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  • Morning Bell: Weak Economy Disappoints Again

    Every day, America waits for a brighter future to arrive — the promise of change that President Barack Obama made in 2009 when he set a benchmark for his success on the economy, remarking, “If I don’t have this done in three years, then there’s going to be a one-term proposition.” More than three years later, very little has changed. As today’s jobs report shows, the U.S. economy only added 115,000 jobs in April — well below expectations and far, far below what is necessary to drive the economy back to full employment.

    Lackluster employment results dominate today’s report. It’s been three years under the Obama policies, and 12.5 million Americans remain out of work. No demographic group except black workers saw an improvement in their unemployment rate, and 13 percent of black workers remain unemployed. What’s more, the labor force participation fell to the lowest level since 1981 at 63.6 percent. Americans are fleeing this economy when at this stage workers should be returning to the labor force.

    This shouldn’t surprise anyone. While little has changed with the economy, little has changed in President Obama’s failed policies. Rampant federal spending continues unchecked; the debt continues to grow; a monstrous tax hike is set to hit Americans on January 1, 2013, infecting the economy with renewed and debilitating uncertainty, and the country’s energy policy remains in shambles.

    The latest example of the president’s recycling of his Administration’s failed ideas came in a speech this week to the Building and Construction Trades Department Conference. Obama used the opportunity to pander to his Big Labor allies and called for more federal spending on infrastructure as a panacea for job creation, claiming that his proposals would put “hundreds of thousands of construction workers back to work repairing our roads, our bridges, schools, transit systems.”

    But here’s something to remember: President Obama’s near-trillion-dollar stimulus — the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 — was intended to inject demand into the economy and spur the creation of new jobs. That’s the very same theory the president is still advocating today. Apparently, it’s all he knows. It didn’t work then, it’s not going to work now.

    Heritage’s Patrick Knudsen explains that dumping taxpayer money into projects like these “simply moves resources from one place to another — it may employ unionized construction workers, but only by reducing jobs in other sectors.” But it still costs money — money the government gets by borrowing and thereby reducing private sector spending — so of course there’s no net job growth or economic boost for their “investment.”

    The president’s call for more spending to boost a stagnant economy also exacerbates an already-serious problem: the national debt. As Heritage’s 2012 Edition of the Federal Budget in Pictures shows, federal spending per household is skyrocketing and is projected to rise to $34,602 per household by 2022. And because all that spending exceeds revenue by more than $1 trillion, America’s debt is continuing to grow, hitting 101 percent of GDP by 2021. Ultimately, this threatens to boost the country’s already-high tax burden, further discouraging investment and job creation.

    That tax burden is set to get even worse in 2013 with the advent of Taxmageddon – a combined 34 percent increase in taxes resulting from the expiration of existing tax policies and the imposition of new ones. Ironically enough, President Obama once said that raising taxes in a recession is a bad idea. And though America is not in a recession today, it still suffers high unemployment, and raising taxes will still have the same negative effect that the president claimed he wanted to avoid — higher tax burdens on workers and job creators hamper economic growth. Yet the president is sitting back in the face of the 2013 tax nightmare, apparently content to slam the economy for the sake of big government, while also calling for higher taxes on wealthy Americans and job creators ostensibly as a way to make society more “fair.” But really he’s just trying to distract the nation from his failed policies.

    Throw in an energy policy that seeks to punish oil and natural gas companies, prevent the exploration of domestic resources, waste money on fruitless “green jobs” programs, and impose new regulations that make energy more expensive, and you have a recipe for the economic stagnation that America is seeing today.

    The American people are not and should not be satisfied with 8 percent unemployment, an economy that’s inching along, and a spending-induced fiscal crisis that remains unresolved. The U.S. economy has great potential that’s just waiting to be unleashed. With the right policies — like those proposed in Heritage’s Saving the American Dream plan — the United States can solve the national debt crisis, reduce government spending, and get the economy back on track.

