Brazil Nuts

Dependency: A Brazilian economist has shown a near-exact correlation between last Sunday’s presidential election voting choices and each state’s welfare ratios. Sure enough, handouts are the lifeblood of the left.

Much of the attention in Brazil’s presidential election has been on the surprise rise of Aecio Neves, the center-right candidate who bolted to second place in the space of a week in the first round of Brazil’s election last Sunday, putting him in a face-off against leftist incumbent Dilma Rousseff at the end of the month.

Neves won 34% of the vote, Rousseff took 42% and green party candidate Marina Silva took about 20% — and on Thursday, Silva endorsed Neves, making it a contest of free-market ideas vs. big-government statism.

But what’s even more telling is an old story — shown in an infographic by popular Brazilian economist Ricardo Amorim.

In a Twitter post, Amorim showed a near-exact correlation among Brazil’s states’ welfare dependency and their votes for leftist Workers Party incumbent Rousseff.

Virtually every state that went for Rousseff has at least 25% of the population dependent on Brazil’s Bolsa Familia welfare program of cash for single mothers, given for keeping children vaccinated and in school.

States with less than 25% of the population on Bolsa Familia overwhelmingly went for Neves and his policies of growth.

The World Bank and others praise Bolsa Familia’s “poverty alleviation.” Problem is, “some experts warn that a wide majority cannot get out of this dependence relationship with the government,” as the U.K. Guardian put it.

And whether it’s best for a country that aspires to become a global economic powerhouse to have a quarter of the population — 50 million people — dependent on welfare and producing nothing is questionable.

The cash payouts amount to a half percentage of GDP and 2.5% of government spending. Money spent on welfare is money that can’t be put to use in creating jobs.

Amorim points out that Brazil’s 2% average GDP between 2011 and 2013 is the second lowest in all Latin America, topping only El Salvador, another country with a sizable welfare population — and millions of illegal immigrants in the U.S.

Fact is, the left cannot survive without a vast class of dependents. And once in, dependents have difficulty getting out.

So Brazil’s election may come down to a question of whether it wants to be a an economic powerhouse — or a handout republic.

https://indyfromaz.wordpress.com/2014/07/05/in-dependence-2014/

 

The Dole: New data on federal public assistance programs show we’ve reached an ignominious milestone: More than 100 million Americans are getting some form of “means-tested” welfare assistance.

The Census Bureau found 51 million on food stamps at the end of 2012 and 83 million on Medicaid, with tens of millions of households getting both. Another 4 million were on unemployment insurance.

The percentage of American households on welfare has reached 35%. If we include other forms of government assistance such as Medicare and Social Security, almost half of all households are getting a check or other form of government assistance. The tipping point is getting closer and closer. (IBD)

And it’s not for a lack of trying on the Democrats part.

Dependence is good for the country, after all. Remember, Unemployment is Job Stimulus! 🙂

We are from the Government and we are here to help you…. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Henry Payne

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

 

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Tipping Point

 
 

The Dole: New data on federal public assistance programs show we’ve reached an ignominious milestone: More than 100 million Americans are getting some form of “means-tested” welfare assistance.

The Census Bureau found 51 million on food stamps at the end of 2012 and 83 million on Medicaid, with tens of millions of households getting both. Another 4 million were on unemployment insurance.

The percentage of American households on welfare has reached 35%. If we include other forms of government assistance such as Medicare and Social Security, almost half of all households are getting a check or other form of government assistance. The tipping point is getting closer and closer.

So much is shocking and dismaying about these numbers. How is it that the number of recipients and the price tag for many of these programs kept skyrocketing though the recession officially ended in 2009? Normally, you’d expect welfare caseloads to fall in a recovery as the unemployment rate dips, but this time welfare participation keeps expanding.

Perhaps this is because this administration and many Democrats in Congress, including Rep. Nancy Pelosi, have told Americans that welfare benefits are a stimulus to the economy (sic). Apparently, the left believes that if every family were on food stamps, the economy would return to its glory days.

