Saturday, August 6, 2011

Dismal Outlook for US Economy

Obama and the US Congress may think things are tickety-boo with the US economy, but economists who earn a living by doing their best to get the pulse of the nation disagree. For example, the Calculated Risk blog reports:
Goldman Sachs lowered their outlook through 2012: “We have lowered our growth forecast further and now expect real GDP to increase just 2%-2½% (annualized) through the end of 2012. Since this pace is slightly below the US economy’s potential, we now expect the unemployment rate to be at 9¼% by the end of 2012, slightly above the current level. We now see a one-in-three risk of renewed recession ...”
Obama in 2012 will be fighting for a second term with a 9.25% unemployment rate. Just what is he going to tell the American people? "Vote for me because I tried my hardest" or "Trust me, I've now learned how to do this job so I will do a better job if you give me a second term". I think he will get tossed out on his ear. He had a chance to take unemployment seriously but he (a) called for too small a stimulus, (b) when it was clear it was too small he kept patting himself on the back for a "heckova job there Barack!", and (c) he spent over a year on fighting for health care and nearly half a year on deficit cutting and debt ceilings before he decided that "job #1 is getting more jobs for Americans!"... a day late and a dollar short.

Sure, at heart it is the fault of the Republicans. But Obama never came out with fighting words telling the American people, I want X, Y, and Z but the Republicans are saying "no, no, no". Instead, he kept grinning and saying he wanted to "sit down and compromise with my Republican friends". Guess what! If you don't stick up for Americans and their jobs, they aren't going to give you your job back in 2012.

In a perfect world the electorate would punish the real guilty party: the Republicans. They would fire all the Republicans and replace them with Democrats. But we don't live in a perfect world. We live in the crappy world we are in and you have to play by the rules of this crappy world. But Obama hasn't figured that out. So he is part of the problem and not the solution.

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