• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Morning Bell: Obama Spins His Wheels; Economy Stuck in First Gear

    No news is good news–except when it means that the story about America’s slow-moving economy remains the same. A new report this morning from the Department of Labor shows that despite all of President Barack Obama’s promises and policies to grow the economy, there are still 14 million unemployed Americans. Meanwhile, the President is still spinning his job creation wheels, signing executive orders and pushing for misguided and expensive policies that lack support in Congress.

    The word from the monthly jobs report shows that unemployment was little unchanged at 9 percent in October, with only 80,000 jobs created. While it’s always good news when jobs are created (especially given this Administration’s record), there isn’t much of a sign of a strong economic recovery.

    So what’s the President doing about it? He’s pitching “job creation” plans that will do nothing to create jobs and that lack support in Congress while signing executive orders that sound great in speeches but ultimately will mean little for America’s economic bottom line.

    On Wednesday, President Obama campaigned for his infrastructure spending plan, which he says would put hundreds of thousands of unemployed construction workers to work. Just a day later, the Democrat-controlled Senate failed to pass it, with bipartisan opposition.  As we wrote yesterday, dumping more money into roads wouldn’t create jobs anyhow, and the Senate was wise to reject it.

    Then on Tuesday, the President signed an executive proclamation establishing the Fort Monroe National Monument located in Hampton, Virginia. Remarkably, the President spun the signing as a jobs plan, saying “Local officials estimate that this may end up creating as many as 3,000 jobs in the region.” If his $787 billion stimulus wasn’t enough to get the economy going, perhaps a new national monument will do the trick? And if not that, then maybe the executive order he signed on Monday that ”directs the FDA to step up work to reduce the drug shortages and protect consumers” could help? Add on the President’s do-nothing student loan relief he announced last week, which will offer less than $10 per month in relief to borrowers, and you have a series of stabs in the dark from the Obama White House that, apart for being bad policy, won’t amount to new jobs.

    While the economy continues to sputter, America’s fiscal house continues to hemmorhage debt. The congressional “super committee” has until Thanksgiving to come up with a plan to find $1.5 trillion in deficit reduction savings. As of yesterday, congressional leaders remain at an impasse. Done correctly, Congress can solve Washington’s spending and debt crisis, preserve its ability to protect the nation, and assist a return to a strong, vibrant economy–without raising taxes. And all of that will go a long way toward creating the kind of economic environment needed to grow jobs.

    Yesterday, 33 Senators took a stand against overspending and overborrowing, writing a letter to the supercommittee saying that their plan must balance our budget within 10 years; place entitlements on a path to fiscal solvency; include comprehensive tax reform that lowers rates and promotes economic growth–with no net tax increase–and avoids a further downgrade of our credit rating. Heritage vice president David S. Addington said of the letter, “While the Senators left out a crucial fifth criterion — fully funding defense to protect America — theirs is an important clear statement by elected leaders of what must be done.”

    A new paper from Heritage, Three Pillars of Reform for the Super Committee, lays out specific recommendations for Congress, including fully funding national defense, transforming entitlement programs, and not raising taxes. Alison Fraser, Patrick Knudsen, and Mackenzie Eaglen explain why that kind of bold action is necessary:

    Given the nation’s gloomy budget scenarios, it is both urgent and imperative that Congress set the right course for solving the budget crisis. But details matter. If the super committee arrives at a rag-tag assortment of desperate deficit reduction policies simply to meet an arbitrary target, the committee could do more harm than good.

    Today’s economic report shows more of the same economic news for America, and President Obama is responding with more of the same policies that won’t change the country’s economic direction. Campaigning for measures that lack merit — and lack congressional support — won’t solve the problem. With a fast-approaching deadline to cut spending, Congress has a chance to take substantial measures to put America’s budget on sound footing, and if it does it the right way, it can also help ensure a brighter economic future.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    45 Responses to Morning Bell: Obama Spins His Wheels; Economy Stuck in First Gear

    1. @snowcloud79 says:

      Don't look now but the media is in full Obama reelection mode, telling us that the economy is improving. Watch unemployment "reports" of less than five percent right before election time next year.