The feds have also created outreach programs — including radio and TV ads in multiple languages — to encourage people to sign up for the dole because, as one ad put it, this “helps the local community.”

The new statistics also highlight how limited work requirements are for welfare benefits. In 1996 when a Republican Congress and President Bill Clinton enacted landmark welfare reform laws, the old-fashioned cash welfare assistance (AFDC) was replaced with a time-limited assistance program (TANF) that required work for benefits.

This was a huge policy success as millions of former welfare recipients — more than half that were enrolled in the program — moved on to the economic ladder by getting jobs. But that program today is only 5% of the welfare safety net. Most of the other dozens of programs do not require work, so welfare reform has been effectively eviscerated.

Another shocking feature of these statistics is that they don’t even include income-transfer programs such as unemployment insurance and disability. These two add another $250 billion to the cost of welfare and are two of the most abused and scandal-ridden dispensers of federal cash.

On top of that, the 2012 numbers exclude most of the 3 million Obama has added to the ranks of Medicaid due to ObamaCare. The dependency problem is getting worse, not better. And by the way, in most states these programs don’t require work. In fact, the benefits end once an individual moves into a job.

Putting all these programs together, a family can get a package of benefits equivalent to a $35,000 a year job in 11 states, and in Hawaii the benefits can exceed what a $60,000 a year job would offer, according to a Cato Institute analysis.

Is it any wonder we’re having trouble moving people out of welfare into work? Half of all low-income households today have no one working at all.

Staying on this course is a recipe for social chaos and economic decline. “The days of the dole are numbered,” Lyndon Johnson optimistically declared when he launched the War on Poverty. That was 50 years ago, and the welfare state continues to grow in size, cost and lives lost to the trap of government dependency.

Rep. Paul Ryan had the right idea when he called for turning many of the welfare programs such as Medicaid and food stamps back to the states so they can find ways to expeditiously move people back into work.

In the 1990s, innovative governors, including Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin, John Engler of Michigan and William Weld of Massachusetts, helped turn around lives through smart and effective welfare reforms.

With 100 million Americans on welfare, we have a genuine crisis on our hands. It’s time again to let the states find solutions where the federal government has indisputably failed or hasn’t even tried. (IBD)

Lie By Sword

Live by the sword, die by the sword, the Bible tells us. In Washington, it’s slightly different: Live by the CBO, die by the CBO.

The congressional number-crunchers, perhaps the capital’s closest thing to a neutral referee, came out with a new report Tuesday, and it wasn’t pretty for Obamacare. The CBO predicted the law would have a “substantially larger” impact on the labor market than it had previously expected: The law would reduce the workforce in 2021 by the equivalent of 2.3 million full-time workers, well more than the 800,000 originally anticipated. This will inevitably be a drag on economic growth, as more people decide government handouts are more attractive than working more and paying higher taxes.

This is grim news for the White House and for Democrats on the ballot in November. This independent arbiter, long embraced by the White House, has validated a core complaint of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) critics: that it will discourage work and become an ungainly entitlement. (WP)

But with this administration, and Democrats in general, it’s Lie by The Sword, Then just keep on lying until it has to be the truth because all you’ve got left is the lie.

Meanwhile, Gene Sperling, Obama’s top economic-policy adviser, walked to the White House lawn and told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that he rejected the finding. “When you have two parents and they’re both working full time to provide health care and they don’t feel they’re there to do homework with their kids and this allows one of [them] to work a little less because they have health care, that’s not costing jobs,” Sperling argued.

I’m sure that sounded convincing and just downright “awwww…” in his head. But, seriously, dude, that was pathetic. But if your job is to lie and to lie as convincingly and with as much conviction as possible you can’t beat an “economic policy advisor” for BS and doublespeak.

In general, the CBO explained, phasing out subsidies to buy health insurance when income rises “effectively raises people’s marginal tax rates . . . thus discouraging work.” (WP)

WHOOPS! 🙂

Lowest labor participation rate in 35 years…

Highest Disability and Food Stamps ever.

