“I'm absolutely confident that the policies that we put in place are sending the economy and the American public in the right direction.”
–Vice President Joe Biden, (NPR, April 28, 2010)
While Democrats are “absolutely confident” the economy is headed in the right direction, many Americans disagree. In another sign of the Democrats’ disconnect with average Americans, on August 16, 2010, Gallup reported, “[R]oughly one in four Americans employed full or part time is currently worried about being laid off in the near future. That is nearly double the rate seen in August 2008, just prior to the start of the Wall Street financial crisis that sent consumer confidence and perceptions of the job market tumbling.” Below are several reasons why Americans know they cannot trust Democrats’ “successful recovery” rhetoric.
A Successesful Recovery?
Where Are the Jobs?: On August 19, 2010, Reuters reported, “New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to a nine-month high last week, yet another setback to the frail economic recovery. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 500,000 in the week ended August 14, the highest since mid-November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.”
No Jobs, Increased Bankruptcies: On August 17, 2010, CNBC reported, “U.S. bankruptcy filings have reached the highest level since 2005, government data released on Tuesday show, as the economy slows and the unemployment rate hovers just below double digits. There were 422,061 bankruptcy filings between April and June, according to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, up 9 percent from 388,148 in the prior three-month period, and up 11 percent from 381,073 a year earlier. For the year ended June 30, there were 1.57 million bankruptcies, up 20 percent from 1.31 million a year earlier. Consumer bankruptcies rose 21 percent to 1.51 million, and business bankruptcies rose 9 percent to 59,608. Quarterly filings surpassed 400,000 for the first time since a record 667,431 bankruptcies were begun in the fourth quarter of 2005 when Congress overhauled federal bankruptcy laws and made it harder for people and businesses to file.” The article indicates that the current increase in bankruptcy filings is due principally to job losses.
No Jobs, Creating Dependents: On August 5, 2010, FoxNews.com reported, “The number of Americans receiving federal aid through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, commonly known as food stamps, soared to a record 40.8 million in May…[A]ccording to U.S. Department of Agriculture figures, the number of people on the food stamp rolls has been growing to record levels for 18 straight months. Nearly $5.5 billion in aid went out to beneficiaries in May alone. The number of May recipients marked a 19 percent increase from a year ago…The USDA projects that next year's enrollment will reach about 43.4 million. ”
No Jobs, More Homes Lost: On August 16, 2010, the Wall Street Journal reported, “In June, the number of homeowners whose government loan modifications were canceled, because they didn't make their payments or couldn't provide qualifying documents, was double the number of borrowers who entered the program. If more homes that represent a "shadow supply" of delinquent loans and foreclosures hit the market, home prices could tumble further.”
No Jobs, Missed Opportunities: On August 16, 2010 the AP reported, “Homebuilder confidence dropped for the third straight month in August as the struggling economy and a flood of cheap foreclosed properties kept people from buying new homes. The National Association of Home Builders said its monthly index of builders' sentiment about the housing market fell to 13, the lowest reading since March 2009. The index is adjusted for seasonal factors. Readings below 50 indicate negative sentiment about the market. The last time the index was above 50 was in April 2006. Fewer people are buying new homes, even though prices have stabilized in the past year and those who have good credit can qualify for the lowest mortgage rates in decades. The market is struggling because jobs are scarce and credit is tight. And many analysts predict home prices are likely to drop again in the fall.”