How to be wrong and obnoxious at the same time

The Weekly Standard reports on Barack Obama’s channeling his inner asshole again:

President Obama said Wednesday that people in “VFW halls all across America” and other places with access to cable news and talk radio have a warped view of the economy.

The president’s comments came as part of a riff in Elkhart, Ind. on what he saw as distorted perceptions of the nation’s jobs and fiscal situations during his tenure in the Oval Office.

The relevant portion of the transcript is below:

I hope you don’t mind me being blunt about this, but I’ve been listening to this stuff for a while now. And I’m concerned when I watch the direction of our politics. I mean, we have been hearing this story for decades: tales about welfare queens, talking about takers, talking about the ’47 percent’. It’s the story that’s broadcast every day on some cable news stations, on right wing radio. It’s pumped into cars and bars and VFW halls all across America, and right here in Elkhart. And if you’re hearing that story all the time, you start believing it. It’s no wonder people think big government is the problem. No wonder public support for unions is so low. No wonder that people think the deficit has gone up under my presidency when it’s actually gone down.

According to the RealClearPolitics average, the president has received roughly an equal amount of support and disapproval for his handling of the U.S. economy in recent months.

Gallup’s measure of the confidence Americans have in the economy has held steady in the last year after dipping substantially in the months following January 2014. The current level is -14, with +100 meaning all respondents saying the economy is good or excellent and getting better, and -100 representing the opposite. Nearly six out of 10 Americans said the economy was getting worse in Gallup’s tracking poll concluding May 15.

So in one comment Obama manages to insult those who served their country (unlike Obama and his minions, who view our military as terrorists) and those Obama’s economy has treated badly.

Not surprisingly, the VFW took exception to Obama’s comments, the Washington Times reports:

“I don’t know how many VFW posts the president has ever visited,” VFW National Commander John A. Biedrzycki Jr. said Thursday, “but our near 1.7 million members are a direct reflection of America, which means we represent every generation, race, religion, gender and political and ideological viewpoint.”

He added, “We don’t have confused politics, we don’t need left- or right-wing media filters telling us how to think or vote, and we don’t need any president of the United States lecturing us about how we are individually effected by the economy.” …

Mr. Biedrzycki said the president’s comments were insulting.

“Our nation was created and continues to exist solely because of the men and women who wear the uniform,” he said. “Let’s not denigrate their service, their sacrifice or their intelligence.”

As for Obama’s spurious claims about the economy, the economic facts, as graphically represented by Zero Hedge, have a different view from Obama’s:

The Daily Signal adds:

This analysis has the economic facts precisely backwards: Economic growth benefitted Americans up and down the income distribution until the Great Recession. Since then, Americans have struggled considerably.

Obama argued his policies have brought the economy back. While labor market conditions have certainly improved from the depths of the recession—the official unemployment rate has even returned to pre-recession levels—these numbers do not tell the whole story.

Millions of working-age Americans stopped looking for work during the recession. Many have not returned to the labor market. The working-age labor force participation rate remains 2 percentage points below pre-recession levels. The government does not count these ex-workers as unemployed— even if they would have jobs in a stronger economy.

This explains why the unemployment rate has officially recovered in the Elkhart metropolitan area despite it still having fewer jobs today than in 2007.

Workers also take significantly longer to find new jobs today. The average jobless worker still spends over six months unemployed. This recovery has gone far slower than the White House promised when proposing Obama’s recovery plan. …

Until the recession family incomes were growing up and down the income ladder. Congressional Budget Office data show market incomes for the middle quintile of (non-elderly) households grew by a third between 1979 and 2007.

Other academic economists estimate higher middle class income growthover that period. Market incomes for families in the bottom quintile grew even faster—by more than 50 percent.

Unsurprisingly, most Americans were happy with the state of the economy then. In February 2007, Gallup polled Americans‘ perceptions of the state of the economy. Forty-three percent said “excellent” or “good.” Only 16 percent answered “poor.”

Then the recession hit and the recovery dragged on. Between 2007 and 2011, middle class households’ market incomes dropped by a tenth (the Congressional Budget Office data only goes through 2011). More Americans today tell Gallup they think the economy is in poor shape than in excellent or good condition. It’s hard to blame this newfound dissatisfaction on long-term trends.

The president argued his administration deserves credit for the recovery thus far. If so, he has engineered the weakest recovery of the post-war era.


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