American Elephants

More Unemployment, More Misery, More Spin. by The Elephant's Child

President Obama made these remarks this morning in Hilliard, Ohio, at the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

We rise or fall as one nation and as one people.

And that spirit is what’s guided this country for more than two centuries — that idea that we’re in this together.  It’s carried us through the trials and tribulations of the last 200-something years, but also the last four years.  In 2008, we were in the middle of two wars and the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.  And today, our businesses have created nearly 5.5 million new jobs; and this morning, we learned that companies hired more workers in October than at any time in the last eight months.

The American auto industry is back on top.  Home values and housing construction is on the rise.  We’re less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in 20 years.  Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over.  The war in Afghanistan is ending.  Al Qaeda has been decimated.  Osama bin Laden is dead.   We have made real progress.

This is typical Obama. It is also typical spin. The economic crisis in 2008 was not the worst since the Great Depression. It was bad, but, but not the worst recession, and Obama proceeded directly to making it worse, with a stimulus that accomplished nothing at all, except to reward supporters and enhance government.

Those 5.5 million jobs must be offset by the numbers of people who have dropped out of the labor force, and the natural increase in the labor force from immigration and new entrants. The net jobs created works out to only around 350,000.  For every 1 person added to the labor force since January 2009. 10 people were added to those no longer in the labor force. This morning we learned that the unemployment rate increased again, and if you subtract those no longer in the labor force, there is hardly any increase at all.

The American auto industry is not back on top, and they still owe taxpayers billions. Home values are recovering a little. We are less dependent on “foreign oil” because we are using a lot less energy because of the recession, and we are producing more oil on private lands with horizontal fracking on shale deposits — not on federal lands because the federal government has refused over and over to grant drilling permits. President George W. Bush won the war in Iraq. The Obama administration because they failed to get a status of forces agreement, may well have lost the victory. And if you want a little understanding of Afghanistan, ask Michael Yon. Osama bin Laden is dead, but al Qaeda is alive and resurgent— see Benghazi.

I am not calling the president a liar. He is presenting his case in terms favorable to him. Sometimes we call it “spin.” It’s hard to draw an exact line between spin and falsehood, and all politicians try to portray reality in a way favorable to their side, but there are, or should be, limits. More of the same simply will not answer.

When we despair over the number of people on food stamps, it’s not because we want to deprive anyone of food stamps — we want them to have good jobs and not have any need for food stamps. That would be real progress.


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