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OPINION

Obama hurting, not helping, America with false promises, false positives and false claims

 

The embarrassingly low enrollment numbers for ObamaCare and its website dysfunctions reinforce the growing conclusion that, sadly, we are witnessing a national flimflam stemming from misleading by President Obama.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t end with ObamaCare.

Everyone’s talking about the president’s disastrous dive in job approval and likability ratings linked to his ObamaCare deceptions. But it is less remarked upon that the president is also suffering a credibility gap regarding October’s unemployment rate of 7.3% (up a small tick) and the unexpectedly robust GDP growth of 2.8%.

Whatever economic recovery is taking place nationwide is despite the president -- not because of him.

Those numbers are not reliably good any more than the president’s ObamaCare promises are reliably good.

As the Employment Policy Institute recently wrote: “The unemployment rate has improved substantially from its peak exactly four years ago of 10% in October 2009. However, most of that improvement was not for good reasons; it was due to the growth in the number of ‘missing workers’ -- people who have dropped out of, or never entered, the labor market because jobs opportunities are so weak. There are currently roughly 6.1 million missing workers, and if these workers were in the labor force looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 10.8 percent instead of 7.3 percent.”

The Bureau of Labor Statistics raises that real unemployment rate to an even higher number -- 13.8% --when the BLS factors in what it calls “U-6,” which it defines as the unemployed “plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force, plus total employed part time for economic reasons...”

And what causes able-bodied people to fall into those categories? Well, start with President Obama’s job-killing, growth-smothering laws, regulations and policies.

The Wall Street Journal writes, “Imagine how much better [the labor market] might do if ObamaCare weren't encouraging employers to hire so many part-time workers.”

A Huffington Post headline tells it all: “75 Percent Of Jobs Created This Year Were Part-Time Due To Weak Economy, Obama Concerns.” The Reuters story positioned just below the headline on the site explains that the concerns are “that President Barack Obama's signature health care law will drive up business costs.”

Ronald Bailey, of Reason.com, looks at the fact that “so many Americans have given up seeking a job” and concludes: “This suggests that the Obama administration's policy of trying to regulate our way to prosperity by piling on more federal rules like minimum wage hikes, new health insurance mandates, expanding Sarbanes-Oxley requirements, setting limits of carbon dioxide emissions, ad infinitum, has failed.”

A closer look at October’s GDP growth of 2.8% reveals it to be a probable “false positive.”

Businesses raised that GDP number temporarily by nearly .8% by building up their inventories in anticipation of increased consumer spending. 

However, as journalist Kent Hoover writes, “Consumer spending also rose at a slower rate than during the previous quarter. This raises the possibility that businesses could get stuck with some of that inventory they've been building up if this trend continues.” If so, as has happened before, that GDP number will drop considerably in the next quarter.

Furthermore, much of the GDP surge is due to the favorable effect on America’s balance of payments created by the dramatic 30% increase in domestic oil production.

But, as Jeffery Folks writes in American Thinker: “In reality, Obama has done just about everything in his power to block domestic oil production. He has opened investigations into fracking pollution, sought to regulate domestic drilling via the EPA, urged the SEC and other regulatory agencies to force energy companies to reveal global warming liabilities and other environmental litigation risks in their annual reports (thus driving up their cost of investment capital), slowed and even shut down permitting in the Gulf of Mexico, blocked all new permitting on federal lands (including ANWR and both continental coasts), and called for $44 billion in new taxes on oil and gas companies.”

The real heroes in the development of domestic oil and cheap natural gas are the energy innovators and companies that are doing it and the governors of states that are allowing it -- not President Obama, who has opposed it but who will undoubtedly be quick to claim credit for its positive job-creating and economic benefits.

Whatever economic recovery is taking place nationwide is despite the president -- not because of him. Blogger and radio host Sara Marie Brenner cites the economically stifling effects of an alphabet soup of Obama agencies: “a partial list includes the EPA, NLRB, HHS, NRC, IRS, and the ever-litigious Eric Holder’s Justice Department. Each has launched a deluge of regulations, rulings, and new policies, all of which hinder or harm businesses and kill economic growth.”

So, whether it is ObamaCare, jobs, or economic growth, when you compare reality to President Obama’s record you get his false promises, false positives and false claims. In the real world, the president is hurting rather than helping.

That’s leading from behind -- behind a curtain of flimflam.

Jon Kraushar, a communications consultant to corporate and political leaders, is at www.jonkraushar.net.