Gee, never saw that coming… 🙂

Jason Furman, head of the Council of Economic Advisers, who argued that the Affordable Care Act couldn’t possibly be a job killer because 8.1 million jobs had been created since it became law. This is true — but irrelevant to the CBO finding.

(That would be similar to millions of jobs created while the labor participation rate goes down and the number of people who have quit looking is in the millions)

Furman attempted to dispute the report (“I haven’t accepted the number”) without disparaging the authors (“We cite CBO all the time”). Delicately, he said the report “is subject to misinterpretation, doesn’t take into account every factor, and there’s uncertainty and debate around it.”

But there’s only so much White House officials could do. Obamacare has been undermined by the very entity they had used to validate it.

So it’s time to keep on lying and obfuscating and just generally BSing you’re way past it.

Lie By The Sword, Kill others with it first! 🙂

And then play the “moral” car that Homo Superior Liberalis would.

Witness, super liberal EJ Dionne:

The truth about this controversy is that there is a broad debate in our country over how much government should do to correct for market outcomes that leave so many Americans without enough income, opportunity or access to the essentials of modern life, notably health insurance.

Supporters of Obamacare, including those who wish it had gone even further, believe that social justice requires government to give significant assistance to those who find themselves on the wrong end of an economic system that is producing an increasingly unequal society. (WP)

Hits all the emotional, “moral” liberal notes doesn’t it.

Their vision is so superior to yours that you can’t see it through the “noise” of people protesting it’s “Benefits”. (Fringe with Benefits?) 🙂

A Liberal commentor: “Obamacare will work just fine. As any other major program serving Americans, such as SS, Medicare, etc, it will require some fine tuning during implementation.”

Sucking up the kool-aid. Yeah, they are all going bankrupt, ya mindless twonk!

Homo Superior Liberalis is not capable of being wrong, in their own heads, so the fact that the very people, The CBO, that they used as a cudgel for their ObamaCare baby has now spit up puke dinner all over their face they will barely notice.

After all, they are the morally and intellectually superior lifeform, and you’re not!

SNAP!

Political Cartoons by Bob Gorrell

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

Political Cartoons by Lisa Benson

Political Cartoons by Steve Kelley

Achievement is a Four Letter Word

Thomas Sowell: A friend recently sent me a link to an inspiring video about an upbeat young black man who was born without arms. It showed him going to work — unlike the record number of people living on government payments for “disabilities” that are far less serious, if not fictitious.

How is this young man getting to work? He gets into his car and drives there — using controls set up so that he can operate the car with his feet.

What kind of work does he do, and how does he do it? He is involved in the design of racing cars. He sits at his computer, looking at the screen, with the keyboard on the floor, where he uses his toes as others use their fingers.

His story recalls the story of Helen Keller, who went to an elite college and on to a career, despite being both deaf and blind. Her story was celebrated in books, in television documentaries and in an inspiring movie, “The Miracle Worker.”

But our culture has changed so much over the years that the young man with no arms is unlikely to get comparable publicity. Helen Keller’s achievement was seen as an inspiration for others, but this young man’s achievement is more like a threat to the prevailing ideology of our times.

The vision on which the all-encompassing and all-controlling welfare state was built is a vision of widespread helplessness, requiring ever more expanding big government. Our “compassionate” statists would probably have wanted to take this young man without arms, early on, and put him in some government institution.

But to celebrate him in the mainstream media today would undermine a whole ideological vision of the world — and of the vast government bureaucracies built on that vision. It might even cause people to think twice about giving money to able-bodied men who are standing on street corners, begging.

The last thing the political left needs, or can even afford, are self-reliant individuals. If such people became the norm, that would destroy not only the agenda and the careers of those on the left, but even their flattering image of themselves as saviors of the less fortunate.

