>Despite the liberal polls that have Obama’s approval ratings in the mid-sixties — and I don’t believe polls of only 2,000 people done by the liberal press — Obama is responsible for the diving stock market plunge.
Compare FDR with Obama: (some say this is not a good comparison because the depression was three years along when Roosevelt came to power in 1933) Since Obama took office, the S&P 500 is down 20%. By contrast, the index jumped 34% in the first seven weeks after FDR was sworn in. Wall Street has little confidence in this man called Barak Obama, popular Democrat or not.
It is almost as if Obama was saying all of these nasty negative things about the economy to make it sound as bad as possible so that the man some call the “messiah” could fix it and look good. That was a bad ploy if, indeed, he did that. But there is no mistaking the fact that he has constantly — until this past week — not inspired much confidence by his utterances. Someone got to him this week and his speech changed.
Consider his new demeanor: “[With] every test, each generation has found the capacity to not only endure, but to prosper — to discover great opportunity in the midst of great crisis. … I’m confident that at this defining moment, we will prove ourselves worthy of the sacrifice of those who came before us, and the promise of those who will come after.”
Now he’s the man who again believes in America and the power of positive thinking. Well, it’s way too late for that kind of rhetoric change. Doesn’t he look at market numbers? In May of 2008 the Dow Jones was at 13,000 and today it stands at about 6,000 which is a 54% plunge.
Why are people — not just the so-called rich, but everyone — so concerned? Because almost all Americans have 401k savings accounts and most of those are in stocks which took a mightly tailspin. If you’ve lost half of your retirement, you may have to work an additional ten to twenty years to make up the difference.
But Obama seems not to care what happens to our retirement funds. It’s almost like he had devined the drop — orchestrated it — so that he could keep one of his campaign promises, leveling the economic playing field. He wants everyone to be in the low middle class and that’s one reason — not the only one — for his huge tax increase that will soon hit people making over $250,000. He expects to get a trillion dollars to pay for health care nationalization — another bad idea.
Why doesn’t someone tell him the name of the game is job creation. In truth, we have 14% of our people unemployed. Democrats will admit to only 8.1%, but when you add into that figure the people who were looking for jobs and got discouraged and stopped looking and people bumped out of their jobs into part-time work, you come up with more than 12.5 million people searching for work, more than the population of the state of Pennsylvania.
The AP reported in ‘The Obama Economy-Analysis,’ By Tom Raum: ‘Although the administration likes to say it ‘inherited’ the recession and trillion-dollar deficits, the economic wreckage has worsened on Obama’s still-young watch. Every day, the economy is becoming more and more an Obama economy. More than 4 million jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007 – roughly half in the past three months. Stocks have tumbled to levels not seen since 1997. They are down more than 50 percent from their 2007 highs and 20 percent since Obama’s inauguration.
Wall Street Journal banner: ‘Jobless Rate Tops 8%, Highest in 26 Years.’
CLICK OF THE MONTH – In the Speaker’s office, where it’s been e-mailed around for some time with various updates, it’s known as ‘The Scary Chart.’ The N.Y. Times does a version of it today at the top of A1, attributed to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It shows job losses in previous recessions, with jobs dropping in pronounced but relatively shallow dives, then bouncing back. This time, the jobs line plunges as if it had jumped out of a building.
DATAPOINT – AP Economics Writer Jeannine Aversa: ‘The human carnage from the recession, well into its second year, now stands at 4.4 million lost jobs. Some 12.5 million people are searching for work – more than the population of the entire state of Pennsylvania.’
SAVING THE WORLD – AFP/Tokyo: ‘Chief executives of leading banks from Japan, Europe and the United States will meet in London to discuss regulation of the financial sector, [the Nikkei economic daily] said Saturday. The British government will host the talks on March 24, ahead of an April summit of Group of 20 leaders … Invitations have been sent to the chiefs of leading institutions including US-based JPMorgan Chase and Co. and British bank HSBC … Leaders of the Group of 20 developed and developing nations are to get together in London on April 2. Supervision of financial institutions is expected to be high on the agenda.’
