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  • Morning Bell: The Private Sector is Not "Doing Fine"

    In now-infamous comments on Friday, President Barack Obama informed America that “the private sector is doing fine.” This, of course, was news to the 12.7 million people who are out of work and the millions more who are struggling with the part-time jobs they can find, or have simply given up looking.

    While the President’s comment is astoundingly out of touch with the public—and economic reality—perhaps even more distressing is that this wasn’t a passing verbal gaffe. This is actually a consistent talking point of the President and Democratic leadership that goes largely unchallenged by the media.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D–NV) made the same case last fall when he was pushing a $35 billion bailout for state and local governments. “It’s very clear that private-sector jobs have been doing just fine,” Reid argued. “It’s the public-sector jobs where we’ve lost huge numbers, and that’s what this legislation is all about.”

    This is the President’s and the Majority Leader’s solution to the jobs crisis: more so-called stimulus and more government employees.

    As Heritage’s James Sherk has explained, this thinking is completely backwards: “If the recession has barely touched one sector of the economy, it is government.”

    If anyone is “doing fine,” it’s government employees. This goes beyond the far more generous pension and health benefits they enjoy. While the private sector lost 4.6 million jobs (a 3.9 percent drop) since the recession began, government payrolls have only fallen by 240,000 jobs (a 1.1 percent drop). Federal employment has actually grown nearly 12 percent since the end of 2007, and while the country suffers from 8.2 percent unemployment, the unemployment rate for government employees is just 4.2 percent.

    In any case, the federal government borrowing more money to transfer to state and local governments is not a job-creation policy, and it is outside the scope of the federal government. It’s merely a ploy to please union bosses, who are always eager to draw more federal dollars.

    This government-boosting strategy also ignores the fact that it has been tried before and found wanting. President Obama’s first trillion-dollar stimulus plan was a failure (and a waste). And Europe is in the shape it is because of years of government largesse. Ironically President Obama sought to focus the media’s attention on Europe on Friday in an attempt to divert it from his own economic mismanagement.

    We cannot avoid a European-style fiscal crisis by emulating Europe’s philosophy of government-centered economies and overspending.

    But the President doesn’t understand the function of the private sector—creating and producing—so he is compelled to separate it from the rest of his reality. The private sector is indeed a bit of an alien place to this president , according to his accounting. He wrote in his autobiography Dreams from My Father about finding “conventional work” to pay the bills until he could land his dream job of community organizer. He was determined to remain in the private sector only briefly: “Like a spy behind enemy lines, I arrived every day at my mid-Manhattan office and sat at my computer terminal.”

    Following a flurry of outrage over his Friday comment, the President backtracked, saying what he meant was that “we’ve actually seen some good momentum in the private sector. That has not been the biggest drag on the economy.”

    Moving from 8.1 percent unemployment to 8.2 percent can only be considered “good momentum” in this White House. However, he’s correct about one thing: The biggest drag on the economy isn’t the private sector, but Washington.

    Job creators in the private sector are paralyzed, suffering from overregulation and waiting for Taxmageddon to hit in January. The longer Congress waits to prevent Taxmageddon, the more uncertainty there will be for businesses.

    Of course, if the President’s goal is to add more government employees, then he wouldn’t be as worried about the impact of these taxes and regulations on the private sector, which is “doing fine.”

    In Dreams from My Father, Obama excused his temporary need to make money from a private-sector job while seeking his destiny as a community organizer: “I would need the money later, I told myself. Organizers didn’t make any money; their poverty was proof of their integrity.”

    If poverty is proof of integrity, then the President seems determined to make saints of us all.

    Quick Hits:

    • U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson was cited for felony hit-and-run and found unconscious in his vehicle over the weekend in San Gabriel Valley, California.
    • Spain is getting a loan: up to 100 billion euros from its eurozone colleagues. This makes it “the fourth country to seek assistance since Europe’s debt crisis began,” according to Reuters.
    • “The independence and speed of two veteran prosecutors named by the Justice Department to investigate leaks of national security information could determine whether the controversy settles quickly or blossoms into an election-year problem for President Barack Obama,” reports The Washington Post.
    • After the State Department announced rewards for information leading to the capture of members of al-Qaeda affiliate al-Shabaab, the terrorist group countered with an offer of camels to those who would lead them to President Obama and chickens for information about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
    • HHS recently held a health care town hall to educate women about Obamacare. The effects of decreased choice, higher premiums, and violations of religious freedom were among the Top 5 Things the Administration Forgot to Tell Women.
    Posted in Economics [slideshow_deploy]

    45 Responses to Morning Bell: The Private Sector is Not "Doing Fine"

    1. Turner says:

      He meant to say the GOVERNMENT sector is doing fine by living off its slaves, the American people. Government jobs are the best paying and pay ridiculous benefits that everyone else has learned we cannot afford in global competition.