Victimhood is where it’s at. If there are not enough real victims, then fictitious victims must be created — as with the claim that there is “a war on women.” Why anyone would have an incentive or a motivation to create a war on women in the first place is just one of the questions that should be asked of those who promote this political slogan, obviously designed for the gullible.

The real war — which is being waged in our schools, in the media and among the intelligentsia — is the war on achievement. When President Obama told business owners, “You didn’t build that!” this was just one passing skirmish in the war on achievement.

The very word “achievement” has been replaced by the word “privilege” in many writings of our times. Individuals or groups that have achieved more than others are called “privileged” individuals or groups, who are to be resented rather than emulated.

The length to which this kind of thinking — or lack of thinking — can be carried was shown in a report on various ethnic groups in Toronto. It said that people of Japanese ancestry in that city were the most “privileged” group there, because they had the highest average income.

What made this claim of “privilege” grotesque was a history of anti-Japanese discrimination in Canada, climaxed by people of Japanese ancestry being interned during World War II longer than Japanese Americans.

If the concept of achievement threatens the prevailing ideology, the reality of achievement despite having obstacles to overcome is a deadly threat. That is why the achievements of Asians in general — and of people like the young black man with no arms — make those on the left uneasy. And why the achievements of people who created their own businesses have to be undermined by the President of the United States.

What would happen if Americans in general, or blacks in particular, started celebrating people like this armless young man, instead of trying to make heroes out of hoodlums? Many of us would find that promising and inspiring.

But it would be a political disaster for the left — which is why it is not likely to happen.

Political Cartoons by Gary Varvel

Political Cartoons by Glenn McCoy

It’s a Drag

Everywhere you turn these days, liberals are bemoaning the harm caused by “austerity.” The left-wing Center for American Progress claims spending cuts will cost 2 million jobs over the next seven years. The Brookings Institution says they’ve already cost 2 million.

Former Obama Treasury Secretary Larry Summers complained last week that austerity postponed “the acceleration of recovery . . . more than it needed.” Democratic National Committee communications director Brad Woodhouse took to Twitter to wonder “what our economy would be doing if not for #GOPSequester, GOP refusal to make needed investments.”

The press has swallowed this and routinely blames bad economic news on “Washington’s austerity drive.”

The liberals’ mantra is understandable, since it supports their belief in an endlessly increasing federal government while blaming any bad economic news at Republicans who have been pushing spending cuts.

But researchers at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco looked at the data and came to a completely different conclusion. They find that it’s not the modest spending restraint pushed by Republicans that’s harming growth prospects, it’s the massive tax cuts Obama has engineered — tax hikes that liberals and the mainstream press ignore when they whine about austerity.

The researchers compared recent and projected spending and taxes to the historic norms at similar points in a business cycle. They found while deficits have fallen of late, spending is still higher, and tax receipts lower, than the norm at this point in a recovery. Fiscal policy, they say, has held back the recovery only “slightly to date.”

Over the next three years, however, the fiscal drag on the economy is “much bigger” — cutting projected growth by about 1 percentage point. But that’s not because of sequester-forced spending cuts.

“Despite all the attention federal spending cuts and sequestration have received, our calculations suggest they are not the main contributors to this projected drag,” they wrote. Even with the sequester, they found, outlays will stay above historic norms over the next three years.

Instead, the researchers found, “the excess fiscal drag on the horizon comes almost entirely from raising taxes.”

Taxes as a share of GDP are on track to rise well above historic averages and well above rates at comparable periods in previous recoveries.

And what explains this “super-cyclical” rise in taxes?

Well, let’s see. Obama forced through a $600 billion tax hike on upper-income families at the start of this year in the name of “fairness.”

Before that, he and his fellow Democrats imposed $1 trillion of new taxes for ObamaCare, taxes that are just now hitting the economy.

As a result, federal tax revenues as a share of GDP will hit 19.3% of GDP by 2015, a level reached just six times since World War II and well above the 17.9% average over the previous 40 years.