    2. Joan Neel says:

      Why wasn't something done when Obama gave hundreds of thousand of Palestinians millions of dollars to move to America and gave them free housing, healthcare, Social Security, and citizenship …. more Islamic terrorists to start forest fires, contaminate our water and food supply, etc.

    3. Ltjg says:

      Obama and the Economy is NOT stuck in first gear….It is stuck in reverse gear!!!

    4. Richard A says:

      Missing from the "to do" list to rescue our failing economic/financial status is removal of
      the myriad of regulatory obstacles that bury businesses under a mountain of unnecessary
      paper work. Getting rid of the needless junk that just keeps an army of government paper-
      pushers in cushy jobs would free up a trillion or more dollars for capital investment.

    5. David Greer says:

      Nothing has changed. 1.5 trillion in "savings" just means we would spend 7.5 trillion more instead of the 9 trillion now projected by baseline budgeting for the next 10 years. There is nothing this Congress or President can do to constrain the spending of future congresses and presidents. The only thing real this super committee can produce is very large cuts that will take effect while they are in office and which might affect baseline budgeting in the future. Our current baseline includes "one time" stimulus spending which is being compounded.

    6. Bingsley says:

      Could our country's exposure and on-going misery caused by the continued failed policies, philosophies, and practices of the OBAMA regime, be in a peculiar sense a much needed wake up call for all of us to return to our founding principals that long ago made the United States the envy of the world?! With our Anointed One steering our country's ship towards the jetty, we are all experiencing firsthand the inherent failure of Socialism in all of its glory. Here goes – - "thanks Barry, for the much needed shake-up!" Counting down the days until this total loser is out of office–forever!!!

    7. Lloyd Scallan says:

      I realize most American are too busy trying to survive to pay close attention to where this nation is heading under Obama. But if we don't take time to understand Obama has an socialist agenda to destroy our way of life by collapsing ecomonical system, we will not have a life to live. The Obama mask is off. He no longer fears being found out because the media, the Dems, and unfortunately some RINOs have manipulated and falsified fact. He is openly showing where he want the country to be by the end of his first term. Only God can help us if he would be reelected in 2012.

    8. You're Right! There is absolutely no economic leadership from Obama — or for that matter any of the Republicans or Democrats. While our political leaders are busy trying to re-invent jobs, America is being drawn into continued economic hardship. But the combined forces of destruction are still capable of further damage. Just last week, the Republicans and Democrats reached consensus on 3 new free trade agreements. History instructs that "free trade" has cost the USA trillions of dollar and tens of millions of jobs. With pitiful leadership like this, America is sure to descend to level of a third world county. America must begin producing for Her own needs if we are to survive as a free, self-sufficient and sovereign Nation!

    9. Mary......WI says:

      Obama is desparate!……he'll do anything to get re-elected. But in the meantime this country continues to weaken….and he doesn't care! He must be one term!

      Hopefully Congress will FINALLY step up to the plate and do SOMETHING CONSTRUCTIVE to help get this country back on track to being the greatest nation on earth. Time for many in the House and Seante to swallow their partisan pride and do what is best for this country and their fellow countrymen! I fear Americans may take the matter in their own hands if things don't turn around soon.

    10. Ray Reed says:

      The President is not interested in the least about returning the economy to prosperity. He is only interested in winning reelection.

      The President will stubbornly resist changes in his policies for a couple of reasons. One, is that not only is he an ideologue about government intervention and social and economic justice, he needs to keep his base supporters behind him so they will be enthusiastic and work for his reelection. The other is that he will take the actions of his opposition and attempt to spin them in ways that convince voters that they should “stay the course” with him as President rather than allowing those “evil conservatives” to win.