    Don’t Miss This: Yesterday, President Obama’s team introduced the “Life of Julia,” a portrayal of a liberal vision of life for one woman. Here’s our version, showing how conservative policies can empower Julia and all Americans without government interference at every stage of life.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    50 Responses to Morning Bell: Weak Economy Disappoints Again

    1. glynnda says:

      Amen! You're preaching to the choir my friend! Now if the expected candidate Mr. Romney will just begin to step up and remind Mr Obummer of the statements he made before he was elected…….i.e. this will be a "one-term proposition"…..during some debates, etc. My biggest fear is that Romney won't go after the President the way he did his primary opponents.

    2. Tom says:

      I agree 100% this is an anemic recovery at best, and it will get no better under Obama. I believe as long as the liberal media can get away with spinning the numbers the unemployment rate will trickle down under 8% at election time and we'll be stuck with him 4 more years, a scary proposition in my book. If it was a republican in the white house right now you can bet the numbers would be different.

      • Dave says:

        Yes Tom, unemployment would be higher, we'd be paying even more for gasoline, and the rich would be even richer. So yeah, the numbers would be different

    3. Dan Robbins says:

      Sorrily, when Obama campaigned, wisely, on the promise he could get our economy going again he hit the nerve of the disgruntled voter. Consequently, they unwisely followed the Pied Piper from Africa in the hope they would be able to attain all the wonderful things a good paying job with benefits would do for them and their family. Sadly, his failed unequaled spending has done little but give China a huge ownership of our country and its future. He has even floated the idea he would like to like to get into the huge 401ks and use our hard earned money so many of us have put aside with the hope of enjoying our long awaited retirement. I hope and pray the American people wake up to this fake and rid ourselves of him once and for all and the Republicans are smart enough to remember to use this poor example in future elections. Please.

      • steve h says:

        Pied Piper from Africa? Given China huge ownership of our country? He would like to get into our 401ks? Wow, just when you thought delisions could not get bigger…you get some of this stuff. Yikes.

        • Pragmatic says:

          The saddest part is that people liked his comment

        • Dave says:

          Steve, sounds like the person you replied to is a little racist….

          • Bobbie says:

            How is calling someone a pied piper have anything to do with racism? All three of you are ignorant to oblivion with the symptoms of government educated mental abuse.

    4. Bob Ward says:

      I promise you — regardless if it is factual or not, Obama's re-election campaign pundits will see that the liberal media will advertise unemployment figures below 8% while the campaign is being ramped up into high gear. Take it to the bank, and watch and see for yourself!!

    5. toledofan says:

      From now until the time Obama is voted out of office, nothing will change, it's been the same song and dance for the last almost four years. Honestly, I know this would never happen, but, Obama and the Democrats, especially in the Senate, should all be sent to prison for all the pain and suffering they have caused to America. The hope and change has faded to misery and deciet and will continue until we finally say enough is enough.

      • steve h says:

        Sad to see these kids of comments. What numbers are you looking at? Did you see where job numbers were in 2009? Did you see where GDP #s were in 2009? Or the DOW, which has since doubled? Just amazed to see anyone could think things haven't improved drastically – and shows that many Americans refuse to look at the facts and numbers.

        • Cecelia P. says:

          You read Heritage's post today. And you're saying things have improved drastically?

        • Pragmatic says:

          I agree with SteveH. The economy is clearly doing better, but not great. However, people need to realize the slow recovery is bigger than Obama. There are huge structural problems with the US unemployment market. Businesses realized they could get better productivity out of workers (that weren't laid off) and now there is less need to hire back the old workers.

          Also, statements like "Obama and the Democrats, especially in the Senate, should all be sent to prison for all the pain and suffering they have caused to America." are ridiculous and, be frank, a little fascist. People could say the same type of things about Reagan, Bush, Clinton, etc. It does nothing to advance the political debate and find a common ground – it leads to this ideological stand off that we are seeing today.

    6. Wumingren says:

      I'd like to know how I get counted as among the unemployed. Several years ago, I was knocked out of the workforce by a serious encounter with viral encephalitis. After recovering, I was able only to work part-time as a bus driver, but then high blood pressure disqualified me from holding a commercial driver license. Now I just turned 60 and would have had a hard time finding work in a good economy. Now, people don't even acknowledge receipt of my job applications and resumes. I am pissed that just because I'm not drawing unemployment pay, I don't qualify as an unemployed person. Get bent Obama!