We’d only add that Obama’s other economic policies — an out-of-control regulatory state, the looming disaster known as ObamaCare, various attempts at industrial policy among them — have also weakened what should have been a robust recovery. (IBD)

But since it all fits The Agenda, it’s good. 🙂

After years of ignoring increasingly dire warnings, America is now facing a debilitating disability crisis — one draining tax dollars (and workers) from our economy.

Yet rather than reforming our broken entitlement programs, policymakers continue turning a blind eye to the root problems associated with these unsustainable behemoths: liberally defined benefits, lax bureaucrats, rubberstamping judges and rampant overpayments.

According to Cornell University’s latest “Disability Status Report,” 37.3 million Americans (or 12.1% of our population) claimed a disability in 2011. Many of these were legitimate ailments afflicting older retirees — but America’s disability epidemic cannot be chalked up exclusively to an aging population.

According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, 10.9 million working age Americans (and family members) received disability insurance payments in February — while another 8.2 million received supplemental security income payments.

Over the course of the year the total tab for these benefits could exceed $180 billion, an ongoing explosion of disability-related dependency that has pushed this program to the brink of insolvency.

That’s not hyperbole, either. A year ago the Social Security Board of Trustees announced the disability trust fund would be exhausted in 2016 — two years earlier than the previous estimate.

Open Definition

How did we arrive at this point? Well, after remaining relatively flat during the late 1970s and 1980s, the number of disability dependents spiked by 84% from 1990-2003 while the costs associated with the program climbed from $38 billion to $77 billion annually.

The last five years have seen even more unsustainable growth as the number of workers receiving disability payments jumped from 7.1 million in December 2007 to 8.8 million in February 2013 — a 22.5% increase. Meanwhile, annual applications for disability benefits nearly doubled over the last decade — from 1.5 million in 2001 to 2.8 million a year ago.

The primary driver of this unchecked expansion is government’s ever-expanding definition of “disability” — with mitigating factor presumptions, combinations of non-severe impairments (such as “persistent anxiety” and “chronic fatigue”) and liberal interpretation standards making it much easier for individuals to claim a “total disability.”

Government even takes into account external factors such as the job market in reaching its determination.

“If there are not a ‘significant number’ of jobs available, then a claimant … is deemed to be ‘disabled’ even though he or she is still capable of competitive work, albeit at a reduced level of performance,” an article in the Cato Institute’s Regulation Magazine noted.

The impact of downwardly defining “disability” can be seen in a recent analysis of government data conducted by reporter Chana Joffe-Walt of NPR. According to Joffe-Walt’s report, there has been a fundamental shift in the nature of disability claims — away from serious and easily provable conditions and toward more dubious ailments.

In 1961 heart disease, stroke and related ailments made up the largest category of disability recipients (25.7%) — while a much smaller group (8.3%) cited harder-to-prove “back pain and other musculoskeletal problems.”

Flawed System

As of 2011, however, the heart disease and stroke category shrank to 10.6% of the dependent population while the back pain group exploded to 33.8%. Meanwhile, mental illness — another harder-to-prove category — saw its share of the disability population climb from 9.6% to 19.2%.

Last September, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., — a medical doctor — exposed several other major problems with the system when he conducted an investigation into disability benefit award decisions. According to his report, more than a quarter of disability cases analyzed by his committee “failed to properly address insufficient, contradictory or incomplete evidence.”

Coburn’s probe also found disability examiners and Social Security administrative law judges authorizing benefits “without citing adequate, objective medical evidence to support the finding; without explaining the medical basis for the decision; without showing how the claimant met basic listing elements; or at times without taking into account or explaining contradictory evidence.”

Poor hearing practices, late and insufficient evidence, misuse of medical listings and woefully outdated job listings for claimants with limited disabilities were also among the problems uncovered by Coburn’s investigation.

Taxpayers should not be forced to continue subsidizing such an inherently flawed, financially unsustainable system.

Unless action is taken now, bailout demands will likely overwhelm politicians of both parties who ignored the oncoming default all these years.

