During a press conference last week, President Obama declared that "the private sector is doing fine" and that it was really the public sector that was hurting. Within hours, the president's absurd assessment of the current state of our economic affairs had ignited a firestorm just about everywhere, from TV to Twitter, from both Republicans and Democrats alike. The list of Democrats distancing themselves from this remark is growing, with prominent figures such as former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and former Obama adviser Steven Rattner stating their disagreement with his remarks.
The statement caused such a stir that even the president himself had to backtrack later that day. David Axelrod, one of Obama's senior campaign advisers, was sent out to the Sunday morning political shows to do damage control and could not even give a straight answer to the simple question of whether the economy was, in fact, "doing fine."
Apparently the nation's major credit rating agency does not agree with Obama's view. Later that day, Standard & Poor's left the credit rating of the United States as AA+ and said their outlook remained negative.
The dismal job numbers that came out last month also seem to have a different take on things than the president. In fact, 23 million Americans are either unemployed, underemployed, or have given up searching for work. Since Obama has taken office, median household income has fallen by $4,300. Is that what "doing fine" looks like? I don't think so.
Perhaps most insulting to me is the effect of the Obama economy on young people, a voting group that was essential to Obama winning his election in 2008 and will continue to be so this year. As a college student who will be looking for a job in two years, I find it deeply concerning that the economic climate I will be faced with is controlled by someone who thinks that a 17% unemployment rate for youths is "fine." The news only gets worse. On June 1 the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 12.1% of young people had unsuccessfully found a job in the last several weeks, while 1.7 million people aged 18-29 had given up looking for jobs altogether. To make matters worse, the underemployment rate for youths is now up to 32%, which is twice the rate for those aged 30-64.
A reasonable person might think that after the results of last week's Wisconsin recall election, the resounding rejection of the ideas of big government and big labor might resonate with the president. However, this latest statement shows that president is truly out of touch with the American people and continues to think that an ever-growing government is the solution to all of our problems. Yet, the overwhelming evidence of the decay of our economy under his administration suggests otherwise and is far from "fine."