      P.S. Awesome that you have a spell-checker on this site. Every blog should have one!

      • Jeanne Stotler says:

        You are not alone, my sons(2) are self employed painters, making in a month what they used to make in a day, they don't count, there are thousands out there that are like you and them, and thousands more that just quit looking or are working part time. One thing for sure Obama's conies will make it look better than it is by skewing the numbers around and talking abor new jobs not the jobs lost.

    7. steve h says:

      Well you know the economy is doing better if people think adding 115,000 jobs is bad. We lost 95,000 jobs in March 2008 and lost 799,000 jobs in March 2009. When you think of where the economy was 2 and 3 years ago, this looks great to me. here are the stats straight from the source – so you can't spin them – tell me things don't look FAR better today than they did 3 years ago – http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES0000000001?outp

      • Take a look at this chart. This is the chart that really matters. It represents the total number of people employed. Keep in mind that the US population is still increasing.

        I don't know how you can spin this to get good news out of it. The problem with your chart is that it ignores all the people who have stopped looking for work – the unemployed (whose numbers are still at an all time high), those who moved onto disability (highest ever), those on food stamps (highest ever) etc… Stop kidding yourself. The economy is in a slump and Obama's policies are to blame.

      • Stirling says:

        Steve, the administration is reducing the unemployment rate by pushing people out of the workforce.. 4/5th's of the reduction in the unemployment rate is due to people leaving the workforce. Normally reducing the unemployment rate is a good thing, in the case of this administration it's actually a bad thing. As for the BLS, the numbers can be twisted, and are not beliveable given the reality on main street.

      • Bobbie says:

        WHERE ARE THE CAREER JOBS, steve h????? 115,000 temporary or make work jobs IS a bad thing when they've replaced livable jobs AND CAREERS! Obama's government goes out of their way to create uncertainty making it rather difficult for ANYONE to GET ANYWHERE! ESPECIALLY AHEAD!!!!!

    8. stephen says:

      So after reading many of the opinions posted here, I get the feeling that Obama is to blame for a bubble less recovery? Seems to me the only way to make the recovery faster is to create bubbles like some of those that got us into this position under the previous administration.
      So what would you all do to increase this recovery?
      Steady as she goes says the Captain of the ship, we may not be moving fast, but we're moving and that's great improvement compared to the last administration.

      • Want to create jobs? What happened to "all of the above" that Obama told us he supported. Then he denies the pipeline, denies permits, pulls back leases, adds additional regulations, gets the EPA involved with ridiculous policy requirements, etc… Get off the backs of all business. Reduce the spending. Reduce the size and scope of government. Create an environment of cooperation within government (like he said he would). Flat tax. Fair tax. Get back to the government supporting the economy – not dictating it. There is so much to be done…

      • Stirling says:

        Obama (and the Fed) is creating a Dollar Bubble, and Debt Bubble, by deficit spending.. Your purchasing power is being devauled every day by Trillion Dollar deficits yearly. 88 Million out of the workforce (63% of population employed) is a 30 year low. Not the right direction, captain needs to go..

        Bush 4.5% unemployment rate would be welcome today..

        • Pragmatic says:

          To be fair, Bush started the debt "bubble" and Obama took it to the next level.

          • O2BMe says:

            Actually it started before Bush. He warned the Democratic Congress he had and they laughed at him. The housing bubble started when Congress decided everyone should have a house no matter what their income was. Blame Barney Frank, his cohorts who control Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae who pushed the banks into making these ridiculous loans that people could not afford. When these loans went into foreclosure it triggered los of employment and then the people who previously could afford their loans lost their homes. Now there is a glut of homes on the market and no one can sell their homes because they are under water.

