President Obama’s biggest calender item yesterday was his scheduled “having a beer” with his good friend Henry Louis Gates and the man that both Gates (directly) and Obama (indirectly) called a racist, Sgt. James Crowley. By sitting down for a beer, Obama was attempting to turn the giant turd he laid at his fourth prime time news conference in six months (which is how many George Bush gave in 8 entire YEARS btw) into a gold-plated turd.
I hope the three men clink their glasses to Obama’s plummeting poll numbers and America’s plummeting economy while they pondered why ‘Skip’ Gates is such a bigot and why Barry Obama acted so stupidly by claiming the Cambridge police “acted stupidly.”
Rasmussen has Obama at a -12 approval rating measuring the difference between those who strongly approve and those who strongly disapprove of his presidency; and he is now at only 48% approval – a far cry from his halcyon days of being in the high 60s. Only 34% of likely voters think the country is headed in the right direction. And 49% believe America’s best days have come and gone, versus only 38% who think the country will improve.
The hope that once swelled the hearts of Obama voters is fading fast – especially in the swing states he needs to win to have any chance at either future re-election or even current relevance. “Hope and change” now means, “I hope I still have some change left in my pocket at the end of the month.”
As U.S. recession bites, Ohio hopes fade for Obama
Thu Jul 30, 2009 11:12am EDT
By Nick Carey
TOLEDO, Ohio (Reuters) – Hope and jobs are in short supply in Ohio eight months after President Barack Obama won the recession-battered state in the 2008 election with promises of a better future.
“People were looking for a savior to get us out of this mess and that’s why they voted for Obama,” said Jeff Fravor, 55, a retired train conductor on his way to breakfast on the outskirts of Toledo.
“I’ve nothing against Obama personally, but he’s new to the job and ‘hope’ won’t fix this mess.”
Candidate Obama delivered his message over and over again in Ohio, a politically diverse battleground state that often decides presidential elections. Obama went back to the state last week with an approval rating below 50 percent.
A Quinnipiac University opinion poll released on July 7 showed the Democratic president’s popularity in America’s seventh most populous state had fallen to 49 percent from 62 per cent in May. Even worse for Obama, 48 percent said they disapproved of his handling of the U.S. economy, with 46 percent approving.
The reason for the poll drop? Rising unemployment.
The downturn has pummeled Ohio’s manufacturing base.
“As jobs have gone away, that has created a true focus here on job creation,” said Andrew Doehrel, head of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce. “People look at what’s been done on a federal level in terms of bailouts and stimulus and they see that this has not equated to anything more than lost jobs in Ohio.”
Ohio has not been the state hardest hit by the U.S. recession that began in December 2007, but it is not far off.
Unemployment in the state of 11.5 million people reached 11.1 percent in June, compared with the national rate of 9.5 percent, making it the seventh highest rate in the country. Michigan was first with a rate of 15.2 percent.
TWICE THE UNEMPLOYMENT
Ohio’s unemployment has nearly doubled from 5.7 percent in January 2008. That is not a good start for Obama in a state with 20 electoral votes that could be vital for his re-election effort in 2012.
“It’s not a surprise Obama’s numbers have fallen here and they’ll continue to go down as long as jobs keep being lost here,” said Jim Rokakis, treasurer for Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland where unemployment hit 10.1 percent in June. “Americans always want a quick fix to problems, but they are going to relearn patience this time round.”
Toledo in northwest Ohio has been especially hard hit by the recession, in particular because of the auto industry-related plants that dot the area.
“Obama set expectations too high here and six months later, things haven’t got better, so some people are losing hope,” said John Johnson, branch manager of the Southeastern Container Inc plant in nearby Bowling Green, which makes plastic bottles for Coca-Cola Co..
Johnson said he had to turn away qualified workers from auto-related plastic companies seeking work. “When people are out of work for a long time, they become very impatient.”
Unemployment hit 14.2 percent in June in Toledo, a city of about 315,000 people. Many of the roads in and out of the city are in a poor state of repair and many downtown stores have closed down. Manufacturing brought the city wealth, so plant closures have taken a heavy toll.
“We’re not just in a recession here, it’s a depression,” said Toledo Mayor Carty Finkbeiner. “This downturn has left Ohioans wondering if we’ve lost our place in the sun.”
According to a midyear survey from real estate service company CB Richard Ellis Reichle Klein, Toledo’s retail vacancy rate hit a record level of 14.6 percent.
“Everybody is having a hard time just existing right now,” said Bob Shelley, 72, who runs Shelley Rubber Stamp & Sign Inc for his father in downtown Toledo. “All businesses have been hit, so everybody’s giving everybody a break right now.”
Shelley said he felt Obama had an overcrowded agenda.
“He’s trying to satisfy everyone at once and he’s trying to rush everything through Congress,” he said. “But if you rush like that, you’re bound to make mistakes.”
Angie Carter, 32, a market research analyst in downtown Toledo, said she voted for Obama and he just needed time.
“This is a recession and we live in a manufacturing state,” she said on a cigarette break. “It’s going to take time to turn it around.”
When touting his $787 billion stimulus package earlier this year, Obama cautioned that a recovery would take time.
The president also has time to recover in Ohio if jobs come back. Aware of its importance, he was there last week to tout his healthcare plans. The last candidate who won Ohio but lost the election was Republican Richard Nixon in 1960.
Rokakis said Obama’s speech in Cleveland on July 23 was no accident.
“Obama is a smart man and he knows how important Ohio is,”
The article portrays Obama as having said that recovery would take time under his stimulus. It fails to mention that the Obama administration – in pushing the failed stimulus package through Congress – predicted that unemployment would rise no higher than 8% if his stimulus passed.
