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  • Morning Bell: A Disappointing Recovery Leaves Americans Suffering

    In the Super Tuesday primary, the economy was the number one issue on voters’ minds, be they in Massachusetts, Georgia, Ohio, or Virginia. And that wasn’t because they were happy about high unemployment and slow wage growth. Yet according to President Barack Obama, “the economy is getting stronger, and the recovery is speeding up.” Of course, these things are relative. A disappointing recovery is underway. It just hasn’t touched the millions of Americans who remain out of work, the millions more whose wages can’t keep up with inflation, and it doesn’t offset the effects of high gas prices on family budgets.

    Voters’ old-fashioned common sense about the economy was backed up by the numbers in the February jobs report just released this morning. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 227,000 jobs last month. That’s the good news, and it does evidence that the recovery continues, albeit slowly. And this slow-trot recovery is why the unemployment rate remains at 8.3 percent, while the number of long-term unemployed workers remained at 5.4 million, accounting for 42.6 percent of the unemployed.

    What’s more, an extraordinarily high number of Americans have dropped out of the work force, either choosing not to work, losing heart and abandoning the hunt for jobs, or accepting disability benefits. Because of the meager recovery, very few potential workers have returned to the job market to find work. With fewer people in the work force, the unemployment rate appears lower than it should as a matter of simple arithmetic. But this artificially low rate does not disguise the fact that talented, experienced, discouraged workers are choosing to sit on the sidelines instead of participating in the economy. In short, though the labor market is improving, it’s nowhere near where it should be given America’s potential.

    What should the economy’s recovery look like? Take a glance at history (and the chart below). Following the 1981-1982 recession — which looked a lot like the one America saw in 2008 in both depth and duration — the economy returned to near-full employment (which is around 5.5 percent) by 1984. Today, nearly three years after the most recent recession ended, the unemployment rate remains stuck well above 8 percent. So while the economy has grown for 10 straight quarters, it’s only done so at a measly 2.4 percent rate. In fact, it’s the slowest recovery America has seen in the post-war era. No wonder millions of Americans aren’t feeling the effects of the economic rebound and are voting their displeasure. (Article continued below chart.)

    Even liberal economist / columnist Paul Krugman sees the economy for what it is. In a recent column in The New York Times, he wrote, “our economy remains deeply depressed” and that “every silver lining comes with a cloud.” So what’s bringing about that cloud? Why is this economy growing, and yet growing so slowly by comparison to the 1980s recovery?

    While President Obama might like to take credit for the meager growth the economy is seeing, there’s an important fact to keep in mind. It’s the natural tendency for the economy to grow — and taking credit for its meager improvement is sort of like accepting kudos for the rising and setting of the sun. In fact, the President should of course (but never will) accept some blame for the fact that the economy isn’t growing faster. The policies Obama ushered in are markedly different from those that President Ronald Reagan adopted to unleash the economic recovery in the 1980s, and the results show the difference — a powerful recovery under Reagan, and weak recovery under Obama.

    For starters, President Obama says he wants to encourage job creators to ramp up their economic engines, while at the same time he has proposed $2 trillion in higher taxes, much of which would fall on small businesses — the job creators. Add onto that a discouragingly successful policy of encouraging higher gas prices by opposing domestic energy production. This policy is so unpopular that eleven Democratic Senators voted with their Republican colleagues on Thursday to overturn the Obama decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline. Proponents failed to get the 60 votes necessary to overturn the Keystone decision, but with Democratic support it came very close. Instead of tapping proven resources, Obama puts his faith in pie-in-the-sky renewable energy projects like Solyndra. No wonder Super Tuesday’s voters were worried about the economy.

    On top of job-killing tax hikes and higher gas prices, President Obama continues to embrace the burden of untenably high spending and debt — which will of course motivate the left to call for even higher taxes — and you’re left with a mess of policies emanating from Washington signaling small businesses to hunker down instead of investing for the future. A better path for growth would be to enact a budget that curbs spending, reforms entitlements, and reforms the tax code to focus it on economic growth as proposed in Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan — all of which would free the economy to grow at a faster rate than we’re witnessing today.

    While any economic growth and job creation is welcome, a barely perceptible, incremental recovery doesn’t offer much hope for those Americans who can’t feel, see, or touch the fruits of recovery. Millions remain unemployed in the Obama economy, and Washington can and should do better for the American people.