      • Tom says:

        It is kind of hilarious that ten to fifteen years ago neither you nor I would consider a government job as it was poor paying and the worst of the worst and now we complain about their wages and benefit package! We are a bunch of hypocrites as I see it. BTW not all government employees make more than $75K per year. In fact most doctors do not make what doctors make that work for the government! I think if anything when it comes to who should get a cut in pay, a look at a certain level of government workers is in line and not the ones we need on a day to day basis.

    2. Jim Uberti says:

      Wouldn't it be nice if the MSM would write a challenging piece like the above??
      I find it astouding that we can no longer rely on the media to keep government honest.
      Last Tuesday, only FOX was carrying real time coverage of the Wisconsin recall. (CNN was covering the Queen's Jubilee on "tape delay"!!!)

    3. pete s says:

      Sadly, Mr. Obama and Mr. Reid do not understand that all government is overhead. The serve a function to provide defence, law and order. Beyond that, the several government entities have no proper function. The idea that government contributes meaningful services to the economy is misguided. Government jobs that do not provide for defense or securing law and order – waste economic resources.

    4. toledofan says:

      It's pretty clear that the Obama Administration needs a good lesson on ecconomics, I really don't think he has a clue. The irony is that for the past three and a half years it's been nothing but smoke and mirrors, lying, cheating and stealing that has created an untold amout of misery and suffering for many Americans. It's clear because trhe Democrats haven't developed a budget in over 1000 days and continue to try and spend money we don't have. Digging our way out of Obama's mess is going to take some very hard work.

      • Cecelia P. says:

        Heritage seems to be one of the few organizations willing to stand up and tell it like it is, and since we can no longer rely on mainstream media to tell the truth, I'm glad we've got this "out of touch organization".

    5. Dr. Henry Sinopoli says:

      The definition of insanity can't be any clearer…Keep the same life-time politicians and expect a different result. As long as out-of-touch organizations…like Heritage keeps supporting the lifers…and stupid people keep looking to maximize their personal agenda…we will continue to 'not be fine'.

      The only group of people not to suffer any pay loss, job loss or perk loss are our senators & representatives…also, Heritage writers of important papers…which have done nothing to help the economy…

    6. Lloyd Scallan says:

      It's clear that most of those that respond to this blog still don't understand Obama or his aganda. Obama knows exactly what he is doing and saying. He doesn't fear the people because he know full well the leftist media (even some at FNC) will protect his policies and will not report the truth. We must realize Obama is no fool. He has not only the media, but every Democrat in Congress that will push his agenda until this nation, as we know it, falls.

    7. Curt Krehbiel says:

      "In now-infamous comments on Friday, President Barack Obama informed America that “the private sector is doing fine.” '

      When his lips are moving he is lying.

    8. Stirling says:

      From a "Big Government" liberal's point of view our "private sector" is doing fine. (Since any "Big Government" liberal wants the private sector dependent on the public sector). Economically this is why our economy is Upside down when it comes to growth because a "healthy" economy can not have a public sector which outspends it's private sector revenues.

      By pushing bad policies agendas they are actually exposing themselves to having the very same policies torn down from the consequences of their actions..

    9. Dr. Pete Kleff says:

      Au contraire, Mon Ami. Obama "understands" the problems in the private sector. As pundits are wont to say, the truth is that his remarks are intended to camoflage his socialist agenda. He wants the private sector to fail. His remarks that more money needs to be spent in the public sector reflect his true intention, increase the size of government. It is a gross mistake to think this man misunderstands. While he may be a poor theoretician, there is no doubt where his heart lies.

    10. Ray W. Hinkle says:

      Great Chart, I use this information with my students and on Dr. Parkin's Blog Americanpoliticalcommentary.com. Heritage does a great job on charts. It is a simple illustration, but very effective.

    11. joecool says:

      This gaffe, or not knowing exactly how much a quart of milk and a lightbulb costs – which one do YOU think is worse for our country? I say it's time for the first gaffer to go!

