July 19, 2012
When the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported another dismal jobs report earlier this month, the White House said that “it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.” Not surprisingly, the White House said the same thing in November 2009, and almost every month of dismal job reports since. With that in mind, here’s a comprehensive look at the President’s economic record and where his job-destroying policies have taken America over the past 3 ½ years. These facts reveal that life for average Americans has gotten much worse under the failed economic policies of President Obama.
Because President Obama has presided over the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression and slowest recovery since World War II, he cannot stand on a record of economic achievement and has thus chosen to distract Americans from his record by engaging in the politics of division and envy – under the guise of fighting for “fairness.” But when you look beyond the rhetoric and analyze the facts, it becomes clear that average Americans are the ones being unfairly punished by the President’s failed economic policies.
House Republicans know that Americans want a solution to our jobs crisis and historically slow economic growth, not division, distraction, or excuses. That’s why we have the Plan for America’s Job Creators, which includes dozens of bills that will grow the economy and create jobs. That’s why we oppose the president’s plan to raise taxes on small businesses and have voted for fundamental tax reform to get rid of all tax loopholes and make our tax code fairer, flatter, and simpler. It’s time for President Obama and Senator Reid to stop blocking these bipartisan bills in the Democrat-controlled U.S. Senate. Without fostering economic growth, it will only get worse for hard-working Americans who struggle in President’s Obama’s economy.
HARDER FOR FAMILIES TO MAKE ENDS MEET IN OBAMA’S AMERICA
- The Family BudgetShrinks: According to the Census Bureau’s most recent data, real median household income fell to $49,445 in 2010, a 2.3 percent decline from 2009. Since 2008, the year President Obama was elected, median family income has declined by $1,154.
- Average Wages Fall:Recently, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that average weekly wages fell by 1.7 percent in the 4th quarter of 2011 over the previous year, only the fifth such decline since 1978. This is the first time in history such a decline coincides with slight employment growth in the same period, which means more Americans are likely taking additional or part-time jobs as they struggle to make ends meet.
- Average Family Net Worth Plummets: A recent survey by the Federal Reserve shows a shocking decline in the average net worth of U.S. households. According to the report, which adjusted figures for inflation, the average American family saw their net worth drop 40 percent between 2007 and the end of 2010, from $126,400 to $77,300.
- Record Number of Americans Unable to Put Food on the Table: The number of Americans receiving food stamps as of April 2012 was 46.1 million. Today, nearly 15 percent of Americans receive food stamps, an increase of more than 40 percent since President Obama took office.
- Millions Forced Into Low-Wage Jobs: The number of Americans forced to work only part-time in June because they could not find full-time employment was 8.2 million, an increase of 112,000 from May. As high-paying jobs disappear as a result of the President’s attack on job creators, 8.2 million Americans are now forced to take part-time jobs just to keep their heads above water.
- One in Two People are Now Poor or Low-Income: According to a December Census Bureau report, nearly half of all Americans are now classified aspoor or low-incomeas a result of the Obama economy. The 97.3 million Americans who fall into the low-income category combined with the 49.1 million who fall below the poverty line now equal 146.4 million people or 48 percent of the U.S. population.
- The Cost of Health Care Keeps Rising: Despite promises that the government takeover of health care would lower costs, the average employer-sponsored plan has gone up by more than $2,200 per family since the President was first elected in 2008. The annual Kaiser Foundation survey of employer-provided insurance found that average family premiums totaled $12,860 in 2008, $13,375 in 2009, $13,770 in 2010, and $15,073 in 2011. In other words, while candidate Obama promised premiums would fall by $2,500 on average, premiums have already risen by $2,213 during the Obama Administration.
- Gas Prices Keep Rising, Consuming More and More of the Family Budget: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average price of a gallon of gas has increased by 85 percent since President Obama took office. When President Obama was inaugurated, a gallon of gas cost $1.813. The average cost of gas is $3.364 as of July 16, 2012. After falling slightly in June, gas prices have been on the rise for the past three weeks.
- Rising College Costs Force Families to Eliminate Education Options: Rather than being able to send their children to the best available college, more than two-thirds of families have to narrow their college options because they can’t afford the rising costs on their shrinking budgets. According to the 2012 How America Pays for College study produced by Sallie Mae, the percentage of families who eliminated college choices because of cost rose to 69 percent, the highest level in the five years since the study began.
- House Prices Continue to Decline:According to the S&P/Case-Shiller index, President Obama’s housing policies have made a bad situation worse with national home prices at the end of 2011 reaching new lows since the housing crisis began nearly six years ago. A press release from the company looking at 2011 year-end data noted: “If anything it looks like we might have reentered a period of decline as we begin 2012.” Home prices for the first quarter of 2012 continued their decline, dropping another 2 percent overall and reaching new post-crisis lows.
