September 11, 2012

REASON: The Recovery That Wasn’t: Three and a half years later, White House officials are still making wildly optimistic comments about the economy they mismanaged. “By his own criterion, Obama deserves to be judged harshly. Headline unemployment, which the incoming administration projected to top out at 8.0 percent as long as its landmark February 2009 stimulus package was passed, has yet to be lower than 8.0 percent. The labor force non-participation rate—the percentage of healthy, working-age Americans who are no longer actively seeking a job and therefore not counted in headline unemployment statistics—has steadily climbed from 34.2 percent (then a two-decade high) in the month before Obama took office to 36.2 percent as of press time. Meanwhile, administration officials have spent the intervening time claiming, absurdly, that the economy is on the mend.”

Related: James Pethokoukis: Does this look like an economy that’s moving forward? 9 reasons why it really doesn’t. “I would like to believe the U.S. economy is firmly back on track and headed toward renewed prosperity. A slow track, to be sure, but at least things are moving forward. That would be something, at least. Except the data show a recovery in reverse, headed the wrong way.”

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