promised to Israel by the God of our universe. I also believe that Biblical prophecy is fast approaching relative to the "end times." God Bless America!!

    25. JBurton says:

      Nice numbers…did you know that there has been growth? Profits have just gone to the wealthy…Obamacare was nolonger Obamacare when it passed…and this country comes to this crossroads frequently. The difference is that the wealthy(at least most) REALLY don't want to pay taxes, and they know that increases are due if they are only going to take care of themselves and not the people whom their corporations stand on. I'd probably get 2 or 3 strong hopefuls employed by firing misguided bitter people such as yourself from my corporation…3 that would be eligible for real growth in the years to come.

    26. JBurton says:

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/18/american… thats what Obama's policies set out to do. Keeping cry-babies like you employed is what keeps growth from happening at your company.

    27. The Farmer says:

      The Republicans need to stick with what is best for America……
      Just disregard what the President, the Democrats, and the press says, or the polls for that matter!!!!
      They need to bare-in-mind that they are already said to be ranked the lowest in the polls, got nothing to lose there.
      I don't think anyone of us Tea Party folks are ever asked, however if we were we wouldn't likely give the Republicans a good score either because of the way they sold us down the river at Christmas time, words mean nothing to us, we doubt it, tell we see it.
      If the leaders of the party had the guts some of the members have and would let it be known in no uncertain terms that they are not running for reelection, they are trying to restore America's sanity and place in leading the world away from the slavery of imorality, they would soon gain some respect and suport!!!

    28. F.D. O'Toole says:

      Excellent article. Absolutely right on!

    29. Dean says:

      You are so right. There is nothing to celebrate.

    30. Frank says:

      I found this in an online financial newsletter today about what would happen if Washington did nothing and we hit the debt ceiling:

      "…in the weeks and months that follow August 2, something unexpected would happen… something nobody in government wants you to know. You'd find out how much you don't need the government.

      "For example, you'd find out that the Departments of Commerce, Energy, Interior, Agriculture, and a few others are completely unnecessary and a total waste of money. They'd spend only a couple hundred billion dollars out of a $3 trillion budget, but it would be a huge start on the way to showing you how unneccessary government is. Once that ball got rolling, it'd get harder and harder to stop.

      "That's why Geithner is saying it would be a catastrophe not to raise the debt ceiling. And that's why Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke says it would be calamitous. Komrade Obama says it would be "financial Armageddon." They're all trying to scare you, because they don't want you to know that the big, strong government we all depend on so much is really a weakling you can easily live without."

      Those words are exactly my sentiment on this whole debt issue. In fact, we won't default on the debt, or Social Security, or Medicare or paying the military salaries. But it would force us to make DRASTIC CUTS in Federal spending. We could ELIMINATE whole departments, as noted above. We should DEFUND NOW OBAMACARE! Also, the CBO already identified $200 B of duplicate program waste that could be cut now with no loss of any government services. Then we could close most of our bases in over 100 countries around the world & stop being the "world's policeman". We could take back all our troops from Europe & more troops out of S. Korea & continue the drawdown in the Middle East. We could privatize, phase out or send back to the States to administer all the "entitlement" programs, which our Founding Fathers never would have wanted the Federal Government to get involved in anyways! We could eliminate the IRS and go to a simple Fair Tax, or just a simple Flat Tax. To make businesses in the USA boom, we could eliminate business/corporate taxes (those fees are just passed on to the end consumer anyways & make our products cost more & be less competitive with the world).

      The notion that our economy might collapse if we cut too much all at once from the Federal budget has been strongly argued against by many prominent economists (small government Austrian School economists, not big government Keynesian economists). The reason the economy might collapse is because right now the Federal Government is "sucking up" most of the capital needed for business to invest with. But with "Big Brother" not soaking up all that capital, businesses would have tremendously more capital to invest with & create more jobs, resulting in an economic boom, not bust. Tax revenues would soon shoot up, not down, as business booms again.