    Must-See Video: If you listen to the media, conservatives are fading everywhere from Congress to the campaign trail. Nothing could be further from the truth. Learn more about it in a special video from Heritage Action for America.

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    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    39 Responses to Morning Bell: A Disappointing Recovery Leaves Americans Suffering

    1. Johnet says:

      Very good article to read!
      Good Insurance News

    2. Is this the change we voted for in 2008? Guess so, sure wasn't the change they offered, though.

    3. RME KRNL says:

      A disappointing recovery leaves Americans suffering? No, a disappointing OBAMA leaves Americans suffering. And he is arrogantly more focused on getting reelected than governing and fixing any problems to help the American people and has been for some time. In fact, a pretty good argument could be made that he's never stopped campaigning since he's been in the White House.

    4. Dick Gould says:

      Do the people who are supporting Barack Obama know they are suffering?

      • dvann says:

        No. They're ether waiting for their gov. check, green subsidy money, or get their income from an illegal source.

    5. Smoke101 says:

      If you want to fundamentally change America-first you have to destroy it! Wake up sheep-ole!!!

    6. Bobbie says:

      what's worse, it's manufactured by the controls and abuse of government authority. America doesn't have to be here. Suffering is far greater than the president's promised word "sacrifice" along with the words "we all have to" and to state not all are when in fact the president has his preferential people protected from both suffering and sacrifice that his abuse of authority is leading the rest of America "right" into.

      Rules and laws have to apply equally amongst society, the government needs constraint, someone has to step in to correct this bombardment of noncompliance, it's out of our control and this is our country!

    7. toledofan says:

      I think the more I see, it's becoming clear, that, the people who were the 60's radicals have assended to positions in the government and are trying to ram their agenda down our throats. The hypocracy regarding creating jobs, lessening the cost of fuel and a myraid of other anti Constitution agenda items, like Obamacare, have become the norm. On the Republican side, I just don't think the leaders really understand what is happening and are oblivious to just how nasty the Democrats have become. We had better wake up very soon and take the country back, if we don't all the blessings we got from God will be wisked away and we'll look just like France, Greece or England.

    8. Brad L says:

      It would be helpful if Heritage could isolate the number of people who are dropping out of the workforce and enrolling in SS as they start taking their retirement benefits (non entitlements). I realize that these people are part of the shrinking workforce, but I have seen little written about the details of how they all are counted. If one person retires and another is hired to replace them, is that one less worker and one new job?

    9. James Michael says:

      When will we simply cut sending and remove useless laws so our great country can grow again to support everyone who wants to work. Lest start by cutting one percent from every government agency and cut the pay and benefits of our elected officials.

    10. V. Moore says:

      I see that Obama will never get the REAL public that he is suppose to represent and for us that is the biggest con game in this business. He says one and does another. I have often wondered of he even knows anything at all about this Country, it's history or anything at all about the U. S. Constitution? It seems that this man is wandering from day to day and the only thing he really knows anything about is golf. If this man is not booted out of office in November, I am afraid that another 4 years of his "hope and change" will actually change America forever into something we will not recognize.

      • rightleaning says:

        Don't kid yourself-he knows this country so well he can't tolerate it as is. He follows Socialistic beliefs and principles. Read about Saul Alinksy on David Horowitz Freedom Center. This president taught this theory of community organizing with the aim to put the lower socio-economic on top of the successful groups of people. He is surrounded by radicals in his admin. People please OPEN YOUR EYES. It is happening already.

    11. Wayne Peterkin says:

      A good and truthful article that overlooked one more reason why the economic recovery has been so slow. The mountain of new regulations with more coming every day are also helping to throttle more economic growth and job creation. The EPA alone has done an incredible amount of damage to an economy trying to recover. Mr. Brownfield is absolutely right that the economy has a natural tendency to grow, but government policies can help or hurt that process. The Obama administrations policies have unquestionably hurt.