    11. Frank says:

      The economy does best when "the Invisible Hand of the Free Market" is allowed to work as efficiently as possible. The economy GROWS, the size of the economic "pie" GROWS, so all benefit. Big government (& this deeply flawed & misguided President & his administration) always act as though the economic "pie" remains the same size & all he wants to do is divide up the pie differently… more equitably, supposedly (except when we glimpse behind the scene and see how he picks winners & losers based upon how much money they donate to his re-election). This President & this administration don't have a clue as to what works & doesn't work economically. The evidence is in their mindless repetition of doing the same failed policies over & over again, thinking somehow the next time the outcome will be different. Our Republic is very, very sick indeed… probably sick unto death. A nation once blessed by God so abundantly has lost its way… dumbed down by government run schools with educators buying into the misguided ideals of Marx & believing God does not intervene into the affairs of people or nations… or worse, believing that the Creator does not exist at all. How can the Creator continue to bless this nation if we turn our back on Him? God is not mocked. We bear now & will continue to bear ever more so in the future His curses, not His blessings. We never were a perfect nation, but we aspired to be more perfect. We lost our way. We are blind & deaf now to the truth. Watch what soon happens to us.

      • Roger says:

        I do not believe this President is misguided but purposely driving into the ditch of destruction. Other than that I agree with Frank.

    12. Stirling says:

      Some people may know of the saying "you can't fit a round peg into a square hole." but consider the current administrations policies (which don't seem to work) as the round peg, and the American Capitalist system as the square hole. It's incompatible and doesn't work together. What this administration seems to keep on doing is trying to pound it in like a small child.. Those that continue to purpose alternate course of actions (republicans) are treated like a "wack a mole" game by the liberal media and democrats.. I would hope that in 2012 america can restore some fiscal and economic sanity.

    13. AD-RtR/OS! says:

      The best "Super Committee" would be a TEA-Party Congress, chaired by a truly-conservative GOP President.

    14. paul says:

      These announced Government agenda FACTs are great to my aware of; is this information being shared with young college age voters also?

    15. S. Elliot Ness says:

      Great article. However, we are just dancing around the Elephant in the room.
      Realty is as follows: Obama does NOT want the U.S. economy to recover and be productive.
      His middle name is Hussein. He attended schools in his youth that taught him the Islamic Jihadist doctrine.

      "Raise a child up in the way he should go and he will not depart from it." This is true in the study of the Scriptures as well as in the study of psychology. It is a fact of human growth and human development.

      I would prefer that this not be the truth, but I do not dance well around elephants.

    16. Curt Krehbiel says:

      "Today's economic report shows more of the same economic news for America, and President Obama is responding with more of the same policies that won't change the country's economic direction."

      You must quit thinking of Obama as a rational president. All of his actions since being elected have been designed to destroy the economy and get more people dependent on government handouts. His goal is to change our economy from capitalism to socialism if not Marxism. If re-elected in 2012 his goal will be realized.

    17. Kaydell says:

      For me it is travesty that we have an Administration that is wanting to spend more money yet there has not been a budget approved for over 918 days. This is either by design or incompentency on the Administrations and the Democratic controlled Senate. Why should any taxpayer support any spending program with our a voted on budget. This is shameful!

    18. Gene says:

      Do you really expect one little ol' President to undo the quagmire that 5 or 6 Presidents and a "Corp-upti-Pirated" Congress before him set in motion with a floating currency, derugulation, union busting, and an infatuation with "outsourcing" ? We the People need our heads examined.

    19. Carol M Kite says:

      Unfortunately, we taxpayers are stuck with a president, an eloquent speech-maker that knew what to promise with words, but is so terribly out of his element, we pay & pay & pay. He not only hasn't a clue how to lead a country, he has no one to offer good advice though wouldn't take it anyway. He will continue running amok, apparently no one has the capacity to rein him under control, we suffer his costly fantasies that are disgraces until Jan 20, 2012, God help us, please.

    20. Louis Plants says:

      I disagree with first gear. More like reverse gear.