- Foreclosures Still Near an All-Time Record High: The March 2012 Mortgage Monitor report released by Lender Processing Services, Inc. shows foreclosure inventories are on the rise, remaining near an all-time high at the end of February 2012 of 4.13 percent of all active mortgages.
UNEMPLOYMENT IN THE OBAMA ECONOMY
- Worst Unemployment Crisis since the Great Depression: The unemployment rate for the month of June was 8.2 percent. The unemployment rate has now been at or above 8 percent for 41 consecutive months. Before President Obama took office, unemployment had not been above 8 percent for this long since the Great Depression. Over three years ago, the Obama Administration said that unemployment would never reach 8 percent if the “stimulus” was approved.
- Real Unemployment at 14.9 Percent: The rate of “underemployment” or “real unemployment,” including the unemployed, those who want work but have stopped searching in this economy, and those who are forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment is 14.9 percent. In total, 23.4 million Americans are underemployed.
- Not Enough Jobs to Keep Pace With Population Growth: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy needs to add approximately 150,000 jobs each month just to keep pace with population growth and new job seekers. Under President Obama’s failed policies, the U.S. economy has added 150,000 or more in just 12 of the 42 months since the President took office. And, unfortunately, job growth in trending down in 2012, which saw the slowest three month period of job growth since 2010.
- Almost Half a Million More Americans are Out of Work since President Obama Took Office: Despite tepid growth in the last few months, the economy has shed 473,000 net jobs from February 2009—when the Democrats’ “stimulus” was signed into law—through June 2012.
- Percentage of Working Americans Near a 30-Year Low:The labor force participation rate, which measures the percentage of able Americans working or looking for work, was near a 30-year low of 63.8 percent in June. Much of the recent decline in the unemployment rate (from September 2011 - April 2012) can be attributed to the historic drop in labor force participation as more and more American give up on finding a job. That means that 36.2 percent of able-bodied, non-elderly Americans are not even looking for a job in the Obama economy.
- Unemployment Would be 38% Higher if Americans Were Looking for Work: If the percentage of the able-bodied population looking for work were at the same level today as it was before the recession started, unemployment would actually be 11.3 percent as opposed to 8.2 percent. Because a smaller percentage of Americans are looking for work since President Obama took office, a smaller percentage is classified as unemployed. If millions of Americans had not given up looking for work, the unemployment rate would be 38 percent higher.
- Manufacturing Employment Has Fallen in the Past Three Years:Under President Obama, manufacturing employment has fallen to its lowest levels since 1941, dipping below 12 million for the first time in the post-WWII era. Since President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, the manufacturing sector has shed 590,000 jobs.
- Unemployment Among African Americans Soars: The unemployment rate among African Americans grew from 13.6 percent in May to 14.4 percent in June. This represents the second straight month that the rate has increased and the highest level of unemployment among African Americans in six months.
- The Average Time for an Unemployed Worker to Find a Job was the Longest in History: The average number of weeks it takes for job seekers to find a job grew to 39.9 weeks in June, up from 39.7 weeks in May. The average time it takes for people to find a job is up from 19.8 weeks in January 2009 when President Obama took office. The average number of weeks it takes for job seekers to find a job reached 40.9 weeks in November of 2011, the longest average time that Americans have been unemployed since the statistic was first recorded in 1948.
- April and May Job Growth Revised Downward: The job growth for the months of March and April 2012 was revised downward by a combined 1,000 jobs. In June, employment for April was revised from 77,000 to 68,000, and the change for May was revised from 69,000 to 77,000. The 80,000 jobs added in the month of June were well below market expectations and far short of the 150,000 jobs that BLS says are needed every month just to keep pace with population growth. While the announcement of any new jobs is welcomed, June marks the fifth straight month of slowing job growth.
- Half of Recent College Graduates Are Jobless: More than 50 percent of recent college graduates are unemployed. About 1.5 million, or 53.6 percent, of bachelor's degree-holders under the age of 25 last year were jobless or underemployed.
- 12.7 Million Americans Unemployed in the Obama Economy: There were 12.75 million unemployed Americans looking for work in the month of June, an increase of 29,000 from May. There have been more than 12 million unemployed Americans every month that President Obama has been in office.
WOMEN STRUGGLING IN OBAMA’S FAILING ECONOMY
- 780,000 More Unemployed Women Under President Obama: Since President Obama took office in January 2009, the number of unemployed women in American has increased by 780,000, from 5 million to 5.78 million according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- 3.9 Million Women Driven Out of the Workforce: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of women who reported that they are not looking for work has increased by 3.9 million since January 2009, when President Obama took office. The number of women outside the labor force has jumped from 49.2 million to 53.1 million. While the President tries to tout his focus on American women, his failed economic policies have actually driven nearly four million out of the workforce.
