It turns out, since the government tends to go back and revise these things, that economic growth in the first quarter of this year was even worse than the paltry 2.4 percent they originally announced. It was only 1.8 percent.
How bad is that? We would need to consistently exceed 3 percent to make any progress at all on bringing down unemployment from its current level of 7.6 percent. (This time in 2008, when the media was howling for George W. Bush’s scalp because of the economy, unemployment was 5.7 percent.)
We would need to consistently exceed 4 percent in order to see economic growth play any role whatsoever in bringing down our budget deficits.
And we’re stuck at 1.8 percent. But it’s just one quarter, right? Let’s look at the trend. What have we done since the beginning of last year? Here you go:
- 1Q 2012: 2.0 percent
- 2Q 2012: 1.3 percent
- 3Q 2012: 3.1 percent
- 4Q 2012: 0.4 percent
- 1Q 2013: 1.8 percent
Folks, this is horrendous. One of my most pressing concerns for our country right now is not merely that the economy is so weak, but that much of the American public does not even realize how weak it is because the news media — through a combination of ideological bias and sheer economic ignorance — isn’t telling them.
It’s not hard to see why this is happening. First, Obama came into office with the economy already hampered by an anti-growth tax code, including the highest corporate tax in the world (35 percent), a counterproductive tax on repatriated profits, job-choking regulations, and mounting debt. All of this usurps capital that could be used by the private sector to invest in activity that leads to growth.
On top of that, Obama’s rise to the presidency brought uncertainty that prompted business owners to hold back on decisions like hiring, facility expansion, and the launch of new product lines. I don’t know how many times I’ve said this: Business hates uncertainty. If they don’t feel confident about what is coming tomorrow, they will retreat, play it safe, and wait.
And nothing has made business owners less confident about the future than Obamacare, which punishes hiring by imposing massive new costs for mandatory health benefits. When you pull back on hiring to avoid these costs, Obama and his media allies attack you as an unpatriotic jerk, but at least it’s better than knowingly purchasing a one-way ticket to bankruptcy.
But even that wasn’t enough for Obama, who last week announced that he plans to issue executive orders that will essentially end traditional coal-fired energy in this country. Now businesses will have to pay more for energy and have a harder time getting it — on top of everything else Obama has done to war against their success and prosperity.
The economy is not growing because we have a president who is hostile to business, and doesn’t know the first thing about how it works, what makes it succeed, or what it needs to remain successful over the long term. He tries to combat unemployment in a typical Washington way — by offering tax credits for hiring, as if a business will hire a person they don’t otherwise need to get a tax break that covers a tiny percentage of that person’s cost to them.
When America’s economy is strong, it’s because a strong business sector is driving growth. When it’s weak, it’s because the business sector is being kept from doing that. In this case, it’s being kept from driving growth by an openly hostile president of the United States.
The fruits of his efforts are now quantified for all to see. The economy is not growing, and it will not grow as long as Obama’s policies are in place.
Following the conclusion of his presidential campaign, Herman Cain established The Cain Solutions Revolution, an organization whose mission is to educate the public and advocate for the policy solutions that drove his campaign for the presidency. Read more reports from Herman Cain — Click Here Now.
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