      • Bobbie says:

        lets have the market support itself freely dictating the economy without the support and dictate of government. Under the last administration 4/5 were employed in my household. Today, it's 2/5.
        Mr. Obama's presence in the last administration supported the trouble America endures today under Obama's present leadership. Crisis' has to be planned and Obama's plan worked but he is the cause and promotes no recovery as without reason, he divvies up endless regulations/mandates/rules and won't lift them! Lots of uncertainty with this "no progress to the people" all entrapping by government abuse of authority.

      • Carol, AZ says:

        Stephen ,
        The ship is sinking.
        41% of your fellow American are now receiving food stamps to help feed their families.
        The most endangered species in America, is the American worker.
        Mike's article has listed some of the reasons.
        The money from stimulus thrown away on junk science, junk projects and also help to purchased guns shipped to MX for Fast and Furious, to mention a few shipwrecks.
        Like all shipwrecks this seaman, not Captain, will go down with his ship leaving you and the rest of us to pick up the tab in the trillions.
        This former community organizer couldn't navigate a row-boat. You better learn to swim , there's no money left for a life raft.

    9. Dave says:

      ALL of you need to respect the President. We have the right to free speech, but especially if any of you are Christians, writing the comments that cut down the President is WRONG!

      • Jill Maine says:

        It is hard to respect a president that is out to ruin the country he is leader of. Being a Christian means you judge with righteous judgment and you are not supposed to be a lacky. Remember, Jesus turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple. Even God gets angry at charlatans. I agree no name calling but that doesn't give him a free ride.

      • Stirling says:

        Dave… Free Speach protects all speach, weather or not you like it or not. When the last president was being put down by the liberal media where were you backing Bush? Respect is Earned, and can't be forced on free people who don't share your viewpoint. Being Christian has nothing to do with our views on this president. (to insinuate shows sterotype which is shallow thought).

      • Bobbie says:

        People who have the mentality to understand truth, promote truth. If truth is too difficult for Mr. Obama to accept with ignorance to accountability, he's undeserving of his position with the show of personal frailty. Christians aren't afraid to tell the truth when they see it and those of good will who's unfortunate truth it is would rather use criticism to build their inner strength for the better good not intentionally distort and confuse like cowards. Truth is right, productive and beneficial. What you say is right also "the President is WRONG!" He's a conniver! Chicago style!…worse than that!

    10. Dave says:

      Anecdotal evidence – but a good example

      There is a parking ramp where I work – New York City – that has been partially closed for two years. Parking is a nightmare. No funds being made available to fix it.
      Next to parking ramp Obama stimulus is being used to build a community meeting center for 1 BILLION dollars – Trump could build for a few million, but hey, this is the gov't.
      Community center is not needed, will never be used, and ha ha where is the parking.
      Think about it.

    11. Stirling says:

      Consider the current "recovery" as pure propaganda by the liberal media.. Since the policies this administration has put in place resemble more of a European Model (higher taxes, more regulation, and more government programs) the result will (and has) resembled the slow (if any) growth of Europe during normal times.

      We are being played by this administration to think that America shouldn't expect a normal "real" recovery as in the past, when in fact we should be demanding it.. Think of this "uncertainty" as a middle step to a Socialist America. We are not there yet, and the cover Obama needs to put in place the framework (Obamacare, Government Run Education, Takeover the Banks,etc).

      Thus we are not heading to the desired end slowly, but to another more radical end entirely.

    12. tucanofulano says:

      Holder of course ought to be impeached; his boss too.

    13. Pragmatic says:

      For those of you who are interested, here's another article supporting on the same topic but with broader unemployment broken down by a) looking for work, b) part-time but looking for full-time, and c) want work but stopped looking.

    14. Ken Jarvis says:

      "Weak Economy Disappoints Again"
      WHO does it "Disappoint"?
      The HF, Murdoch's Empire – WSJ and FOX,
      and the GOP work – 24/7 to Slow the recovery.
      And then, they have the Guts to complain about it –
      "Weak Economy Disappoints Again" – How do you spell – Hip-o-crit?

      • Wayne Peterkin says:

        And you my silly man are celebrating what? The economy is dragging along, and I suppose you will blame who? Since you are a big Obama defender/supporter, surely it can't be his fault, so you try to blame Fox News and the GOP, people who have the unmitigated gall to report the truth; that Obama's policies are an abject failure. I sure would like to hear an intelligent argument from one of you liberals some day. It's no fun trying to debate someone with the logic of a tree.

