Obama's Misery Index

Frank Gutting
In 1980, Ronald Reagan masterfully handed Jimmy Carter the misery index to illustrate the pain caused by his incoherent policies. The misery index added the inflation rate to the unemployment rate and came to a total of 21.98. Barack Obama has surpassed Jimmy Carter. From gas prices and inflation to unemployment and massive federal spending, Barack Obama is happily presiding over the decline of the powerhouse that was the United States economy. 

The clearest example of his failure as President is evidenced in the price of a gallon of gas. In the latter part of his administration, George W. Bush received much flak for the rising price at the pump. Americans were hurting as the price per gallon reached a historic high of over $4 per gallon in June 2008. Pundits and politicians flung political attacks against the President for his previous oil adventures, while others blamed speculators. On July 14, 2008, with an average price per gallon of $4.05, President Bush issued an executive order lifting the ban on oil drilling in federal waters. Amazingly, by August 4 the average price per gallon had fallen to $3.82 and continued to decline to $1.59 by December 2008. Then on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was inaugurated and, with his election, the average price per gallon reversed a 5 month decline, reaching $2.60 by May 2010! Next, on May 28, President Obama issued a moratorium on all off shore drilling. As a result, the price for gas today has risen to $3.78 per gallon, and is expected to reach $5.  His inaction and lack of concern are evidence that the rise in price does not concern him and he is willing to allow it to continue.

Okay, so gas prices are just one issue. What about jobs? President Obama has said repeatedly that he has a “laser like focus” on putting Americans back to work. For over a year he touted his $800 billion stimulus package that would create “shovel ready jobs,” all while preventing unemployment from surpassing 8%. Not only did unemployment pass 8%, but it passed 10% in October of 2010. To make matters worse, the President then revealed, after spending over a trillion dollars, that there is no such thing as a “shovel ready job!” Furthermore, the number of long termed unemployed has continued to rise and the prospect of reversing this trend is dim. Today, even as the government unemployment number has fallen below 9%, real unemployment remains around 17%. So much for the Keynesian policies of government spending to stimulate economic growth. 

Speaking of spending money, all that spending has a consequence! This week, Standard and Poor revealed that it lowered its outlook on the credit of the United States to “negative;” a strong indication that the rating agency is considering lowering our AAA rating. President Obama has intentionally inflated our national deficit to four times the deficits under George Bush and continues to advocate for more deficit spending. Why? The spending, along with the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing, has caused inflation to rise up to 10%, according to an article by CNBC, as the value of the dollar continues to plummet to new lows. Perhaps the President intends to monetize the massive debt that he is accruing? Or, maybe he is ignorant of the consequences of these policies? Either way, the affects on the American people will be devastating: prices will climb as the dollar falls, interest rates will have to be raised, unemployment will rise again, your taxes will go up, and the stock market will begin another historic dive. 

With 10% inflation and 17% real unemployment,  Barack Obama’s misery index is 27. This is the change Obama promised in 2008. This is the change he intends to bring. Don’t like it? Vote for a new President in 2012!
In 1980, Ronald Reagan masterfully handed Jimmy Carter the misery index to illustrate the pain caused by his incoherent policies. The misery index added the inflation rate to the unemployment rate and came to a total of 21.98. Barack Obama has surpassed Jimmy Carter. From gas prices and inflation to unemployment and massive federal spending, Barack Obama is happily presiding over the decline of the powerhouse that was the United States economy. 

The clearest example of his failure as President is evidenced in the price of a gallon of gas. In the latter part of his administration, George W. Bush received much flak for the rising price at the pump. Americans were hurting as the price per gallon reached a historic high of over $4 per gallon in June 2008. Pundits and politicians flung political attacks against the President for his previous oil adventures, while others blamed speculators. On July 14, 2008, with an average price per gallon of $4.05, President Bush issued an executive order lifting the ban on oil drilling in federal waters. Amazingly, by August 4 the average price per gallon had fallen to $3.82 and continued to decline to $1.59 by December 2008. Then on January 20, 2009, Barack Obama was inaugurated and, with his election, the average price per gallon reversed a 5 month decline, reaching $2.60 by May 2010! Next, on May 28, President Obama issued a moratorium on all off shore drilling. As a result, the price for gas today has risen to $3.78 per gallon, and is expected to reach $5.  His inaction and lack of concern are evidence that the rise in price does not concern him and he is willing to allow it to continue.

Okay, so gas prices are just one issue. What about jobs? President Obama has said repeatedly that he has a “laser like focus” on putting Americans back to work. For over a year he touted his $800 billion stimulus package that would create “shovel ready jobs,” all while preventing unemployment from surpassing 8%. Not only did unemployment pass 8%, but it passed 10% in October of 2010. To make matters worse, the President then revealed, after spending over a trillion dollars, that there is no such thing as a “shovel ready job!” Furthermore, the number of long termed unemployed has continued to rise and the prospect of reversing this trend is dim. Today, even as the government unemployment number has fallen below 9%, real unemployment remains around 17%. So much for the Keynesian policies of government spending to stimulate economic growth. 

Speaking of spending money, all that spending has a consequence! This week, Standard and Poor revealed that it lowered its outlook on the credit of the United States to “negative;” a strong indication that the rating agency is considering lowering our AAA rating. President Obama has intentionally inflated our national deficit to four times the deficits under George Bush and continues to advocate for more deficit spending. Why? The spending, along with the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing, has caused inflation to rise up to 10%, according to an article by CNBC, as the value of the dollar continues to plummet to new lows. Perhaps the President intends to monetize the massive debt that he is accruing? Or, maybe he is ignorant of the consequences of these policies? Either way, the affects on the American people will be devastating: prices will climb as the dollar falls, interest rates will have to be raised, unemployment will rise again, your taxes will go up, and the stock market will begin another historic dive. 

With 10% inflation and 17% real unemployment,  Barack Obama’s misery index is 27. This is the change Obama promised in 2008. This is the change he intends to bring. Don’t like it? Vote for a new President in 2012!