President Barack Obama's spending policies made the recession drag on for much longer than necessary, economist John R. Lott Jr. tells Newsmax.TV.
Although there have been other severe recessions since World War II, "what makes this unique is how incredibly slow the recovery is," said Lott, who co-authored "Debacle: Obama¹s War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future"
with Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist.
"We've never had a recovery that's as slow and drawn-out as this one is. I think it's because of Obama¹s policies,' Lott said in an exclusive interview with Newsmax.
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Obama's stimulus program and jobs bills have sucked momentum from the economy, Lott said.
"When you move money from one company to another or from one industry that you favor, you¹re moving jobs. The problems is that people don't instantly move from one set of jobs to another industry," he said.
"It takes months even a year or more for people to have to move. They have to have the right skill sets."
Economic growth will continue, but at a snail's pace, he said.
"I think we'll see slow growth," Lottt said. "I don¹t see any immediate recession coming, but we've had extremely slow growth both in terms of jobs and GDP."
Some economists insist that the government must both reduce spending and raise taxes to reduce the deficit. Lott doesn¹t buy such arguments. Rather he believes economists who take this tack do so because they don't believe "that there's political will to go and reduce spending."
"We'd get rid of virtually all this deficit if we went back to the spending levels we had right before Obama became president," Lott said. When Obama was running for president, Lott said, "He promised many times to make net government spending go down, that he thought the big increases in spending we had during the Bush administration were what has caused the recession."
But since Obama moved into the White House, spending has gotten worse, and many programs that were supposed to be temporary have become "impossible to get rid of," Lott said.
Lott takes particular issue with Obamacare.
"A lot of the problem is that you think, if you keep on promising people more services, more benefits, fewer co-pays, that you¹re somehow going to reduce the cost of healthcare. Somehow, government regulations are going to reduce the costs of people doing these services," he said.
He also faults Obama's mandate for health insurance coverage for women's contraceptive services.
"If abortion and contraception coverage really lowered the cost of health care and gave people additional services that we wanted, we wouldn¹t have to mandate that this has to be covered," Lott told Newsmax.
"If a company could offer people more services at a lower cost, who wouldn't do that?" he said. "This type of regulatory notion that all this is free is just adding to the cost."
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