Unfortunately, with the exception of a handful of leaders such as Coburn, there remains virtually no appetite in Washington, D.C., to substantively address either the disability problem or our government’s broader entitlement addiction.

Gotta kiss up tio the dependent. They vote for politician to feed their drug habits. And politicians want them to feed their power addiction.

Michael Ramirez Cartoon

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

Political Cartoons by Gary McCoy

 

Land of the Freeloader

Medicaid rolls hit a record 72.6 million last year while nearly 11 million Americans — also a record — received disability benefits in May. America has truly become a nation of freeloaders.

When nearly one-fourth of the entire nation — in this case about 23% — is enrolled in the country’s health care program for indigents, and record numbers are collecting disability payments, the trouble is deep. America is the land of opportunity and prosperity, not the land of dependence.

But that’s the goal of the progressives and the Obama presidency — to turn America into a welfare state where most of the country lives off the productivity and earned wealth of a few.

Don’t think so? Look at the Congressional Budget Office report issued Wednesday. That account, requested by Democrats, says that the top 10 major tax breaks “are distributed unevenly across the income scale,” with 17% of the benefits going to families earning $450,000 or more a year.

That would be the top 1%, the small number of Americans who were the objects of the Occupy Wall Street mob’s rage and continue to be a target of the progressives who want to enshrine their version of “fairness” in the tax code.

What the left wants is for this thin slice of the population to pay for leftist programs. This is clearly seen in the comments of Democratic Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland. On review of the CBO report, he concluded that “we could achieve a significant amount of deficit reduction, long-term deficit reduction, by limiting these tax preferences to the highest-income earners.”

In other words, the Democrats want even more from the rich they so routinely demonize.

This country is hurtling in the wrong direction. Between 1988 and 2011, the number of Americans receiving federal benefits — from Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, subsidized housing, tuition aid and countless other entitlements — has increased 62%, according to a Heritage Foundation study released early this year.

Over the same period, the population grew by less than half that rate while the Heritage’s Index of Dependence on Government Score increased 180%.

No, Obama is not responsible for this jump in dependency. But welfare spending has grown 19% during his time in the White House and the health care overhaul that bears his name will increase reliance on government even more.

And he did say that it was his goal to fundamentally change this nation and spread the wealth. Anyone who doesn’t think he was talking about turning the U.S. into a nation of dependents isn’t being honest.

A freeloading country is an unstable country; it cannot last. Dependency undermines morals and work ethic that drive nations to prosperity. It encourages sloth and inner rot. It is dehumanizing and has no future.

Eventually those who are forced to pay for it will not be able to fund it. That’s when everyone becomes equal — as in the even distribution of misery. (IBD)

And that’s the best equality outcome the Democrats could hope for.

Land of the Freeloader and Home of the Dependent.

What could be better.

Political Cartoons by Chuck Asay

Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert
Political Cartoons by Jerry Holbert

Thinking Disability

Almost as many people signed up with the federal government’s permanent worker disability program as got jobs in March, according to two sets of government data, continuing a troubling trend throughout the Obama recovery.

But don’t worry, it’s not Obamanomics! It’s the Sequester!!! OMG! The world is coming to an end!

Obama’s top economic adviser Alan B. Krueger:”It is important to bear in mind that the March household and payroll surveys are the first monthly surveys to look at employment since the beginning of sequestration.”

All evil stems from the hound of Hell itself! 🙂

Krueger did not mention January’s 2% payroll tax increase, which will wipe out an entire year’s worth of wage gains by American workers. Roughly 70% of national expenditures emanate from consumers. (Breitbart).

Oh course not, why would they. After all, that was not there fault. They passed the payroll holiday as a voting bribe and when they won they took it back.

But that’s not Washington’s Fault! No, the Sequestration is the evil.

The fact that THAT WAS Obama’s Idea and it was implemented as a Doomsday that Washington has 18 months so to fix and just didn’t do it is not their fault either… 🙂

Last month, 81,804 workers left the workforce to join the Social Security Disability Insurance program. So far this year, nearly a quarter million workers have joined the program.

