The combination of high oil and gasoline prices, rising food costs, higher health insurance premiums and the likelihood of future inflation has jarred consumer confidence, creating a major crisis for the Obama administration.
The collapse has been sudden and dramatic.
In December, the consumer confidence scale in the Rasmussen Poll stood at 81.7 percent. But in January, euphoria set in. Obama compromised on the George W. Bush tax cuts, the nation seemed to be coming together after the Giffords shooting and a Republican House sat poised to stop any new spending or social experimentation. On Jan. 11, the Rasmussen confidence index rose to 88.3.
Then reality dawned. Unemployment remained persistently high, economic growth was largely stagnant and partisan bickering resumed. The confidence level on Feb. 11 dropped to 84.5.
Then the bottom fell out. The daily Rasmussen polling reflected a drop day after day until, by March 11, the index had fallen to 73.1, its lowest level since it registered a 69 in July of 2009, in the depths of the recession.
The false dawn of January has faded and the hard, cold reality of a likely second recession is setting in. But this recession is accompanied by the likelihood of inflation, a stagflation syndrome that will probably grip America for years. And which will likely take a manmade recession, on the order of 1979-82, to counter it.
Will Obama get reelected? No way! In the teeth of the economic catastrophe that is shaping up, his chances are doomed.
The tsunami in Japan, perhaps the greatest tragedy since 9/11, will further impede any prospect for economic growth. There will be a demand for spending to repair the devastation of the quake. But Japan is tied with China as the world's second largest economy, generating 12 percent of the global GDP. With Japan neither producing nor buying for the foreseeable future, the drag on the global economy will be profound.
Worse, the Fed and the administration are out of tools to help. Interest rates are already at zero. Fiscal stimulus -- the deficit -- already consumes 40 percent of our total government outlays. The Fed is printing money at a ferocious rate under its qualitative easing (QE-2) program. What is left to do?
Only dramatic cuts in the federal deficit, a rollback of regulations that cripple small and community banks, a cancellation of future tax increase plans, a big reduction in federal spending, repeal of ObamaCare, freeing manufacturing from the prospect of carbon taxation and unleashing our domestic energy potential can solve our problems. But Obama is not about to undo his legacy of disaster for the American people.
And then there is the longer-term oil and gasoline crisis. Instability in the Middle East is going to mount, not recede. The chances of disruption in Saudi oil supplies and the possibility of an overthrow of the regime (triggered by the best efforts of Iran) will continue to force prices upward. The drag on the economy and the rising consumer discontent in the United States spell further problems for the Obama presidency.
As the Rev. Jeremiah Wright said -- outrageously and wrongly -- about 9/11, "the chickens are coming home to roost." The policies of this administration -- the disastrous overspending, the irresponsible borrowing, the social experimentation -- all are magnifying and amplifying the impact of the recession. Relief is not going to come anytime soon.
Instead, the true legacy of the Obama years is likely to be stagflation and an entire decade wiped out by his policies, budget and programs. Long after he is gone in 2013, we will still be repairing the damage of his terrible decisions.
No doubt Krugman is a rube..the guy is finally figuring out the man he voted for is a leaderless empty suit..well we welcome him into our club!
"What have they done with President Obama? What happened to the inspirational figure his supporters thought they elected? Who is this bland, timid guy who doesn't seem to stand for anything in particular? " http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/11/opinion/11krugman.html?_r=2
I really don't think 9/11 compares to the earthquake/tsunami in Japan. Firstly, 9/11 was not a "natural disaster," people did it. Secondly, the number of deaths in Japan is shaping up to be an order of magnitude higher (~2900 vs 25,000+) than those of 9/11. It is self-centered on our part to even consider comparing our loss to Japan's.
Probably. I certainly supported her over Obama in the Iowa caucus. I did shift support to Obama when it became clear Clinton would not win the nomination. It's very hard to say, though, after the fact.
spooky: I think she has garnered a pretty good track record over the past few years. If Obama were to get her to climb on board the election train, then I think re-election would be reassured. That said, she's been doing her best to to convince us all that she's ready to leave the political arena for good in 2012. Of course, people do change their minds, and she would be the first woman in the White House.
