Barack Obama, Maria Elena Salinas, Jorge Ramos
Updated: October 22, 2012 6:19AM
Each new day seems to bring further evidence of the unremitting failure of President Barack Obama’s economic and foreign policies. Yet the presidential contest remains even, due in large part to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s failure to articulate a specific economic reform agenda and to the mainstream media’s obsession with what Obama-friendly commentators see as Romney’s gaffes.
The media narrative is Romney has had a bad couple of weeks with less-than-artful or ill-timed remarks about the growth of government dependency and Obama’s failed foreign policy. Still, Obama has had his own bad couple of weeks, on the economic front as well as abroad — though the media haven’t spotlighted it as they have with Romney.
New Census Bureau figures show median household income fell or was flat last year in 37 states — mirroring data released a week ago showing national median household income is down to mid-1990s levels. This drop came amid the Obama recovery, the weakest rebound from a recession in modern history.
Another report filled in details behind the nation’s persistently high unemployment, 43 months above 8 percent. Small businesses are a prime generator of jobs, yet fewer new firms are being established. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of startups peaked at 667,000 in 2006 and has declined ever since, reaching 548,000 in 2009 and dropping again to 505,000 in 2010, the first full year of the recovery.
“The state of entrepreneurship in the United States is, sadly, weaker than ever,” observes Tim Kane of the Hudson Institute who analyzed the numbers. He cites “anecdotal evidence that the U.S. policy environment has become inadvertently hostile to entrepreneurial employment.” That includes uncertainty over taxes and regulations, among them the looming new taxes and rules from ObamaCare.
Further fallout from ObamaCare: It will raise taxes on 6 million Americans for failing to meet its insurance mandate, reports the Congressional Budget Office. That’s 50 percent higher than the previous estimate. Most of that tax hike will fall on the middle class.
More evidence of the failure of Obama’s economic policies was the Federal Reserve’s announcement of a third round of “quantitative easing” — Fedspeak for printing money to boost Wall Street trading in hopes that will trickle down to more jobs. How effective it will be remains to be seen, but it will keep interest rates at near zero, a disheartening blow to seniors trying to live off their life savings. The Fed policy also will likely fuel commodity prices, meaning higher food and energy costs further eroding household budgets. That is, unless a possibly looming global downturn — meaning more unemployment — depresses oil prices.
The news is no better on foreign policy. Even the administration is backing away from U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice’s farcical claim that the wave of anti-American riots were a spontaneous reaction to an obscure Internet video. And Obama’s “reset” with Russia is faring no better than his outreach to the Muslim world. Moscow kicked out the U.S. Agency for International Development, which promotes democracy and human rights, claiming it meddles in Russian politics.
From the American kitchen table to the U.S. business environment to the unemployment line to the Arab street to Russian diplomacy, Obama’s policies have been a failure. Who wants four more years of that?