    12. RogCol says:

      Private industry is doing fine as far as the balance sheets go. What is being overlooked is much of their incomes in from overseas initiatives. In the USA, many major corporations are sitting on piles of cash. why not? When the taxpayer bails you out and you eliminated your debt at our expense, things can not help but be good. Question and answer: Why aren't they spending the cash building their businesses? They have absolutely no idea of what is coming at them in the future, Obamacare, taxes, EPA, Interior Dept regs. The one question asked by the left that shows how little they know about the economy. Why aren't the businesses hiring people, given all the cash they have on hand? Duh!

    13. KC - NM says:

      There is not much in America that is doing "fine". Consider the effectiveness of our government (socialistic style), legal system that allows the guilty to have many comforts and benefits, a deteriorated education system, unbelievable expenses due to Obamacare, a deteriorated infrastructure, government unions, poor customer service, no pride by many, the poor, the illegal aliens, etc.
      Who ever becomes president does not have a pretty picture to deal with! This year – it is voting for the least destructive of the two including a group in Congress who give a damn.

    14. J E Houser says:

      "Is Obama turning the economy around?" Yes. Backwards and into the ground.

    15. FloridaSunshine says:

      I cannot even refer to him as President. He is no leader.
      The private sector is not doing well. I know more educated people OUT OF WORK than the uneducated.

      The media is garbage. It is sickening that the country is being run into the ground. Best thing I did was stop watching or listening to the slanted media.

      He and his wife are a disgrace to this nation. She is no first lady. Not even a "lady."

      • KC - NM says:

        It is the uneducated and those easily impressed by his speeches that should concern us all. This is the group that demands the free hand outs and is the group that will vote for Obama. Consider where this group is primarily living – in the large cities along the coast and Great Lakes. They do not represent main stream America but because they are not intelligent due to our ineffective education system and are easily impressed by Obama's verbalization, we will need to push the vote by American's who understand what is at stake! A get out and vote campaign is critical. The November election is now about survival of this great country.

        • FloridaSunshine says:

          Totally agree!

          It is even more sickening that some educated people think he is doing a good job. I hope to hell he does not get voted in again. He is an embarrassment. Smooth talker.

          The sick thing is the democratic party are the cause for keeping people oppressed, but the ignorant are too ignorant to even recognize this.

          Too bad Herman Cain didn't go further in the process. He is more of a president than this bozo.

          I have never felt so much ill for two people than these two in the white house. She is an embarrassment in every way, shape, and manner. Their presence has tarnished the presidency.

          Somebody was routing mug shots of convicts. The headline read "have you ever seen a convict wearing a George Bush, George Washington, or Ronald Regan t-shirt?" All of the convicts were wearing an obama t-shirt…as though he is a rock band. Just sickening.

          WAKE UP AMERICA! This is a dangerous man with dangerous intent and greed. His wife is despicable.

    16. boberic says:

      It's actually worse than everyone thinks. It comes under the law of unintended c onsequences. In the Health care law the phrase " The Secretary shall (will or may) determine is mentioned 700 times. That meane an unelected bureaucrat can totally alter the relationship between the Government and it's people. This country will be unalterably changed if this law is allowed to stand. The private sector will cease to exist forget just not doing well.

    17. Integrity is not a word that I would use to define anything associated with this administration. The far left media keeps hammering on the qualifications of the presidential candidates in opposition to this administration. What they continue to hide are the qualifications of Obama to be President of the United States of America. They don't have to hide that information any more because Obama's performance in his first four years as Presidency tells the true story.

    18. Jim says:

      I have great respect for the work produced by Haritage, however one issue (I believe) is in question. To say that the president doesn't understand this or that, may in some cases be accurate, but I firmly believe President Obama is well aware of exacttly where he intends to lead our great nation.

      • If a Republican president did what Obama is doing he (or she) would be tried for treason and hung. How can we let this anti-American get away with what he is doing? What happened to our American heroes? Isn't there anyone out there who will stand up for the American people? What happened to the American ethic? Are us older people the only ones who remember the freedom we had without the government looking over our shoulder telling what we can and can't do? We lived by what the founders intended when they drafted the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Now, it seems, those documents are passe. This country was founded on Christianity and was guided by God and the ten commandments. Everywhere you look in Washington D.C. there are buildings with "In God We Trust", bible verses, and other religious signs and sayings posted prominently on them. Of course, the ACLU and atheist movement want them taken down. Even our Muslim-in-chief sides with them. We do not allow prayer in schools anymore for fear of offending someone. I ask, "How can bowing our heads in silent prayer offend anyone?" It used to be that every time congress met it was opened by a prayer. Even the Navy chaplains are forbidden to mention Jesus Christ anymore. We do not allow prayer in any public place, yet the Muslims can take up whole blocks of our cities praying to Allah publicly.