      Finally, we could end the corrupt, private banking cartel, the Federal Reserve, phase out Federal Reserve Notes & go back to a dual gold/silver backed US Dollar, like our Founding Fathers wanted. We could stop paying interest on the debt to the Federal Reserve for all the Treasury Notes it holds in reserve. We would convert to a monetary system with intrinsic value, not a debt based monetary system that makes central bankers rich with the interest we pay them to keep their crummy Notes in circulation!!

      But will we do these things? Probably not. The cowardly Republicans will probably "cave" in to the Democrats out of fear.

    31. RME KRNL says:

      Oh, but none of all this economic uncertainty could really be Obama's fault, could it? I mean, he's routinely referred to by Fox's Bill O'Reilly (a fellow Hah-vahd alum) and others as "brilliant," correct? If Obama's so "brilliant," I would hate to see what "inept" looks like.

    32. Victor Barney says:

      Wake-up America, especially you more verbally endowd women! Marxism is the ONLY SIN that can not be forgiven says your Bible! Why? Because your Bible clearly states that blasphemy against your CREATOR'S Set-Apart SPIRIT can not be forgiven man ever and Marxism does exactly just that! No? Then, that's tragic!

    33. Ben C. says:

      Seems to me we ought to waterboard Congress until we learn their true intentions. Obama's intentions are clear and his actions speal louder than his words. Too many in Congress (ie Harry Ried, VP Joe Biden) flip flop according to the previaling winds. A little "truth serum" will be helpful for those of who really care about our country.

    34. Obama and his administration are doing exactly what he said he would, change America. I perceive that as an enemy to Americas heritage & The Founding Fathers blue print for it, The Constitution! The insurrection this man is invoking on our country is despicable and must be stopped! Glenn Beck is right about this man I'm sorry to say! How this radical easily slipped in the Presidents seat is scary and shocking! If Americans don't see this truth we are doomed. Both parties have contributed over many years to put us on this collision course and Obama is the icing on the cake! Wake UP AMERICA before it's to late!

    35. Wm. Brownfield says:

      This is an excellent evaluation of the stagnant position of the job market. Obamaonics have brought a halt to any growth in the economy and a hesitancy for the private sector to expand. Thanks for your cogent observations.

    36. Pingback: Tristes aniversarios, Presidente Obama | Heritage Libertad

    37. SMC says:

      Can you make this newsletter into a commercial to air for the 2012 campaign? Americans need to understand and not be mislead by eloquent speaches and rhetoric.

    38. mrojan says:

      There are immediate steps that can be taken to help the budget: 1) There are too many people who have
      have never worked a day in their lives in the US and who are collecting food stamps, monthly checks and receiving. In California I have seen too many people bring their loved ones from foreign nations and then in a short period of time, those peoplr are getting handouts. I know of somone who does not and have never lived in the US and along with a 12 year old daughter is collecting handouts from us.

      What are we gonna do to close these loopholes

    39. ROYSTOLL2 says:

      Does anybody want to bet that unemployment will be over 10% by December 2011? Obama has to start a war with every single business or industry that dares to oppose him or does not fit into his little green box. So far he has almost killed the automotive industry, student loan industry, private education universitys/trade schools, coal industry, offshore oil drilling, NASA, light bulb manufacturers, Boeing Aircraft Co., and on and on. Borders failed yesterday. He is sowing uncertainty in everything that he does. He just doesn't get it. He is anti-business and he is the first Anti-American President in our history.

    40. Tea Party Hopeful says:

      Does any other conservative think that congress is the main problem? How weak it is compared to the two other branches. What are conservatives to do if the republicans in congress do not clearly separate themselves from the democrats by getting rid of the unnecessary spending in their own districts and states? Is the tea party ready to be the third or independent or real party with candidates who can change congress? For whom will we vote for congress? Definately not democrats, but if republicans effectively are no different, then to whom do we turn for a strong, conservative legislative branch that actually does what it says it will do?

      We have serious responsibilities here. We must not punish them for cutting unnecessary spending in their/our home areas. We must expect them to make those cuts every where necessary.

    41. C J says:

      Looks like the Santa Claus voters will receive exactly what they voted in office. No solutions, no improvement, just more of the same, except now if will be herd to blame Bush.
      Noe that we are a notion of moochers, rather than producers we are in a precarious position indeed.

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