      • Bob Ward says:

        You spell Hypocrite — D E M O C R A T !

      • Stirling says:

        Ken, if your trolling here to look for praise of Obama's policies, your really going to be disapointed almost everytime.. May I suggest any of the Left progressive outlets to feed your need.. Liberal Spin stops here at heritage when discussing issues.

    15. Bobbie says:

      April 2012 jobs report shows continued weak economy and we're still without the whole truth!
      Deception is only motivated by agenda!! Deceiving is all this administration is!
      Mr. Jarvis has to open his mind and rise above his envy!

      • Pragmatic says:

        This unemployment metric has been used for many of the past administrations. It isn't something that the Obama administration created to hide anything.

        • Bobbie says:

          how long it's been used is irrelevant! Obama is doing NOTHING TO "CHANGE" IT!!

    16. RennyG says:

      Why isn't someone focusing on the number of people that have been put on the federal government rolls. I am not referring to a brief news flash, I am talking about a daily reminder. Hey, this guy is no dummie, he knows how to reduce the unemployment rate for election day!!!!!! This is a no brainer!!!!

    17. Joseph McKennan says:

      I am wholeheartedly in favor of repairing the infrastructure ….. but not with union labor. The president and his liberal supporters in congress are in the process of making sweetheart deals with organized labor.
      I do not have facts and figures at hand to quote, but I have been in the work force for 40+ years. As a comparative ratio- nonunion/union- I would estimate at 70% nonunion to 30% union in the workforce as a whole. If big labor is calling the shots, this is not representative government. I faxed my congress people to support right to work and they replied they support unions.
      It all fits together in Obama's plan— government over all. Libs would use a politically correct term like umbrella, I prefer to call it a wet blanket. I am hoping and will pray for a constituent shake up of incumbents in November.
      I want to go on record as saying that if socialists win next fall- a lot of their supporters will see what a terrible thing has been done and recant, but …. it will be too late.

    18. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Welcome to the Obama economy.

    19. Alex says:


    20. Wayne Peterkin says:

      I still don't understand the government's numbers. They say that 115,000 jobs were created in April, but they also report over 300,000 new unemployment claims each week. That's roughly 1.2 million new unemployment claims each month. That's 1.2 million newly unemployed compared against 115,000 new jobs, a net loss of over 1,000,000 jobs during April. Yet the unemployment rate fell because of people no longer looking for work? Juan Williams on Fox News tonight (4/4) said we should be celebrating the lower unemployment rate! By his logic, if we could only convince those pesky unemployed to quit looking for work Obama could claim full employment!

    21. Jose Luis Lira says:

      What Obama said .. re.: "If I don't have this thing done (economic recovery) in 3 years" … was just another of his usual "loose lips" moments. Like the ones about "hope and change" … and other of his polices without substance.

    22. Eric E. McKnight says:

      Having just finished Dinesh D'Sousa's book, ""The Roots of Obama's Rage" nothing this man says or does surprises me anymore. I feel this book should be required reading for all serious conservatives and liberals ( or at least open minded liberals}. I just don't understand why Republicans in Congress are not pressing to impeach Obama and Holder. What they are doing should be considered treasonous. All the actions of this Administration are and have been designed to tear down the economic, social, and constitutional fabric of this country.

    23. Jose Luis Lira says:

      "Hope and Change" .. "Bail Outs" .. "Mega $$$ Stimulus .. "Too Big to Fail" .. "Expansion of Government Bureaucracies" .. "We Cannot Wait .. (liberals sticking it to the American people)" .. , etc., etc., etc.; .. all of these have proven to be but failed undertakings of president Obama's policies. The one "constatant" that remains in all of his failed policies is: SPEND, SPEND, SPEND .. without any regard for what the consequences might be. No need to fear al-Qaeda .. we've got a terrorist here at home who presently occupiesthe White House … one who's a real threat to our constitutional freedoms and our national security.

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