    12. Dan says:

      Many things have changed since the 81-85 recovery. One, which so many Liberals never like to admit, was the Reagan's change in the tax code which freed up all the pent-up wealth into investment. As documented so well by the Left, Reagan's large mistake was not to make the necessary cuts in government spending which would of kept the budget more toward balanced and therefore, the Liberals off his heels. But, have we even came close to the prosperity we enjoyed since? Unfortunately, too many in Congress could not stand this prosperity of the American people and their loss of power, so they began dismantling what worked in an effort to regain power. They increased taxes while signing(I know Bush had a hand in this) Free Trade Agreements with countries which were either Socialist or still in part Communist. This led to the destruction of our manufacturing base which was such a large part of our economy's resurgence and led to the quick descent downward of our overall economy. Obama's growth of our government has led to nothing short of bankruptcy and given our once proud economic power to China and Mexico, to name a few. I fear for our country as the large number which has become almost totally dependent on government subsidies, will soon be faced with either the dilemma of total bankruptcy or killing what economic strides we have made by increasing taxes. The picture is not a pretty one, and I fear he will soon do everything in his power to raid the once safe Social Security makes the picture even worse. Their are a huge number of those close to and already retired who have smartly invested in 401K plans. But, even as recent as within the last year, Obama has publicly stated he would invite a way to use the moneys already accumulated in these private plans. Unfortunately, with the grandiose size of our government, I fear, too, this money will also be lost and then where will the millions of Baby Boomers turn? Why, to the place Obama wants them to, the Government.

    13. Harley Spoon says:

      And whose fault is that?

      (1) Before the TeaParty goons and pawns of the Koch Brother monopolists and the global corporatist fascists even got to DC, the Republicans were obstructing everything the President proposed…If you and you ilk in congress had allowed his policies to prevail, it is possible this recovery would be stronger…

      (2) The oil companies have been doing everything possible to manipulate the prices of refined product at the pump everytime the recovery showed signs of strengthening…and so it is this very day…Don't whine that domestic crude production is down; it isn't. The US is, for the first time in decades, a net exporter of crude and gasoline. With all the largess the federal government has given the oil companies (in ample totals for them to build "clean" and more productive refineries), the oil companies have refused to build new and clean refineries…It is such that we can't refine the crude we are bringing out of the ground, as it is…and our refineries are refining at way less than capacity (not one refinery is refining at more than 85%..many are at as low as 50%…many are shutting down)…Heritage Foundation, get honest for a change…That is past due!

      (3) The banks, with all their assets, have still refused to make good loans using sound banking practices to qualified borrowers (home buyers and small businesses) in order to stimulate hiring and production…Even so, unregulated predatory lenders are still loaning money to unqualified buyers and perpetrating further harm to the homebuilding industry.

      There is plenty more with which to indict the Heritage Foundation. I will waste no more time on people whose defunct economic ideology caused the Great Depression and the Great Recession and who have tried to exacerbate the weakness of our economy with their ceaseless and ongoing push to see those defunct policies prevail for one reason: politics…the desire, above all else, to do everything possible for this president to succeed at the expense of the best interests of the US and its citizens and he is still making progress to your chagrin…Don't talk to me about patriotism…You are not qualified!!

      • Chris says:

        I fell asleep half way thru your post with your big word, old unsupported arguments. First, Obama had the House, the senate and a nine iron in his favor his first year and still couldn't pass a thing. His own party was scratching their heads. Taxes on fuel are what drive the price at the pump and your very president stating gas should be four dollars a gallon…the rest of your post I fell asleep so…no more argument from me.

      • dvann says:

        Mr. Spoon, you raise some points, to bad you get them all wrong.

        (1.) The biggest obstruction at the capital building is Sen. Harry Reid. He's had the legislative process pretty much bottled up in the Senate Chambers for quite some time now. It's been more than 1000 days since we've seen a budget out of the Senate. The country is trillions in debt and a substantial part of the debt has occurred since Reid and Pelosi were made leaders of their respective houses.

        (2.) The oil companies have been shackled by the radical Democrats and their cronies at the EPA for so many years now that the point you try to make would be laughable if not for the seriousness of the situation. The oil companies will build more refineries and produce more oil when the Democrats allow the process to go forward.

        (3.) The two biggest reasons we now have a flat housing industry have retired with a fat government pension. That would be Chris Dodd and Barney Frank. What a wonderful mess they left us has they ride off into the sunset.

    14. T Wood says:

      I think we should remember this politians on how they are voting. I'm not sure what people are voting for sometimes. They said today that the unemployment was better, how could it be getting better, when there are so many companies closing stores and laying off? Theyr'e just lying to us again to get reelected. Why not pass the keystone project. I believe Newt Gingrich has all the right ideas and I hope people will also realize this and elected Newt for President.