Over the past four years, 4 million left the workforce to go on disability. Even after accounting for those who dropped out of the program because of death or retirement, the ranks of the disabled have shot up more than 1.4 million under Obama.

Today, the ranks of the disabled number 8.8 million, and when you add in children and spouses, the number climbs to 10.9 million.

Economists generally agree that the anemic recovery under President Obama has driven legions of workers who have been unable to find work to seek out the SSDI program.

“When opportunities for employment are plentiful, some people who could quality for (disability insurance) benefits find working more attractive,” the Congressional Budget Office noted in a recent report on the program, adding that “when employment opportunities are scarce, some of these people participate in the DI program instead.”

Since the recovery officially started in June 2009, more than 9 million have dropped out of the labor force, either because they retired, gave up looking for work, or signed up with a program like SSDI. This year alone, the number of people who aren’t in the labor force shot up 959,000.

As a result, the labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people working or actively looking to the entire working age population, has fallen to 63.3%, from 65.7% at the start of the Obama recovery. That’s the lowest level for this indicator since 1978.

The concern about so many signing up for disability is that almost none ever end up returning to the workforce. It’s a problem the even the White House has expressed concern about.

In an economic report issued in 2011 the administration noted because “workers on SSDI rarely return to the labor force,” this can result “in a loss to society of the economic contribution those workers could have made.”

So they then have to be replace entirely. But the economy can’t even replace the ones it has now.
But don’t expect anything like this coming from a Democrat or the Ministry of Truth.
They are too busy screaming the World is coming to an end over a paper cut (sequester).
OMG!
Democrats, of course, tried to pin the blame for this on Republicans for allegedly pushing austerity measures.

White House economic adviser Alan Krueger complained that “arbitrary and unnecessary cuts to government services will be a head wind in the months to come.”

His predecessor in that job, Austan Goolsbee, worried that “maybe the sequester’s a bigger deal than people thought it was.”

And Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid argued that “self-inflicted setbacks like the sequester” were behind the tepid jobs growth.

It didn’t take long for the Democrats’ amen chorus in the press to run with this spin.

“Friday’s jobs report is the first to reflect the post-sequester world,” is how Politico put it.

The Huffington Post said “austerity may be starting to squeeze the life out of the job market.”

Just one problem: There’s nothing unusual about this month’s jobs report, and there’s been no austerity.

From the start of the Obama “recovery” nearly four years ago, job growth has been week. In fact, job growth has averaged just 100,000 a month, and in 16 of the 45 months since June 2009, it’s been under 100,000.

Nor is the March drop in the labor force participation rate unusual. In fact, it had been steadily falling all along, as Obama’s anemic jobs recovery led millions to retire early, give up looking for work, or go on government disability programs.

By the end of last year, the labor force participation rate was down to 63.6% from 65.7% when the recovery started. And it’s fallen each month so far this year.

The sequester isn’t to blame for any of this, since the spending cuts have barely begun to take effect, and even by the end of the year will amount to a mere one-half of one percent of GDP.

Plus, that spending trim will only slow, not reverse, spending growth. In fact, federal outlays in the first five months of this fiscal year are up 2% from the some time a year ago, according to the Treasury Dept., and deficits already total $493 billion — which, by the way, is more than any given year under the Bush administration.

State spending, too, has been on the upswing, and government at all levels added 5,000 jobs in March.

The real reason for the anemic job growth under Obama has nothing to do with spending cuts, and everything to do with the aggressively anti-business climate Obama has created.

Indeed, given his out-of-control regulations, tax hikes on businesses and investment, and the looming catastrophe known as ObamaCare, it’s a wonder businesses are hiring at all. (IBD)

But everything is fine. And Cutting Spending is Evil. 🙂

Political Cartoons by Chip Bok

Political Cartoons by Michael Ramirez