- Unemployment Rate Among Women Up 14% Under President Obama: Since President Obama took office, the unemployment rate among all women (ages 16 years and over) has increased by more than 14 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. When President Obama took office, the unemployment rate among women—which is traditionally lower than the overall unemployment rate—was 7 percent. In June 2012, the rate increased to 8 percent.
- Unemployment Among Single Women Jumps to 12.8%: From April to June, the unemployment rate for single women jumped from 10.8 percent to 12.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unemployment among single women is now 56 percent higher than the national unemployment rate because of the failed economic policies of President Obama.
- Unemployment Rate Among African American Women Reaches Highest Level in Six Months: The unemployment rate among African American women reached 13.7 percent in June 2012, the highest level in six months and an increase of 17 percent from April. According the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for African American women has not been this high in six months.
“IF YOU'VE GOT A BUSINESS, YOU DIDN'T BUILD THAT...”
- Small Businesses Say Taxes are the Biggest Problem They Face: In June, for the first time in 44 months, small businesses cited taxes above poor sales as the single most important problem they are facing today. At a time when businesses are unable to hire because of looming tax increases, the President is calling for a tax increase that will hit 53 percent of business income reported on individual returns. The proposed tax increase on 53 percent of all pass-through business income is especially harmful to small businesses, because the vast majority of small businesses are organized as flow-through entities, such as partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), S Corporations, and sole proprietorships.
- The President’s Small Business Tax Increase Would Destroy 700,000 Jobs: A new report released by the accounting firm Ernst & Young finds the President’s tax increases will hurt the economy and cost more than 710,000 American jobs. In addition, the report found that wages would fall by 1.8 percent, reflecting a decline in workers’ living standards relative to what would have occurred otherwise.
- 940,000 Small Businesses Will Be Hit Under the President’s Plan. According to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), “75 percent of small businesses are organized as pass-through entities meaning they pay taxes on their business income at the individual rate.” The Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimates the tax hike would hit about 940,000 small businesses (see more here from ABC News).
- The President’s Plan Increases Taxes on Nearly One Million Small Businesses, Does Almost Nothing to Reduce the Deficit: Even with the President’s proposed tax hike, deficits would still total $6.6 trillion over the next ten years according the President’s own budget. The President’s proposal would permanently increase taxes on families and small businesses over the next ten years by $848 billion. This job destroying tax increase amounts to only 12 percent of the estimated deficits under his budget plan. While doing little to reduce the deficit, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) has estimated the tax increase would hit nearly one million taxpayers who pay small business income at individual tax rates. By comparison, House Republicans passed a budget that would reduce deficits compared to the President’s budget by $3.3 trillion while lowering taxes on small businesses and spurring economic growth.
- President’s Own Advisors Say Tax Increase Will Hurt the Economy: Former chairman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, Austan Goolsbee, said of the pending tax increases, “It’s two to three times bigger in negative terms than even the biggest year of the stimulus was in positive terms.”
- Entrepreneurship Reached a 17-Year Low: According to Bureau of Labor Statistic’s latest data, the number of new business start-ups in 2010 fell to the lowest level since the data was first recorded in 1994. Since 2007, there has been a 23 percent drop in new business creation.
- Ease of Starting a Business in the U.S. Fell from 4th to 13th: According to the World Bank’s Doing Business 2012 report, the U.S. now ranks 13th in the world in the ease of starting a new business and has been steadily declining since President Obama took office. In 2011, the U.S. was 8th. In 2009, the U.S. was ranked 6th. It was 4th in 2008 and 3rd in 2007. The U.S. now trails such job creators as Macedonia, Georgia, Rwanda, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, Armenia and Puerto Rico in the category.
- GDP Growth Revised Down, Trending Down: On May 31 the Bureau Of Economic Analysis announced that the economy grew at a 1.9 percent pace in the first quarter of this year, slower than the 2.2 percent rate initially reported. GDP growth in the first quarter of 2012 was down from the 3 percent growth in fourth quarter of 2011. On an annualized basis, GDP growth in 2011 was 1.7 percent, down from 3 percent in 2010.
- Economic Growth Lagging Far Behind Historic Recoveries: In an economic failure unprecedented in postwar America, the Bureau of Economic Analysis statistics for the first quarter of 2012 show that 18 quarters after the start of the recession, this recovery has still not matched its pre-recession real per capita GDP level. On average, America's postwar economy has recovered all lost real per capita income by the 6th quarter after the recession’s start—about a year and a half—while this recovery has still not recovered after 18 quarters—over four years.
