Forward to The Failed Past

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

IBD:We’re told Friday’s jobs report is evidence of slow and steady progress. But it actually documents the new normal of Obama’s economy — anemic job growth, chronic long-term unemployment and falling wages.

Given how long the economy has been underperforming, even the smallest bit of good news is welcome. But the latest jobs report offers little of even that.

The 155,000 new jobs created in December weren’t enough to make a dent in unemployment. And at this pace, it will take more than two years just to reach the previous jobs peak set back in January 2008.

And while the unemployment rate of 7.8% appears to be the same as when Obama took office, it obscures the fact that millions have given up looking for jobs and so aren’t being counted as unemployed.

If you account for the unprecedented drop in labor participation under Obama, the real unemployment rate is 10.7%.

Meanwhile, the pool of long-term unemployed was a staggering 4.8 million in December, which is 2 million more than when Obama took office. The average length of unemployment was 38 months — almost 20 months longer than four years ago and 15 months longer than when the recession ended in June 2009.

And, despite Obama’s endless talk about growing the economy from the bottom up, the nation’s workers aren’t seeing slow, steady progress when it comes to household income.

In fact, real average weekly earnings have dropped about 1% over the past two years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And median household income is down 7% since January 2009, according to Sentier Research.

In the face of this ongoing calamity, we get various and changing excuses about “head winds,” or the lingering effects of the Bush recession, or the uncertainty caused by the fiscal cliff. Or we’re told we just need to lower our expectations for growth.

And what does Obama do?

He forced a tax hike through Congress that his own favorite economists say will slow growth and cost jobs. He’s continued to push forward on ObamaCare, despite the fact that it’s scaring employers away from adding new jobs out of fear of getting hit with exorbitant new costs. He’s taken the leash off the EPA to wreak havoc on industries with massively expensive, and entirely unnecessary new regulations. He’s offered no real plans to get the nation’s debt under control.

And he claims he can make up for all this economic drag with a new round of federal spending on roads.

We want the economy to grow and America to prosper as much as anyone. But it’s hard to see much of that in the near future given the economic poison Obama keeps prescribing.

Kind of like A caretaker who feeds you arsenic every day and expects you to be an Olympic athlete by Noon and then goes on TV to take credit for the medal you haven’t won yet.

While the U.S. punishes millionaires, Russia and China reward them. In the upside-down era of Barack Obama, the capitalists act like communists and the communists act like capitalists.

Our multimillionaire president frowns on “millionaires and billionaires” and soaks them with higher taxes. But Russia loves them and even offers refugees of high-tax countries asylum.

Last week, the Kremlin, once headquarters of the Evil Empire, granted millionaire French actor Gerard Depardieu Russian citizenship so he can avail himself of Russia’s 13% flat tax and avoid his home country’s proposed new 75% supertax on millionaires.

Depardieu has been looking for a new home after telling France’s newly elected socialist prime minister that he would surrender his passport and French social security card in protest of the tax.

Moscow hopes its lower tax rate will attract a “massive migration of rich Europeans to Russia.” Russia already ranks seventh in millionaires worth more than $30 million. And Deloitte expects the number of Russian millionaires to triple to 1.2 million by 2020. (America, by comparison, has 5.2 million millionaires.)

Take note, Mr. President: Russia’s flat-tax miracle has helped bring its budget back into balance. Its revenues from income taxes have more than doubled since the single, low tax rate was instated.

Communist China, which now runs a socialist market economy, also welcomes millionaires. And it’s been creating record numbers of them since reducing its tax burden. There are now 1.1 million millionaires in China — a national record — and 63,500 multimillionaires and billionaires.

Since abolishing its agriculture tax and slashing its tax on small businesses by 50%, China has enjoyed the world’s biggest gains in the number of rich (though granted, coming off a low base). The vast majority of millionaires in China are business owners, who are taking advantage of the government’s recent market reforms and pro-business tax incentives.

As part of its post-crisis economic stimulus package, Beijing is reforming its VAT tax, which would cut corporate taxes as well. And just two months ago, it launched a new round of tax-cutting measures that will help more than 900,000 companies throughout China.

Meanwhile, back in formerly supercapitalistic America, our leaders have agreed to jack up taxes on small businesses. Obama’s new fiscal-cliff tax hike on individual filers earning $400,000 or more in income will hit more than 750,000 small-business owners. They account for more than 56% of all income from such firms and employ tens of millions of workers, both of which will be hurt by the higher rate.

Yet Obama says “there is still more to do” to make sure “the wealthiest Americans pay their fair share.” He vows to make “our tax code more progressive than it’s been in decades.”

Funny how the Russians and Chinese figured out that class-warfare ideology doesn’t work and is in fact, a recipe for failure. Funny how communists know that lower taxes grow the economy and keep you competitive.

As our president mau-maus the rich to “pay their fair share” to help fund his massive social programs, America, like Europe, risks losing a fair share of its wealth and power to communist superpowers that have rethought and reformed their command-and-control economies.

Obama thinks he’s taking the nation “Forward!” But he’s really taking it back to the failed past.

But ideological adamantium will prevent him from seeing any of this.
This is what the under informed, mal-informed, and the don’t-wanna-be informed voted for.
Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

 

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