President Barack Obama needs a reality check. Earlier in Indiana, he accused his critics of ignoring the “facts” and purporting “myths” about his economic record. But if Republicans are truly ignoring the facts, Obama should consider it a blessing. A quick look at the facts will show that Obama’s economic performance has been weak—even by his own standards.
In its budget for the fiscal year 2010, the Obama administration estimated that real gross domestic product would decline in 2009 by 2.8 percent that year and then increase by 2 percent in 2010. Furthermore, the White House forecast that by 2011 its massive stimulus program would start paying off, with growth accelerating to 3.8 percent that year and then soaring above 4 percent from 2012 to 2014.
The chart below compares Obama’s predictions to actual growth statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. When it comes to economic growth, Obama has consistently failed to meet his own expectations. Not only has Obama’s economic recovery been the weakest of any post-recession recovery1 since World War II, but he is also on pace to become the first U.S. president2 in history to have never presided over a full year of growth averaging at least 3 percent.
But is this really surprising? We know that Obama has done virtually everything wrong when it comes to promoting growth. Here’s a reminder:
1. Obamacare: When Obama pushed this boondoggle of a bill, he said on several occasions3 that it would lower health costs by $2,500 per family. Instead, insurance premiums have risen— in some cases nearly 30 percent. On top of this, business owners are hiring fewer people to stay beneath the 50 employee threshold, which mandates business owners employing 50 people or more to provide full health insurance.
2. Regulation: It’s hard to grow, when the federal government is literally standing in the way of business. According to a recent Heritage Foundation study4, More than $22 billion per year in new regulatory costs were imposed on Americans, costing Americans nearly $100 billion annually under Obama’s presidency.
3. Taxes: Obama has raised taxes on investment income by nearly 60 percent (raising capital gains tax from 15 percent to 24 percent), and pushed the top marginal tax rate (the tax on small business owners) to 40 percent. The U.S. has the highest business tax rate in the world; causing companies to flee offshore (with jobs) to find a better deal elsewhere.
After nearly eight years of “hope and change,” wages are stagnant, growth is sputtering, entrepreneurship is in decline, our once great domestic companies are finding a better deal off shore, and more Americans are out of the work force than ever before.
The “facts,” Mr. Obama, speak for themselves.