The only way to know if she would have been a better president is if she actually became president. If you think either way, what do you have to base your rationale on? You can bad mouth Obama all you want, but you're only fooling yourself if you think the average American has more faith in the Republican party than they do him....unless, of course, they're the average rich American.
Duh Hillary is not a Republican but you have three people from the center-right that would have voted for her..it's ok you stick with the face and base of the D-RAT party (liberals, socialists, progressives, communists) cause they ain't winning another election for decades to come unless they purge (liberals, socialists, progressives, communists) from their party!..that's a fact jack!
Piously posturing as the savior of Medicare, President Obama lashed out at the House Republicans for embracing the budget proposed by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). But a comparison of the president's own plans for Medicare with those in the Ryan budget shows that the Democratic cuts are far more immediate and drastic than anything in the GOP proposal. Remember, Obama and the Democrats have already cut $500-billion out of Medicare to fund the new Obama Health Care.
While the Republican Medicare changes only take effect in 2021, Obama's cuts will begin hurting seniors right away. The president's healthcare legislation imposed a hard spending cap on Medicare -- the first time it has ever had one -- which he has just proposed lowering by another one-half of 1 percent of GDP (a further cut of about $70 billion a year...which means the Democrats will have cut $570-billion out of Medicare when all is said and done).
Obama's cuts, which will take effect immediately, are to be administered by his newly created Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) of 15 members appointed by the president. Its recommendations for cuts in Medicare services or for reductions in reimbursement will not be subject to congressional approval but will take effect by administrative fiat. Right now.
The IPAB will be, essentially, the rationing board that will decide who gets what care. Its decisions will be guided by a particularly vicious concept of Quality Adjusted Life Years (QUALYS). If you have enough QUALYS ahead of you, you'll be approved for a hip replacement or a heart transplant. If not, you're out of luck. Perforce, many of these cuts will fall on those at the end of their lives, reducing their options to accommodate Obama's mandate to cut costs. If death comes sooner, well, that's the price of aging in Obama's America.
Ryan's approach is totally different. First, he does nothing at all to cut benefits for those now on Medicare or for anyone who turns 65 before 2022 (leaving me in the clear!). Second, the Republicans would leave the elderly in charge of their own medical decisions by letting them spend their Medicare money as they wish. The subsidy they would receive for health insurance would permit them to buy plans tailored to their needs. Just as a myriad of insurance-company plans sprang up to fill the mandates of the new prescription drug benefit, there will likely be quite an array of choices for the elderly of 2021. Finally, the savings from Ryan's plan will be plowed back into Medicare, prolonging its life, rather than being diverted, as Obama would do, into paying for a new entitlement for younger people.
But the most important difference is that Obama's cuts are now and Ryan's are not. Any budget projection is a guess. When the projection is made two to three years in advance, it is conjecture. Ten years away it becomes fantasy. Who can possibly tell how the American economy will be doing a decade hence? What revenues will it generate? And the only thing less certain than guessing about the economy is projecting healthcare costs.
Medicine is on the verge of a revolution akin to that which followed the creation of antibiotics. Genetic medicine and ultimately nanotechnology are about to change everything. No longer will we fight cancer by cutting or burning or poisoning diseased cells. Instead, we will use DNA and RNA to predict cancers and grow healthy cells. Who knows what the costs will be? Possibly, they could be lower than our current range of therapies.
And, between now and 2021, Congress will be able to change the Ryan plan as it chooses. But the early deaths triggered by the rationing decisions of Obama's IPAB cannot be saved. Their decisions are, for the elderly of today, irreversible.
Democrats, as usual, are drooling over the prospect of conducting the elections of 2012 over Medicare. They better watch their steps. The truth might come out!
The truth has already come in elections..since 09 through the Wisconsin election a few weeks ago (remember Prosser was behind at least 500000 votes just in state workers include the private sector union workers the number goes higher) the Democrats have felt the shellacking from the American People.
The polls from the water carriers/ mouthpieces/ minions (the so called media) have tried to keep the leaderless one above water..unsuccessfully (I have debunked 1 poll for F. Bluhm which was the latest Washington post..ABC which they tried to add 10 PERCENT more D's then R's.. the next one is Marist which was 8 PERCENT more D's then R's..both parties are even at 33% party affiliation) yet as of today even with all those phony polls..