- United States Economy Recovering at its Slowest Rate Since the Great Depression: Under the economic policies of President Obama, the United States economy has been recovering at its slowest rate since the Great Depression. If in the current recovery our economy had grown and generated jobs at the average rate achieved following the 10 previous postwar recessions, GDP per person would be $4,528 higher than it is today.
- Job Growth Slowest Among Post-War Recoveries: According to data from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, after the same amount of time following a recession, the average job growth in the past 10 recoveries was 6.9 percent. Under President Obama, jobs have grown by just 1.9 percent.
A FAILED “RECOVERY”
- 2012 Suffers Worst Quarter for Job Growth Since 2010: According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job growth has slowed to its lowest level in two years in the 2nd quarter of 2012. The latest data show the U.S. economy added an average of 75,000 jobs per month between April and June. That makes the 2nd quarter of 2012 the worst three-month stretch for job growth since the third quarter of 2010. Despite the President’s claims, job growth is actually getting worse, not better.
- Nearly Half of Recent High School Graduates Unemployed: As the middle of summer approaches and more youths search for jobs, data reveals that young people are among the hardest hit by President Obama’s economic policies. According to a new study from Rutgers University, nearly half of all recent high school graduates do not have full time employment, including 30 percent who are unemployed and 15 percent who are working part time. Another 8 percent are working part time and not looking for full-time work and about one in six have left the labor market altogether. Unemployment among youths 16-19 years old, regardless of education, is 24.6 percent and the number is even higher for African American youth, who are suffering from 36.5 percent unemployment according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- U.S. Manufacturing Shrinks for First Time in 2 Years: U.S. manufacturing shrank in June for the first time in nearly two years, another troubling sign for the economy, which is still faltering under the failed policies of President Obama. The Institute for Supply Management, a trade group of purchasing managers, reported that its index of manufacturing activity fell to 49.7. That's down from 53.5 in May and the lowest reading since July 2009. Readings below 50 indicate contraction.A measure of new orders fell below 50 for the first since April 2009. While the President often touts the recent growth of manufacturing jobs, the economy has actually shed 590,000 manufacturing jobs since the month President Obama took office and this news shows the sector could be in more trouble.
- Consumer Confidence Takes Another Hit: The consumer confidence index fell 2.4 points in June, down to 62. This was the fourth consecutive monthly drop for consumer confidence in the U.S. At the same point in the Reagan recovery from the 1981-82 recession, consumer confidence was hovering around 100. A confidence level of 90 is considered good, a level not seen since 2007. The percentage of consumers anticipating business conditions to improve over the next six months declined to 15.5 percent from 16.6 percent, while those expecting business conditions will worsen increased to 16.2 percent from 12.9 percent.
OUT OF CONTROL SPENDING
- Federal Debt Increases by $3.7 Billion Each Day of FY 2012: According to the Department of Treasury, the federal government has increased the national debt from $14.79 trillion at the beginning of Fiscal Year 2012 to $15.87 trillion as of July 16, 2012. This means that the debt in the first 289 days of FY 2012 has increased by $1 trillion or the equivalent of $3.8 billion each day under the President’s spending policies. Amazingly, debt per day has actually slowed in the past year. Since President Obama took office and made trillion deficits the norm, the debt has grown by $5.1 trillion or $4.1 billion per day.
- Federal Deficit Tops $900 Billion in First Three Quarters of FY 2012, CBO Says: According to CBO’s Monthly Budget Review, the Treasury Department will report a deficit of $905 billion for the first nine months of fiscal year 2012. The deficit in June 2012 was $60 billion, CBO estimates, $17 billion more than the shortfall recorded a year ago, in June 2011. CBO’s report indicates that the federal government is well on track to racking up the fourth straight $1 trillion deficit under President Obama. Prior to President Obama taking office, the deficit had never eclipsed $1 trillion and the highest deficit federal deficit in our nation’s history was $458 billion in 2008.
- Real U.S. Deficit Would Have Been $5 Trillion Last Year If Liabilities Were Counted: According to a recent analysis done by USA Today, using standard business accounting rules to calculate the nation’s deficit would have increased the government’s deficit by nearly four times. Since government budgeting does not include the cost of promised retirement benefits, the real size of our nation’s deficit is hidden. Using normal accounting that states and local governments use, the deficit for 2011 was $5 trillion, much higher than the official $1.3 trillion deficit. Using these accounting standards, the deficit for last year alone was the equivalent of $42,054 for every U.S. household.
For additional information, contact:
The House Republican Conference Policy Office