      Lou Plants
      Monument, Colorado

    21. toledofan says:

      So, first and foremest, we still don't have a budget, so, everything we're spending is excess. Secondly, it's becoiming crystal clear that Obama doesn't want things to get better and his actions continue to not match the words. What is really strange in all of this is, that, even though a minority, there are those who think he's dping a good job; talk about people who need pyshco therapy. But I guess when you put everything it into perspective and recognize that the Democrats and Obama's support for the OWS crowd, then it becomes clear who his supporters really are. Someday people will wake up and say what the heck is going on?

    22. ROBERT says:

      You left out the most important rule: "DEFICIT SPENDING IS EVIL"


    23. d.l.asher says:

      it is certainty that we need. make the current taxes permanent. that would get the economy moving in a short time. business will take risk and expend funds only if convinced that the government is not going take away any riskbased proceeds at their first opportunity.

    24. Dave says:

      Seems the title may be incorrect. ….. first gear? reverse may be more apropos.

    25. Norm Morgan says:

      I just herd of a 1% tax on bank transaction that is being proposed to start on January first 2012. can you find out what is going on with this

    26. FlaJim says:

      Deficit reduction is a laudable goal. More praiseworthy would be debt reduction. If I'm spending 50% more than is coming in and have financed this high flying lifestyle, I've got to cut spending and start paying back the people who have either loaned my money or I've coerced into giving me.

      We can no longer assume that the usurper and his team are simply incompetent. This is obviously an attempt for purposefully destroy the US economy in order to impose socialism, whether it's like the European model, communist, or fascist with its corporate cronyism.

      Only 33 'brave' senators have backed a balanced budget? There's a serious disconnect between DC and real life. Earlier this morning, I read that the national debt had increased by $278 billion yesterday. That's billion — with a 'B.' This is unsustainable, particularly with a regime that has done all it can to discourage business, hiring, and investment.

      Fortunately, the GOP dominated House is stonewalling any more grandiose spending schemes for now. Pray that they prevail for another year.

    27. PatriotAR15 says:

      The Erskin Boles group has also proposed many massive spending cuts, tax reductions and entitlement reforms that would steer this country toward a more solvent future – however the administration chooses to ignore the top economists, insisting that they know whats best – and it appears that their "best " is running our economy into the ground. the so called "Super Committee" is a travesty nad totally illegal – there is no provision in the constitution for any such group to even exist – as it takes the congress's job away from them and puts it in the hands of a group who have no responsibility to the people of the country.

    28. Lee says:

      When I read stories like this, especially those giving recommendations, put some dollar figures to it. As an ex-financial controller I've noticed, at every level, an ability of those presenting plans to generalize. How much will the plans save, or contribute to reducing our debt? If there's a line item added to the federal tax return, the "Buffet" tax, for wealthy to volunteer an extra amount to be applied to the National Debt, as has been proposed, how many dollars would that be if even half (very optimistic) of the wealthy checked it. If specifics aren't given, we're sucking air.

    29. Doc Hilliard says:

      He is NOT in first gear. He is in reverse and he is running out of fuel.

    30. JohnL2 says:

      Speaking for myself and some others, Obama has become irrelevant as a president, Commander In Chief, and the leader (?) of the free world! Excepting the major problems he has caused, his administration is, and always has been, a divicive joke! Therefore, why listen to anything Obama has to say…we have heard it all before to NO avail!!
      The very best WE The People can hope for is to get Obama and his cronies out of office as soon as humanly possible and take back the Unitd States of America!!!

    31. Bobbie says:

      Obama's wheels spin into crisis. Congress is working on solutions. Temporary infrastructure jobs that were already paid for two years ago, is not a solution. People need full time, permanent, livable wage jobs that provide for families that were taken by abuse of government unconstitutional, unethical overreach.

      When unemployment shows a decrease, check out the state of welfare dependents and their dependencies on tax payers at an increase… This is Obama's solution. The real solution is make them both little to non-existent by removing government in all areas that prove with evidence, negative effect on businesses and their ability to grow the economy.

    32. Mike, NC says:

      "Obama Spins His Wheels; Economy Stuck in First Gear"!?

      More like "Obama Spins More of the Same; Economy Stuck in Neutral, Headed Downhill".

