The Commerce Department rendered its verdict on the final quarter of President Obama’s first term last week and the results—like most of Obama’s economic policies thus far—were disappointing. While most economists were anticipating anemic 1% growth, gross domestic product actually dropped 0.1%, sliding back yet again into recessionary territory. It was the first such economic contraction in almost four years. Not good. Also, not good was the fact that unemployment ticked up again to 7.9%. These are not the kinds of reports that Obama and his economic team were hoping for just after Inauguration Day—especially not after the trillions spent on fiscal and monetary stimulus.
As Clinton campaign strategist James Carville famously (and accurately) noted over twenty years ago, “It’s the economy, stupid.” History of course proved Carville right. His finger was planted firmly on the pulse of American voters’ economic anxiety, and he seized the recessionary environment to help elect Bill Clinton. Of course, Obama won reelection over Mitt Romney this past November despite the sour state of the economy, for a host of reasons which included running a far more organized and coordinated ground game. But the real point here is that the American voters were terribly worried about the economy, and regardless of Obama’s win, the U.S. economy is still operating well below where it ought to be with no real economic growth or job growth.
Despite occasional promising rays of light America remains mired in an economic funk. People are still hurting. The new year has left businesses of all sizes having to deal with the consequences of Obamacare, higher taxes on small business owners, and a debt hangover casting a bigger and bigger shadow. To make matters worse, we are still spending and printing money like drunken sailors, adding to consecutive trillion dollar deficits whose cancerous growth threatens the foundation of our nation.
We literally cannot afford this approach much longer.
While it’s clear to most observers that President Obama inherited a difficult set of cards four years ago, what is equally clear is that he continues to play the hand he was dealt poorly. History books will surely record that instead of articulating and spearheading a bold economic plan in his first term, Obama went ahead and jammed a new government entitlement leviathan down the country’s throat.
The truth of the matter is that Obama has been at the helm for four years. This economy is his now. No more excuses. He owns it.
Read More at Forbes . By Ed Pozzouli.