        America is surely going to Hell in a hand basket. If Obama is reelected we will be another satellite of Russia, as Poland and the Chechs were after WWII. Can we just sit by and let this happen? Isn't there another John Wayne, Dwight Eisenhower, Audie Murphy out there to stand up against this traitor we have in the White House? America NEEDS another hero! Let us get our country back!

        • Jim says:

          I agree with almost everything you cited; except for the part where we need a John Wayne, Dwight Eisenhower or Audie Murphy.

          Believe me, i understand the lament, but the problem doesn't stem from the absence of men like these, but the fact that our country has turned its back on the Lord God. We need to humble ourselves and beseech Him for His mercy and maybe He will raise up men like those mentioned. Fhe question is are we willing to humble ourselves?

    19. Moderation says:

      I laugh when people say there is so much uncertainty for businesses so they are holding back investiments. Isn't business about risk and uncertainty? This will always be present. Didn't they know when the tax cuts would expire and plan for this? Of course they did. It's just excuses for hiring overseas vs. in the USA.
      Still, the economy is much better than when Obama took office. Right?
      Regarding the media 'darling' status people think the President has, check out Pew Research. A NON-PARTISAN operation. Rarely a week goes by that there aren't many more negative numbers than positive for articles re: Obama. Please, just deal in facts vs. opinion when stating things, not the usual partisan talking points. Obama not a leader? Look at Libya, Bin-Laden, and taking a stance on things(whether you agree or not). Have you seen the Republican nominee take an original stance on something to show his convictions on an important topic?

      • I think that is quite possible that you have been incorrect on other topics also! This man is a loser as President and is slowly but surely destroying our economy and our American freedoms! Wake up man!

      • pj says:

        ***Still, the economy is much better than when Obama took office. Right? ***
        What planet do YOU live on? It is NOT better than it was 4 years ago. Before 4 years ago our "private sector" business was BOOMING. It's now defunct. Shall we just blame Bush while we're at it, even though our business was productive and successful BEFORE BO came into town!

        Unless you've been affected by the Obama policies, you can't relate. Don't tell ME we're better off than we were 4 years ago. I know the truth. I have LIVED it! I'm STILL living it!

      • Where have you been all your life? When elected Obama had a Democratic majority in the House and Senate. He could have pushed through all kinds of bills to heal this nation with no opposition. Now the House is Republican and he complains that the Republicans are stopping everything he plans to get this country back on track. He had his chance and blew it.
        Is the country better off with Obamacare? When exactly has the government run anything successfully? There is a story going around that a house of ill repute was taken over by the government and still lost money.
        Is the country better off with more government control and restrictions. Ask any business in America how much better off they are now as opposed to before Obama. That’s why we are unemployed. No business can afford to hire more people due to government restrictions. More businesses are moving out of the country to avoid all the rules and laws of the government. Can you really blame them?
        Is the country better off by raising the debt limit to such a high number that we will never be able to pay it off?
        Did we give Obama a chance? We sure did and look what happened. Wake up and smell the coffee!

        Are the companies moving out of the country because they pay less overseas? Maybe, but isn’t the government regulations that hamper the private sector an incentive to go somewhere else? Since being elected, Obama has added one regulation after another adding more and more red tape to businesses. They find that they have to move just to survive.

    20. I think it is way past time for The Heritage to recommend to the House of Representatives to commence writing Articles for Impeachment of President Obama. Everyday, he comes out with some America destroying idea that is Unconstitutional. He has proven time and time again that he is running his Anti-American agenda and will stop at nothing to get it done. Write the letter to the House and tell them to get on it now!

      • pj says:

        AMEN! Too bad the weenies in Congress didn't have the MOXIE to start impeachment proceedings. They've ALL betrayed us! I say kick'em ALL OUT! Every living last one of them. Leave the White House and Congress a ghost town. Then start all over again with REAL AMERICANS! Our government has been infiltrated with a bunch of socialist, Marxist, Communists who are running America into the grave.

