Your president, leftist strongman Barack H. O’Bumstead II, as our esteemed political editor Robert Hadrl calls him, has been promising America some version of Winston Churchill’s “broad, sunlit uplands” for quite sometime now. Alas, he cannot deliver. What he has delivered to us, however, looks rather more like the bottom of a “dark, dank loo.”
Now, we mustn’t seem uncharitable here, but Mr. O’Bumstead took $1 Trillion and “stimulated” us. He then goaded the Federal Reserve into “priming our pump” with another $2.5 Trillion…calling it, at various times, “QE-1″ and/or “QE-2.” These “primings” or “pumpings” should not be confused with the luxury liners of a bygone era; those floated, while our newer versions merely sank to bottom of the briny deep.
You would think that all this “stimulating,” and “priming,” and “pumping” might have produced an economy a bit stronger than a GDP of 1.9%…which is now the revised number for Q1 2012. You could think that, of course, but you would be wrong.
Mr. O’Bumstead’s economic model…Keynesian at best, Bankrupt Bolshevism at worst…has proven to be, not to put too fine a point on it, an abject failure.
And that brings us to May’s employment report, which scared hell out of every living creature on the planet…including stock and bond traders, who loosely fit in there somewhere. In a country of 300,000,000 people, with a 13 Trillion dollar economy, Mr. O’Bumstead’s model produced a gob-smacking 69,000 nonfarm jobs.
This is not good.
It is the third subpar month in a row, and downward revisions are now the institutionalized norm. Any momentum for jobs or, indeed, for the economy, is now circling counter-clockwise down a “dark, dank loo.”
Barack H. O’Bumstead II will likely never get this, but businesses create jobs. Presidents do not create jobs. Simple enough, it would seem; but there he is, out on the campaign trail blistering Mitt Romney’s days at Bain Capital and trying his best to downgrade the importance of profits in the American economy.
The sad thing is that in 2008 a good portion of Big Business bought Mr. O’Bumstead’s cow pies because he told them it was cotton candy. There is no accounting for some people’s taste, I guess. And, still others told them Mr. O’Bumstead was “just the bestest, most brightest, and keen-o, neat-o” president the galaxy had ever produced. They thought they were getting Bill Clinton 2.0…there was even a gaggle of old Clintonista economists wandering around: Larry Summers, Austan Goolsbee, and Jason Furman, just to name three.
Alas, there is but one chief economist in the O’Bumstead White House, and that is Barack H. O’Bumstead II, and Barack H. O’Bumstead II does not have a single clue. If he did, you would not see charts like this one, produced over time by the White House itself:
You actually must work very hard and very diligently to be that far off the mark for three straight years. An anecdote will sometimes work to part the rain clouds and let the sun shine through. Here’s one, from the book The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery, that does just that:
Energy was a particular obsession of the president, and therefore a particular source of frustration. Week after week, White House economic adviser Christina Romer would march in with an estimate of the jobs all the investments in clean energy would produce; week after week, Obama would send her back to check the numbers. “I don’t get it,” he’d say. “We make these large-scale investments in infrastructure. What do you mean, there are no jobs?” But the numbers rarely budged.
The president will forever be scratching his head because he does not…or cannot…understand the psychology of this economy. The financial shock of 2008 was different. Never before had the fingerprints of the federal government been so conspicuous…and so prevalent…at the crime scene. For many, many businesses the perpetrator is still at large. The worries have never gone away; the what that happened was horrific enough, but it is the what might still happen that courses through the veins of the nation’s hostile business environment.
In short, there is no confidence. Mr. O’Bumstead never addressed the underlying reasons for the financial shock and that has made everyone more worried. Deficits are higher and debt is a lot higher and he is no less anti-business than he ever was. He is no closer to restoring stability to the housing market than he was the day he took office.
It is American businesses that create jobs and they need cash (profits) to do so. They will not do so if they have little confidence of making a positive return on their investment. Businesses today have profits. Businesses today have cash. What businesses don’t have today is confidence. Who can blame them?