The Washington Post reports:
The news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning that the economy added just 80,000 jobs in June and the unemployment rate stayed stuck at 8.2 percent suggests that any hope that President Obama will be able to run for reelection bolstered by an improving financial picture is rapidly disappearing. …
This is the third straight month in which the jobs report has underwhelmed. The 80,000 jobs added — well below expectations in the run-up to this morning’s report — comes after the economy added 68,000 and 77,0000 jobs in April and May, respectively. June’s 8.2 percent unemployment rate is the same as it was in May and a slight bump up from the 8.1 percent rate in April. …
And, remember that when it comes to the economy, it’s the trend line that matters. Ronald Reagan won re-election in 1984 not because the unemployment rate was at 7.4 percent but because that number represented a precipitous dropoff from where it had been 18 months earlier. Worth noting: No president since World War II has won re-election with the unemployment rate higher than 7.4 percent. …
To simply drop the unemployment rate below 8 percent before election day, the economy will need to add 219,000 jobs in each of the four jobs reports between now and then — a prospect that, given the last three months, seems very unlikely.
This graphic Ken Gardner posted on Facebook is, to quote Gardner, “brutal”:
Victor Davis Hansen is a historian, not a mathematician or a physician, but he has a formula:
After sharp recessions, we usually get more robust than average recoveries, but since June 2009, things have not recovered at all really, and we are in a sort of permanent European-style slowdown — sort of a recession, sort of a weak recovery.
If one wanted to ensure permanent 8 percent to 9 percent unemployment, one might try the following:
1. Run up serial $1 trillion deficits
2. Add $5 trillion to the national debt in three and a half years
3. Impose a 2,400-page, trillion-dollar new federal takeover of health care, with layers of new taxation, much of it falling on the middle class and employers, even as favored concerns are given mass exemptions.
4. Scare employers with constant us/them class warfare rhetoric about a demonized one-percenter class and its undeserved profits; constantly talk about raising new taxes and imposing regulations, ensuring uncertainty and convincing employers of unpredictability in regulation and taxes. You cannot convince a country to go into permanent near-recession, but President Obama is doing his best to try.
5. Appoint a bipartisan committee to study the fiscal crisis and then neglect all its recommendations.
6. Subsidize failed green companies, while denigrating successful gas and oil concerns, as well as putting rich oil-and-gas federal leases off limits.
7. Vastly increase unemployment insurance, disability, and food-stamp constituencies, while promising all sorts of mortgage, credit-card, and student-loan bailouts.
8. Borrow hundreds of billions for stimulus programs that are not shovel ready, but are rather aimed to bail out state budgets, pensions, and unions.
9. Federalize elements of non-profitable private companies, while threatening to shut down profitable plants for supposed union or environmental incorrect behavior.
10. Do not address changing the above policies, but rather blame others for such self-induced stagnation.
Do the above and you can pretty much always ensure something like the present slow-down. Both employers and consumers are convinced that these are uncertain times, when money is better hoarded and protected rather than risked, given the uncertainty of administration policy and the certainty that profit-making is looked upon as suspicious.
I am certain that if you vote for Barack Obama, nothing you’ve read before this sentence will improve.