The three-year birthday of President Barack Obama’s stimulus law passed without cake and candles — largely because much of America remains unstimulated under his let-them-eat-cake administration.
Although unemployment dipped to the government’s official figure 8.3 percent in January, Gallup
found that it jumped back to 9 percent in mid-February. Gallup also had recorded an uptick to 8.6 percent by the end of January.
Expect final February figures to rise, too, Gallup’s analysis indicates.
"The mid-month reading normally reflects what the U.S. government reports for the entire month," Gallup stated.
In commeroration of the three-year anniversary date of Feb. 17 for the stimulus, Investors.com
, the online presence of Investor’s Business Daily compiled a report card on how it sees the economy faring, based on economic indicators.
When Obama signed the stimulus into law, he “claimed that it would ‘create or save’ up to 3.5 million jobs, and that ‘a new wave of innovation, activity and construction will be unleashed across America,” Investors.com recalled. “The stimulus, would, he promised, ‘ignite spending by businesses and consumers’ and bring ‘real and lasting change for generations to come.’”
Following is a synopsis of Investors.com’s assessment:
- Unemployment: The jobless rate is unchanged from February 2009 to January 2012. Both stood at 8.3 percent. Obama's economists had predicted that the stimulus would keep unemployment under 8 percent.
- Long-term unemployed: The number of workers who haven’t been able to find a job in 27 months or more has shot up 83 percent. They now number at 5.5 million.
- Civilian labor force: This segment has shrunk by 126,000. During recoveries of the past, the labor force rose an average of more than 3 million during similar time periods.
- Labor force participation: The share of adults in the labor force has dropped 3 percent, which Investors.com labels “also highly unusual in a recovery.” A lower participation rate makes the unemployment rate look better.
- Household income: Median annual household income is about 7 percent below its February 2009 level.
- National debt: The debt has risen $4.5 trillion, or 41 percent. “The latest Treasury figures put the national debt at $15.4 trillion, larger than the entire U.S. economy,” Investers.com noted.
- Deficits: For fiscal year 2009, the deficit totaled $1.4 trillion. The Obama administration's proposed deficit for 2012 is $1.3 trillion.
- Gross Domestic Product: Real GDP rose just 6 percent between the first quarter of 2009 and the fourth quarter of 2011.
- Consumer and business spending: Personal consumption has climbed 10 percent in the past three years, but companies continue to stockpile cash, with cash on hand up 27 percent since the first quarter of 2009.
- Stimulus price tag: The original cost estimate was $787 billion. Now the Congressional Budget Office says it will have cost $825 billion.
Investors.com’s conclusion: “Perhaps the best measure of the success or failure of the stimulus, however, is the fact that President Obama in his latest budget plan has called for still another round of stimulus spending, this time totaling $350 billion over the next four years, for what is labeled ‘short-term measures for jobs growth.’”
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