RCP Poll Average President Obama Job Approval
45.3 Approve 50.0 Disapprove
RCP Poll Average Direction of Country
26.6 Right Direction 66.0 Wrong Track
Independents+Seniors+Republicans+ Democrats (that are not part of the face and base of the Democrat Party..the face and base is Liberals, progressives, socialists, communists ) EQUALS a shellacking that will make 10 look like a walk in the park!
Ah, Paul Ryan. His much-hyped budget plan is a fantasy document, it's never going to happen. If you're going to put out a fantasy document that appeals to your base, shouldn't it at least accomplish the goal? It doesn't come close to solving the deficit or the debt. It says it right in the document. He's said himself - "It's not a budget, it's a cause," which should be flagged right away by the Democrats as being the wrong way to look at this. No, it's not a cause, it is a budget, that's how we should look at it and it's how we should solve these things. But the problem is that we don't have one party that stands up to the other side, we have two parties who are agreeing that we should cut from the EPA and people who do the inspections of food and Pell grants and home heating oil for the poor, and nobody is standing up and saying we should take it from the defense department, from foreign subsidies, from tax cuts for the rich, for corporations like GE that paid no taxes last year. That's what's wrong with our political system. I find it hard to believe that people keep calling Paul Ryan "courageous." Really? Courageous would have been going after defense and farm subsidies and corporations and rich people. His budget doesn't do any of that. It goes after children, the poor, the jobless, the people who had the least and could least defend themselves, who had no lobbyists, this is courageous? This is picking on the weakest, smallest kid on the playground and getting called courageous for it.
I just wish the President would "do" or "try" something different, instead of following the Bush economic policies over the 2009-2011 period. Bush thought an infusion of federal monies would help the economy recover after the meltdown in October 2008, but it had no effect whatsoever. President Obama, sadly, has continued to believe that he can manipulate the economy for better by continuing the Bush economic policies. Sadly, as we have seen over the last two years, things have got worse and not better. There comes a point, you hope, when elected officials will see the light and change from policies that are not working to new policies that may work. Who knows if new policies will work? But it is a fact, now going on for nearly four years, if you include Bush's two bad economic years (2007-2008), that the Bush-Obama infusion policies are not working. Government policies don't really contribute to job growth in our country, but bad government economic policies can and do have bad effects on all Americans. It is really sad that President Obama doesn't have any job experience in the private-job sector....a job at McDonald's at some point in his past would have done a world of good!
The country, as the new figures show, added just 54,000 jobs in May. Even more depressing is the fact that half of these jobs came from a single employer--McDonald's.
For thought: Remember that restaurants always staff up for the summer, and this means that McD will be laying these 25,000 to 30,000 people off after the end of the summer season.
There is a case, however, to be made for the benefit of fast-food restaurant employment, but it's obviously not the foundation for sustained, long-term economic growth.
Still, I had a hard time with the President trying hard and taking credit for creating these jobs at McDonald's of all places. Michelle, with her government-approved plate, must be having a coronary right about now.
What are we to think of the President's economic plans and a real unemployment rate of 15.8 percent? Republicans might have the wrong answers. They usually do....But what exactly has this administration done right the last two years? What creative ideas have they offered to fix our economic problems? How many alternative realities (you know, "things could have been worse," or "it is Bush's fault") do we have to accept? Fact is, while these condescending technocrats accuse their opponents of being nihilists, ideologues and radicals, they are the ones that refuse to deviate from dogma no matter how much evidence of economic failure confronts them.
I was just thinking, maybe Lisa can do some "thinking" here, that America has become an aristocracy, ruled by people who believe they are better than the rest of us--and steal our money in the process. But unlike the landed nobility and robber barons of old, these new aristocrats are government workers, politicians and other "public servants" who find new ways to enrich themselves every day--at our expense.
This explains why Al Gore's "public service" has given him a net worth of over $100-million dollars.
Or...before Obama's election only one employee at the Federal Department of Transportation earned $170,000; a year later nearly 1,700 did!
This plundering of America continues with public sector workers making 1.5 to 2 times more as their private sector colleagues who perform the same jobs--and that's not counting the generous benefits and leave arrangements that public sector workers receive from the pockets of taxpayers.