    15. Curt Krehbiel says:

      "A disappointing recovery leaves Americans suffering." But nothing like the suffering Americans will incur if Obama is re-elected for another term. His goal is a socialist, if not communist regime, with government dictating every aspect of our miserable lives.

    16. Jeanne Stotler says:

      I have 2 questions, When is BHO going to own up to HIS MISTAKES ans stop making excuses?? the next is When are the TRUE RECORDS of unemployment going to be aditted to. Unemployment if calculated the right way,is over 11%, there are many self employed people that do home services, house painters etc. than how about all the young people who finished school and cannot get jobs, neither group qualify for Unemployment. Let's put the whole truth out, Fox News will, why not the others??

    17. Bob C. says:

      Gee, how out of touch Heritage is…why just this morning ABC (Always Barack's Cheerleader) stated more than 200,000 jobs were added last month, and unemployment has "dropped" to 8.2%!!…and then capped off the segment stating Americans felt so good about the recovery they were "BORROWING MORE". That's just what we need more borrowing, right?

    18. Josh Kirby says:

      For Timmy Timmy!

    19. KC-NM says:

      The economy is only getting worse. The democrats must be smoking something funny if they really believe it is getting better. Gas prices are way up since 2011 – we all suffer from this at the pump. In addition the cost of getting goods to stores has increased the prices are up. Grocery prices are terrible – look a the price the basic stuff – all up significantly since 2011. Medical costs are up due to Obamacare – my premium is higher, deductible went from $500 to $1500, prescription cost is terrible – I have spent well over $1500 in the first quarter for basic items. And to top this off, I paid my 28% in income tax, still pay FICA and Medicare tax along with the outrageous state tax in NM. Thank god I have a job along with 2 part-time jobs! Having fun – no. Paying the way for others to sit around – yes. Is the economy better – Ha Ha!

    20. Ken Jarvis says:

      The HF, Murdoch's Empire – WSJ and Fox, and the GOP
      have ALL done everything they could to
      Now you have the nerve to complain because your Plan has worked.

    21. Mark Simmons says:

      Put succinctly, the percentage of people unemployed is at the high point of this recession. (That's what it means when the percentage employed is at its low point.) The Obama Administration would have us believe that there are many millions of Americans who were laid off and have decided "I don't need a job anyway" and that's how they "game" the U3 unemployment number. It's rubbish.

      And the Americans who are employed? Most have seen tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars taken from them due to the impact on their home value and retirement plans. Most private sector industries have seen stagnant wages that have dropped the buying power of their paycheck by 10% or more. Small business owners have seen the value of their businesses plummet in this economy, all forms of financing that feed businesses have dried up, and a crushing avalanche of government regulations, fees and restrictions on their businesses.

      That is reality.

    22. tucanofulano says:

      Obama's numbers are false, of course, and do not reflect the number of jobs in the USA taken by Illegal Aliens; they of course ought to have been deported so Americans could have a chance to secure jobs in the USA instead of Illegal Aliens.

    23. ThomNJ says:

      This is more government farce – just like when they report "core inflation" numbers as being acceptable….except left out of the "core" numbers are probably the two largest items that affect a family: food and energy. So let's talk about unemployment …but l leave out those who have left the job market. Real unemployment is more than double the unemployment rate.

    24. Carol,AZ says:

      Yes: it's "A Nightmare On Main Street", led by Freddie and Jason.
      How could it be anything else from these dead heads.
      I've never heard this administration utter the word, "free enterprise.'
      The fact that the Keystone pipeline was blocked in the first place, and still lack the votes to be unblocked, is just another economic, American tragedy story that belongs to this pig pile of, three a half years of total chaos .

    25. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Recovery? What recovery?

    26. Mike, NC says:

      Slow growth? More like glacial growth, if any, and glacial growth does not a saving recovery make. In fact, similar to when Ronald Reagan said (paraphrasing) "The people know what a depression is…a depression is when you are no longer working". Otherwise, "recovery" is only a word being used by misleading politicians and their accomplices, such as Obama who says "The economy is…speeding up", when that is clearly peddling a mirage especially in an election year and angling for re-election.
      "A disappointing recovery is underway"? Again, what recovery? There is no recovery, except to the misleading and misled in high places of power, money, and influence, the "comfortably numb" (to quote a '70's song by Pink Floyd), and others such as the growing legions of government employees and union members whose pay & benefits average twice as much as those in "the private sector". For the rest of us (especially those of us who are unemployed) the fact in the real world is as follows:

    27. Mike, NC says:

      To Continue: For the rest of us (especially those of us who are unemployed) the fact in the real world is as follows: There is no recovery, and, same as during "The Great Depression" (1929-1941) , any "upward blip", real or artificially concocted, does not a saving recovery make. The "inconvenient truth" is the legions of unemployed are at least twice as many as the "official number" which, same as "official cost of living" which is concocted by excluding the two largest components…housing and transportation), is also concocted by similarly leaving out. So let us neither participate in nor fall for the mirage-peddling claims of the Statists…there is no recovery and, this time, there won't be unless and until we get such Statists as Obama and his accomplices out of power.

    28. JohnLeeHooker says:

      Disappointing article. Gallup has unemployment in the 10+% range. U6 at 15-17. This is NOT a recovery and Heritage should be more forthcoming about the actual situation.

    29. Mary......WI says:

      If our elected politicians would start voting on bills, such as overturning Keystone XL, repealing Obama-care, etc. to help this country and her people to thrive again INSTEAD of partisan line voting, the economy will take off. Congressional democrat senators repeatedly vote against anything a republican brings to the table. It recently happened in WI too when the democrat senators voted against a perfectly safe iron ore mining bill that would have meant jobs for so many people and businesses in WI. Democrats/liberals/progressives lie, control and tax. Their disdain for this country is so evident and yet they successfully lead the ignorant "young lambs to slaughter" by spinning words, changing topics, and praising the vile spewing from the mouths of their many followers which includes the news media and Hollywood. Their double standards, spins, and lies are so frustrating! Maybe if the "young lambs" would break away from the herd and open their minds by reading from various sources to get both sides of an issue they would become responsible Americans instead of going along with whatever the rest of their lazy, mis-guided, gullible, liberal "herdmates" do….pathetic!_______

    30. AUGUST CAMPAGNA says:


    31. Stirling says:

      This administration and it's elites can manipulate everything it wants, but the american is not as "stupid" as we are being told by the media. It's the 10% Liberal Left trying to convince the other 80% Center/Right that in Obama land economics 101 has changed to 2+2 = 5.. Americans realize that something is wrong in their hearts and minds on the direction and policies, and this will not change until we no longer have this administration in charge trying to push us when we want to be left alone.

      True Freedom (and security) is determining your own path and not what government would choose for you.

      My personal opinion is that the "suffering" is knowing that the government is too involved in taking away our freedoms rather then preserving them. Rather then spending time and money to grow (and restore) this country we are fighting to preserve and survive this administration which is why the recovery is not normal.

    32. DMJ says:

      FDR cooked the unemployment numbers too by starting Social Security and getting the old people out of the workforce. That freed up jobs for the younger unemployed people and it "looked" like the unemployment numbers were down. Anyone who fell for that one needed to go back to first grade because they obviously couldn't add 2 + 2.

      The current unemployment numbers only count those who are on unemployment benefits. Those whose unemployment benefits have run out, or never took unemployment benefits are not counted. Also, those who have are looking for their first job, such as new high school and college graduates and teenagers, are not counted either.
      I'm not so sure that I want the government to have the true unemployment numbers because that would mean invasion of the above people's privacy. The government already knows way too much about us. All people need to do is look around and see the lack of available jobs, the number of people in their area that are unemployed and how long it takes a person to get employed (if he ever does) and that tells the real story! We don't need any government yahoo to tell us what reality is.

    33. altondrew says:

      This is a slow, painful recovery, especially for people in their forties and fifties. As we compare the speeds of economic recoveries, however, how much of it has to do with the differences in the economies. In the 1980s, we were transitioning from a manufacturing to retail services-based economy. Now we are transitioning to a deeper knowledge-based economy. Is it that we simply are not ready for it?

    34. Joe Johns says:

      a statistic that would be even more telling is under employment

    35. Stanley says:

      It's a 2-edged sword: to get the economy back in shape businesses needs to make profits again, and for businesses to make profits the economy needs to get going again….and struggling businesses would love nothing more than to get back on their feet and hire back the staff they had to let go due tot he crisis; and for holistic solutions that match their immediate requirements and also longterm needs I would recommend, based on personal experiences, that they get in touch with CWIIL GROUP: http://www.cwiilgroup.us.

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