As bad as things are now, there is no realistic reason to believe they will get better. Meredith Whitney, the Wall Street analyst who gained much credibility in predicting the mortgage meltdown, is predicting unemployment will rise to 13% or higher.
Obama’s deficits are soaring to stunning levels. Back in March the Congressional Budget Office estimated that Obama’s “huge annual budget deficits that would force the nation to borrow nearly $9.3 trillion over the next decade — $2.3 trillion more than the president predicted when he unveiled his budget request just one month ago.” And that mindbogglingly ginormous figure doesn’t include the trillion plus hole we would dig passing Obama’s health care plan.
As the Wall Street Journal’s Michael Boskin puts it:
Mr. Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents — from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined.”
Obama has blamed President Bush for the deficits, but not only has he racked up far more debt than did Bush, but as a Senator Obama actually voted for the very Bush-budget that Obama is now blaming on Bush – including the $700 billion TARP bailout.
It is also worth knowing that the federal government has exposed itself to $23.7 trillion in risks with its bailouts since TARP (which is turning out to be a thinly disguised anagram for “TRAP”).
Those massive deficits guarantee future economic pain, but recent developments are beginning to show that our future pain may already be here right now:
Weak Treasury Auctions Raise Worries About US Debt Burden
By: Reuters Wednesday, 29 Jul 2009
The U.S. Treasury sold $39 billion in five-year debt Wednesday in an auction that drew poor demand, raising worries over the cost of financing the government’s burgeoning budget deficit.
It was the second lackluster showing in as many days, convincing analysts that the stellar results of debt auctions just a few weeks ago were a fluke and that Thursday’s $28 billion seven-year offering could suffer a similar fate.
Under the weight of the ballooning deficit, the government has raised auction volumes and analysts now wonder whether the strain on the market is showing.
“Obviously everyone is inferring that tomorrow’s won’t be good either,” said James Combias, head of government bond trading at Mizuho Securities USA in New York. “Maybe you will see more interest tomorrow but I think the increase in the auctions and the size of them may be starting to have an effect. These are very large auctions.”
We are witnessing a terrifying unfolding scenario in which “Interest due on the debt could easily be $1 trillion toward the end of the next decade.”
Like the Texas Hold’em player who pushes every last dime into the center of a poker table, the federal government is now “all in” with its commitment to push the national debt to 50% of GDP. The Congressional Budget Office believes that the Treasury will have to borrow nearly $2 trillion this year. None of that is new news, but what is beginning to emerge is a picture of a government which has narrowed its options for improving the economy down to one. Either GDP turns sharply up next year or the deficit will become an unmanageable burden. The Treasury will have to default on interest payments if sharply raising taxes in 2010 and 2011 does not bring IRS receipts to historic highs. That would not appear to be likely with unemployment moving toward 10% and American corporate earnings badly crippled.
You may not know it, but your government under Obama has gambled this country’s future – and gambled poorly. Obama believed his $787 billion stimulus – which was actually scored by the CBO to be $3.27 trillion – would stimulate big, but it has been a total dud. And as we continue to pile on debt on top of debt on top of debt, and combine that with continuing high unemployment and low economic output, the result is insolvency and doom. And it is already beginning to rush toward us like an enraged Kodiak bear.
Some are pointing at the seemingly recovering Dow Index to argue that the worst is behind us and that we are on the road to recovery. As reported by Reuters:
No Economic Recovery in Sight, Only Inflation
Mon May 11, 2009 9:01am EDT
FORT LEE, N.J., May 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Inflation Association yesterday released the following statement to its http://inflation.us members:
“Wall Street would like you to believe that the Dow Jones’ recent 33% rally from March’s low is due to improving economic fundamentals, but it is our belief this rally is due to nothing but inflation.
“Jobs data released on Friday shows that U.S. employers cut 539,000 jobs in April, the fewest since October. However, these numbers were artificially strong due to the U.S. government increasing their payrolls by 72,000, which included the hiring of about 60,000 temporary workers in preparation for the 2010 census.
“Government jobs are non-productive jobs that normally get paid for by taxpayers. However, because the U.S. already has a huge budget deficit with tax revenues likely to decline substantially, these jobs will be paid for through inflation. An increase in government jobs is not a sign that the economy is improving, but only a sign that we are digging our economy into a deeper hole that will ultimately lead to the U.S. dollar collapsing.
“Even Warren Buffett, who is a huge supporter of Obama and has defended his economic policies, said last week that with political leaders showing little inclination to raise taxes, the only way to pay for excess spending will be by inflating the currency and shrinking the value of the dollar.
“The worst of the recession is not behind us. Nominally, anything can happen to the Dow Jones. If the Federal Reserve prints enough money, the Dow Jones could go back to 14,000, but it won’t mean anything if it costs $2,000 to fill your refrigerator with groceries.
Obama’s spending has put us into a genuine crisis: we are now in a situation where any recovery will be immediately followed by sharp increases in inflation, unless government either sharply raise taxes across the board (which will undermine the economy) or unless they sharply raise interest rates (which will also undermine the economy). Both options are politically unacceptable.
You’d better be thinking about getting a wheelbarrow, because you’re eventually going to need to one to bring enough cash to the grocery store to buy your daily bread.
That was my long-winded way of saying that Obama’s polls are likely to drop to the point where angry villagers armed with pitchforks and torches start storming Castle Obamastein as the economy drops right along with his popularity by the end of his one-term presidency.