      Look. If in "first gear" at least we would be actually really moving (as in significantly more private businesses and [permanent] private jobs being created)…even if "uphill" or up out of a pit like a depression or recession.

      But when some "master mind" such as Obama is said to be "at the wheel" and is doing things which blow both the "engine" and "transmission"…private businesses and (permanent) private jobs…in that case, as in now, that means it's the same as being "stuck in neutral”, which, when we're supposed to be climbing, means being headed downhill, no matter how Obama, and any others, try to insist to the contrary and "spin" things!

    33. Jeanne Stotler says:

      I listened to BHO when he was running in 2008 and saw what he was, then I saw exerpts from his book, and that his background, education was Muslim, he even stated in book he would side with Muslims, yet the lemings followed him blindly. Anyone who will not devulge his origin of birth, why he has a Conn. issued Soc. sec. when he never lived there, a passport that is not issued in USA, how he financed his education, his GPA and a wealth of other info. WHY DOES HE NEED a BLACKBERRY, no other recent pres. had one, all the secret Service carry a cell. Now he's running his campaign on our dime under pretense it's a job search. I sure hope that the people who voteed for him have awakened or do wake up before Nov. 2012, if not we must all bend over and grab our ankles, andyou know the rest because there will be no more freedom in the USA

    34. carol,az says:

      No Mike;
      POTUS, "will never change his economic direction."
      We're all pretty clear on that point..
      As for, "stuck" in first gear;" his social utopia {i.e. class warfare} economics, is equivalent to giving porn to sex offenders.
      In his case, it our money. Trillions of dollars to leeches under cronyism.
      He further describes the situation as, " it's understandable why people are frustrated."
      As for, "a brighter future" that describes , "dead men walking" in this scenario.
      We're never going to turn the corner of this long-playing tragedy until we get rid of him.
      That's my definition of hope and change.

    35. Wayne Grievo says:

      Obama and Soros want business and currencys to fail!!! Progressive? or adavistic?

    36. Mike C says:

      As for Obama "spinning his wheels" and the economy being practically the same as stuck in neutral, Obama and his accomplices, all the way from himself, to his accomplices in Congress and elsewhere, all the way down to their government dependence-programmed "Occupy" mobs, aren't doing anything rulers, their cronies, and their government dependant programmed followers and mobs wouldn't do for their tangibly and intangibly bankrupting agenda.

      As for the so-called "Super-Committee", question: What is so diabolically predictable that it is expected of those who would perpetrate or cover-up things and dodge responsibility, be it in high school, college, or anywhere else including government? Answer: Appoint a committee.
      In fact that is such a favorite "escape hatch" for escaping responsibility that the results are virtually predictable…including where the so-called "Super-Committee" is evidently headed now, as in "The Committee couldn't meet the deadline, therefore the following is automatically triggered so it's his fault or their fault or everybody else's fault, but not our fault".

    37. Lynn B. DeSpain says:

      Nothing will change with the Obama, and current Congress mind set. How many are aware that in Oregon, beginning the first of the year, 10,000 jobs are lost in the Timber Industry, due to the Federal Government closing off all Federal Land to Logging?
      How many are aware of the 90,000+ coal mining jobs being lost on January 1st, due to the Federal Government shutting off all coal mining on Federal Land?
      How many more jobs are being lost January 1st, due to the Federal Governments, closing access?
      The main reason none of the plans coming out of Washington DC are not working, lies in the fact, that most all American Citizens, the actual ones who rule this Republic, are not demanding, that real corrective action be taken.
      No where in our Constitution, the only set of Laws that bind our government to its duties, and also limit those duties, does it allow for any to invade our Nation, and yet, we once more have millions of illegals on our land, in our workplace, taking from our social services, costing our law enforcement, judicial courts, and jails, and why?
      No where in our Constitution is our government allowed to supply monies to any private enterprise, in the form of a "Bail-out", simply because the Government believes that any business is too big to fail?
      Our Republic is based on a "Free Market", with those businesses growing that can, when they can, and failing when their time is up. It is not up to our government to keep "The Horse" alive, when it can no longer be ridden, or pull the plow, is it?
      No where in our Constitution are any of the three branches given authority to choose who is to be "Entitled" or not, except for those who defended this Nation in times of War, and those who were guaranteed by an agent of the Federal Government, that funds taken from them would be placed into a "Trust Account", untouchable by any other program, and to be given back when those who gave money in, retired at an age agreed upon when beginning. Is this not true?
      Is it not also true that the Federal Government, all three branches, under our Consitution, is but an "Agent" to the States, and as such, is limited to its duties by our Constitution, the very Law of our Land? The only Law of our Land?
      As the Constituion is the binding charter for the fifty "Independent Nations" called States, each with powers and rights to differ from one another, then by the arbirary changing, or ignoring the duties set forth of any part of the Constitution by the Agent of the Fifty Nations, would unbind the agreement of the States from its Agent?
      Is it not time for the People of this Republic, given the right to rule, under its Constitution, either replace the government/Agent, that no longer represents the Will of its People, or shall we fall in line behind the Judas goat and let it lead us to slaughter?

