The US economy is already over the “fiscal cliff” and falling at an increasing rate. Today’s economic questions should be focused on its rate of descent; will the rate increase or can it be arrested before the rocks below are reached. After the election the economy has continued to implode, yet its downward plunge has been largely ignored by the mainstream media (MSM). Apparently the MSM’s economic orthodoxy is now only centered on “fiscal cliff” narratives. The MSM’s focus on the “cliff” gives Obama, their hero, economic “cover” since the “cliff” story is the economic story and not the terrible economic results occurring weekly and monthly.
Currently it is difficult to find economic data related to the past two months (or past three years) which is positive; whether it is meaningful growth in employment, an increase in the labor participation rate, a consistent uptick in GDP, a reduction in the workforce dropout rate, a reduction in government spending or a reduction in the deficit et. al.
Many “fiscal cliff” narratives have incessantly talked about tax increases/decreases, spending, debt, deficits and the intransigence of the President or the Republicans (mainly Republicans) to compromise. With compromise a deal to move the country forward on important economic issues can be attained. Certainly future economic performance will be significantly affected by many of the outcomes related to the “cliff” negotiations. Yet the narratives seldom mention the Obama administration’s past or current record on economic issues…a dismal report card that demonstrates no sustainable success on any level over the past four years.
A sampling of statistical evidence that the Obama economy is already in a free-fall includes:
|Tot. Unemployed (U3) (000)||12,794||12,544||12,088||12,258||12,029|
|Monthly Job Growth (000)||141||192||132||138||146|
|Discouraged workers (000)||1,037||844||802||813||979|
|Workforce dropouts (000)||360||540|
|Pop. Not in workforce (000)||88,340||88,921||88,710||88,341||88,883|
|Labor participation rate-%||63.7||63.5||63.6||63.8||63.6|
|all employment stats per BLS|
|National Debt||$16,351 trillion|
|Deficit 2009-2012||each year in excess of $1.1 trillion|
|GDP (2011, qtr I to 2012, qtr III)-%||1.3||4.1||2||1.3||2.7|
|Gov. spending as a % of GDP normally <20% of GDP…under Obama up to 25%|
|all other economic stats per BEA|