When Has Barack Obama Been Right About The Economy?

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Our President now states that he is going to create or save 600,000 jobs in the next 100 days.  http://www.boston.com/news/pol…  He claims that government spending created or saved 150,000 jobs so far.

Of course, there is no way to put a number on any of this.  Exactly what is meant by a “saved” job is never defined.  These are numbers that they are pulling out of the air.

As for the spending plans, Obama promised that there would be an detailed accounting of spending.  No dice.  The recovery.gov website includes only vague descriptions of what money is going to be spent on going forward.  Another broken promise.  

However, it is far enough into the Obama Administration to take stock of their statements and forecasts to date.  The record is not good.  In fact, it is hard to find any forecasts come to pass that the Obama Administration used to justify the unprecedented levels of spending and intervention in the economy.

Here’s a partial sampling:

Unemployment

The Administration told us that if we didn’t borrow and print the billion spent on the stimulus, the unemployment rate would reach 8.5 percent.  With the stimulus spending, the unemployment rate would top out at 8.0 percent.  http://www.washingtonexaminer….  Actual May 2009 unemployment: 9.4 percent.  If anything, the massive amount of borrowing by the government is making the recession worse by crowding out private investment.

Bank Bailouts

Treasury Secretary Geithner and Mr. Obama’s answer to the problems of the banking system was the TALF program.  The program was designed to purchase up to $1 trillion in loans.  If that was its objective, the TALF program has been a failure.  As of June 2, only $11.5 billion in loans were purchased by the TALF facility.  http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/…  And to top things off, the Obama Administration has so politicized the TARP program that banks have been desperate to pay the funds back this shrinking the reserve base of the financial system.  http://online.wsj.com/article/…

Auto Bailouts

Just getting started but Obama seems totally clueless.  On June 1, the day General Motors declared bankruptcy, Obama claimed that “[t]he federal government will refrain from exercising its rights as a shareholder in all but the most fundamental corporate decisions.  When a difficult decision has to be made on matters like where to open a new plant or what type of new car to make, the new GM, not the United States government, will make that decision.”  http://www.marketwatch.com/sto…

But already Congress is deeply enmeshed in micromanaging the auto industry to meet political, not economic goals.  For instance, the Wall Street Journal reports that Barney Frank (who’d have guessed) was all over GM to keep open certain facilities that management wanted to close. http://online.wsj.com/article/…


Mr. Frank’s spokesman, Harry Gural, says the Congressman discussed, among other things, “the facility’s value to GM.” We’d have thought that would be something that GM might have considered when it decided to close the Norton center, but then a call from one of the most powerful Members of Congress can certainly cause a ward of the state to reconsider what qualifies as “value.” A CEO who refuses the offer can soon find himself testifying under oath before Congress, or answering questions from the Government Accountability Office about his expense account.

And just today, the Supreme Court ruled against the Administration on the implementation of the Chrysler reorganization plan. http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227… This is the plan that violated bankruptcy laws by stiffing Chrysler’s secured creditors in favor the unsecured labor unions.  

So given how wrong Mr. Obama has been on the economy, why should we believe him now?

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