    38. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      Boehner and the other lifers are just as involved in destroying America…just so they stay in power. And, Heritage supports their re-election time after time…

    39. Linda Fields says:

      We all must pay close attention to what obama and his regime are doing tous. He has NO intention making ONE thing better for the USA. He and his regime want us to be a society that is totaly dependant on the government– for every thing we need. Everything he has tried to FIX has failed. His bail outs failed, he is succeeding with what he's set out to do- bankrupting the United States. He believes in these demonstrations going on around the nation- I feel it is a diversion so he can slip a few more of his underhanded and decietful tactics in on us.His followers seem to be the people that want something for nothing at our expence. We get to pay higher taxes- higher taxes- higher taxes so they- his followers can get more and more for nothing.Can't they SEE what ha is doing? He is/ has divided this country- races- religions- beliefs. Just what he wants- Pull the wool over the blinded eyes.They are following him over the edge of a bottomless pit which I am afraid will be a fall with no return IF he is not voted OUT. I pray his followers/ supporters wake up and think for themselves-

    40. Peabody1911 says:

      In October the government spent $200 BILLION it didn't have which means it stole $650 from every man, woman, and child in the United States for that month alone.

      That's on top of the $15 TRILLION for the national debt, $48,000 from every man, woman, and child in the United States AND $60 TRILLION for entitlements, $192,000 for every man, woman, and child in the United States.

      The debt is owned by the people, not the government. And your share now is $240,650.

      Most people won't be able to pay off this debt in their lifetimes so they'll pass it on to their children or we'll default and, at the rate we're going, the USD won't soon be worth the paper it's printed on.

    41. James Murphy says:

      It is my understanding that each state is a sovereign power. Each state has the ability to conduct its economic affairs without the interference of the federal government. By returning the 10th amendment back to the states all agencies except President, Congress, Supreme Court, FBI, and the Treasury Department would be abolished. All lands stolen by the federal government from the states would be returned. The commerce clause does not permit the regulation of the states rights to develop and use the resources of their state. I am weary of the corruption of the Democratic Party and the Republican East Coast Elitists.

    42. seeker1 says:

      The Congress has pulled a good one of talking and doing nothing. They won't risk a vote so they appoint someone to do the work for them. What a bunch of jerks!

    43. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      There's an easy solution to this. Harry Reid should get to work on the 15 bills he's stonewalling in the Senate.
      We need to get off the stick and do the right thing as Spike Jones would say.

    44. Lgarner says:

      Steve,__Please tell me where you found the recorded number of deportation of illegal__immigrants by the Obama administraion? The states that are picking up these__illegals want documentation that the illegals they are turning over to the Fed's__are actully being deported. The Feds are suppose to hold illegals for 90 days__during the deportation process. How do we know the Feds aren't letting them__out in 2 days or 30 days, instead of deporting them. Do you gave proof or know__where to find proof. I say ship Obama out of the country, along with all the illegals.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.