TOP STORY – WashPost lead, ‘Job Losses Could Drown Stimulus’ Unemployment Soars to 1983 Level, Testing U.S. Response,’ By Neil Irwin and Annys Shin: ‘The nation is losing jobs so quickly that the government, racing to deal with the crisis, is having trouble keeping up. The U.S. unemployment rate last month leapt half a percentage point, to 8.1 percent, the highest level since 1983 … The stunning pace of job losses raises the possibility that, perhaps as early as this summer, one in 10 Americans will be out of a job even though they are actively looking for work. It also means that the government faces even more pressure to take further action to stabilize the economy and the financial system. President Obama, speaking in Columbus, Ohio, to police cadets whose jobs (only 25 government people) were saved with money from the $787 billion stimulus package, called the new unemployment figures ‘astounding.’ ‘We have a responsibility to act,’ he said, ‘and that’s what I intend to do.’
Liberal analysts increasingly view the administration’s actions so far as insufficient given the scope of the problem, while conservatives believe he has gone way too far in mortgaging our grandchildren’s futures with his vast giveaways.
The stimulus package was designed to ‘save or create’ 3.5 million jobs, according to the administration. But the nation has already lost 4.4 million jobs since the start of the recession. … ‘It’s premature to say we need another stimulus, but the economy is performing much worse than when [the law] was signed, and the odds are increasing that we’ll need a bigger policy response,’ said Mark Zandi of Moody’s Economy.com, who has advised Democratic lawmakers [and was a lead presenter at the White House’s Fiscal Responsibility ]. ‘What we’ve learned is policy has been a step behind this whole downturn. It’s important to get a step ahead.’
Mike Dorning, leading the L.A. Times: ‘Jobless spiral may define a generation: Most workers have never seen a decline like this, ‘and we still haven’t hit bottom yet.’ Frugality reigns.’
NBC’s Chuck Todd, on ‘Nightly’: ‘Add in discouraged job seekers and workers forced to part time and that 8.1 percent number rises to 14.8 percent. Another benchmark, 31.8 million Americans applied for food stamps last month, an all-time record.’
ON MONDAY, members of the Presidential Task Force on the Auto Industry are traveling to Detroit. Chuck says they want ‘to get a firsthand look at how GM and Chrysler are trying to figure out how to restructure their operations.’
THE NARRATIVE – WashPost, Sunday bulldog lead story, ‘In Obama Tax Plan, A Shift In Wealth: Nearly $1 Trillion Would Come from the Rich,’ By Lori Montgomery: ‘One in seven area families would face tax increases. In Potomac and McLean, nearly 45 percent would see taxes rise.’
AN ‘OBAMA BEAR MARKET’?
–The case FOR – AP, for Sunday papers, ‘The Obama Economy-Analysis,’ By Tom Raum: ‘Although the administration likes to say it ‘inherited’ the recession and trillion-dollar deficits, the economic wreckage has worsened on Obama’s still-young watch.
Every day, the economy is becoming more and more an Obama economy. More than 4 million jobs have been lost since the recession began in December 2007 – roughly half in the past three months. Stocks have tumbled to levels not seen since 1997. They are down more than 50 percent from their 2007 highs and 20 percent since Obama’s inauguration.
The president is always a step behind the problem. His suggestion that it was a good time for investors with ‘a long-term perspective’ to buy stocks is some more of his belated “optimism.” It may have been intended to help lift battered markets, but it was ill timed. A big sell-off followed. …
[A] tumbling stock market is adding to the national angst
as households see the value of their investments and homes plunge as job losses keep rising. … Obama may have contributed to the national anxiety by first warning of ‘catastrophe’ if his stimulus plan was not passed and in setting high expectations for [Treasury’s] Geithner. … Polls show that Obama’s personal approval ratings, generally holding in the high 60s, remain greater than support for his specific policies.’ If his policies continue to drive this nation to the ground, his personal approval numbers will rapidly fade. Republicans and conservatives are in the vanguard of unhappy, critical onlookers. There are even several Democrats in Congress who are openly criticizing the president’s policies. How soon this disapproval mushrooms into national angst is anyone’s guess. You’d think he was enough of a politician to change his tactics rather than risk losing Congretional elections next year.