      • You are 100% right! The congress should have impeached him a long time ago. Why haven’t they? I wish I had an answer to that. Obama has avoided, bypassed and basically ignored the Constitution and all it stands for. Yet he swore “to uphold and defend the constitution of the United States”. Did he swear it on the Holy Bible or the Koran? If on the Bible, since he is a Muslim, he probably feels that it is not a valid oath. If this is not impeachable I don’t know what is. I call it treason. And that is certainly impeachable!

    21. Moderation says:

      Really? Groups demand free handouts who have been brain washed by Obama?

      So mainstream America is represented in small towns aways from the coasts and away from the Great Lakes? And this area has better education than the areas you mentioned? So they can make better decisions? Boy, that's a whole lot of assumptions….unless you can reference articles with this information that I can read. I am always willing to read up on things and learn more.

      I believe large corporations who are receiving all kinds of subsidies and tax breaks due to the lobbying power available may add up to more 'giveaways' than these groups your reference. Farm subsidies and oil subsidies for example.

      For all the welfare fraud perpetrated and 'handouts' given, it can't hold a candle to the misdeeds/criminality of Wall Street that led to the economic collapse. That is big business, not the little people.

      • Bobbie says:

        Silly, wall street doesn't control the government! all you're mentioning are actions/ inactions of government. There's where the corruption you don't want to pay for is but are without a choice in paying for, Moderation. Why would you base the economic collapse on wall street without including an intrusive force you already pay for but can't control?

    22. granny says:

      People in D.C. are so insulated from the real world!! There are plenty of jobs there for everyone since there are so many government workers with lots of money to spend!! Come to the midwest and see what kind of shape we are in! Oh, I forgot. We are not part of the grand plan, we are just hicks trying to hang on.

    23. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      Neither is Obama.

    24. Bobbie says:

      What kind of president would compromise his core purpose to serve and protect while spending without merit on unconstitutional areas where all money goes to show inferiority of the people?

      The more government the more inferior the people…
      lift the excessive regulations, irregular mandates and the needless government invasion…

    25. pj says:

      Yeah, let's ask the REAL "private sector" LIKE ME how well we're doing. Are we better off than we were 4 years ago. HELL NO!!!!

      This guy is so out of touch that it makes you want to puke!

    26. 2D Okie says:

      The axe is descending on the neck of the goose that lays the golden eggs.In the nineties we were told that in the future we would have a service based economy, as there was no longer any profit in manufacturing. This was the first in a long string of lies out of Washington. But as we all know: ignoring a fact will not change it. FACT: The Dumbocrats have succeeded in giving us the most incompetent CIC in the entire history of the US….and we have an idiot as back-up. GOD HELP US!!! the national parties don't seem interested in doing so.

    27. Jeanne Stotler says:

      My family depends on "Private Sector", my oldest son has now lost his job, second time in 2 years, at 61yo HE IS HaVING A HARD TIME GETTING ANOTHER, WORKED IN gROCERY STORES SINCE 1972. businesses are letting older employees go to avoid paying benefits. 2 sons are house painters, there is no work, maybe a day here and there, they don't count on unemployment rolls, 2 twenty + grandsons cannot get jobs, I forgot we live in D.C. suburbs, so yes, we are affected by this recession, another son is holding his breath, his job is tied to NASA and homeland security, both been cut back, he's a Rocket scientist and has BS, working on MS degree. Another point is groceries, cost of running my house has increased 50% + and I use coupons, util. have gone up, gasoline is up, yet income stays the same for son and I and we have to make up fr other son who's not getting any work Last month got 9 days work, so far 2 days in June, brother who lives up te road has a few mor days, neither can make bills on this.

    28. dfcowan says:

      I agree that “While the President’s comment is astoundingly out of touch with the public—and economic reality—perhaps even more distressing is that this wasn’t a passing verbal gaffe. This is actually a consistent talking point of the President and Democratic leadership that goes largely unchallenged by the media.”

      A famous Philosophy discussion on observation and knowledge of reality centers on the question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” I believe the same can be asked of the relationship between Obama’s errors and the liberal media…the noise is definitely made but they don’t seem to be around to hear it. http://whitehouse12.com/2012/06/12/evrything-is-f

    29. @dnglbry says:

      I've never seen a group of more ignorant comments in my life.

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