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July 27, 2011

Celebrating Another ‘Recover Summer’

Kevin E. Dayhoff

The “Recover Summer” announced by Democrats a year ago never materialized and is now nothing but a distant memory for the more than 14 million Americans still looking for work since the “Great Recession” was declared over in June 2009.


Yeah, right – the recession ended in June 2009!


And people wonder why Americans have lost faith in anything anyone in Washington says. If this were an economic recovery, I would hate to see what a mess we would be in if the recession was to have continued, according to the Business Cycle Dating Committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER.)


Like it or not, economic historians have long deferred to the NBER for establishing the date parameters of significant downturns in the nation’s economy.


Nevertheless, do not rely on the major media outlets to ponder it much. It was on June 17, 2010, that the Obama Administration kicked off Recovery Summer with much Orwellian fanfare:


“The Administration today kicks off “Recovery Summer,” a six-week-long focus on the surge in Recovery Act infrastructure projects that will be underway across the country in the coming months – and the jobs they’ll create well into the fall and through the end of the year.


“The Recovery Act has already funded tens of thousands of projects and put about 2.5 million Americans to work, but summer 2010 is actually poised to be the most active Recovery Act season yet, with tens of thousands of projects underway across the country that will help to create jobs for American workers and economic growth for businesses, large and small.”


Meanwhile, a year later, while our nation faces serious deficit-debt negotiations, here on planet Earth, “housing prices continue to fall, banks are not lending, unemployment is on the rise and consumers aren’t spending,” observed Chris Stirewalt in a Fox News article published on June 16.


Last month, according to Mr. Stirewalt, President Barack Obama was trying to explain this summer’s economic malaise “isn’t part of a trend back into economic contraction – that a spike in gas prices, bad weather and a Japanese tsunami have caused a short-term problem that will soon fade as the underlying recovery takes hold.”


Hello!! The continuing economic malaise is not the result of situational dynamics; it is clearly the result of regime uncertainty, over-regulation and consumer confidence that looks more like a consumer depression.


As long as Congress and our national leadership continue the drumbeat that we should tax our way out of current malaise, no business in its right mind is going to expand – or hire people; nevermind that there is not enough demand in the marketplace to warrant much of any conversation about expanding current production capacity.


Washington does not have a tax problem, it has a spending problem.


As for the over-regulation and red tape, on June 17, the Speaker of the House, Rep. John Boehner (R., Ohio), wrote in the National Review that it is “excessive regulatory burdens and red tape that make it harder for small businesses to hire new workers. According to the Small Business Administration, smaller firms spend as much as $10,585 per employee complying with federal regulations…Reining in excessive regulations, expanding energy production, paying down our debt, fixing our tax code, and opening new markets for American-made goods – is a serious blueprint for private-sector job creation and long-term economic growth.”


Congressman Jim Jordan (R., OH), the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, summed it up bluntly: “the stimulus didn’t actually work, ‘Recovery Summer’ never warmed up, and Americans face the slowest jobs recovery since the Great Depression. Despite the evidence, many liberals continue to call for more spending, taxing, and red tape. These ideas won’t solve the problem – they ARE the problem. Washington needs to stop creating uncertainty and get out of the way.”


Yesterday, The Washington Post reported that “more than a third of Americans now believe that President Obama’s policies are hurting the economy, and confidence in his ability to create jobs is sharply eroding among his base, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.”


Moreover, in a sentiment increasingly being understood by both parties as the 2012 presidential election tries to find its sea legs, “the survey also found that Americans harbor negative feelings toward congressional Republicans. Roughly as many people blame Republican policies for the poor economy as they do Obama. But 65 percent disapprove of the GOP’s handling of jobs, compared to 52 percent for the president.”


The 2012 general election continues to look like it will uncover a country in disarray and turmoil as a result of a profound leadership deficit that is only rivaled by our nation’s continuing budget deficit.


On Monday evening the president took to the airwaves, not to take a leadership role, but to attempt to shift blame to the Republicans.


Yesterday, a poignant Wall Street Journal editorial peeled away the layers of the onion on an America in deep trouble.


“Though President Obama referred to the need to compromise, his idea of compromise was to call on the public to overwhelm Republicans with demands to raise taxes…One irony is that Mr. Obama's demands for tax increases have already been abandoned by Members of his own party in the Senate…He demeaned the GOP for protecting, in his poll-tested language, ‘millionaires and billionaires,’ for favoring ‘corporate jet owners and oil companies’ over seniors on Medicare, and ‘hedge fund managers’ over ‘their secretaries’ …“Mr. Obama wants to avoid any accountability for the spending blowout of the last three years that has raised the national debt held by the public – the kind we have to pay back – from 40% in 2008 to 72% next year, and rising.”


Many wonder, just as The Wall Street Journal opined, whether or not consumer confidence will be buoyed or “if voters will be persuaded by a man whose concept of leadership is the politics of blame.”


. . . . . I’m just saying…


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