Today marks 1,000 days of President Obama’s administration and the race for the GOP nomination is in full flight with the American economy facing perhaps its biggest challenges since the great depression.
As U.S. Vice President Joe Biden recently told a Florida radio station, ”The U.S. election in November 2012 will be a “referendum” on the Obama administration’s handling of the economy.”
So what is the economic report card for the Obama Administration’s first 1,000 days.
- Since President Obama took office, the National debt has increased by $4.3 trillion with America now borrowing $4.2 billion each day, to keep the country going. The total National Debt now stands at $14.9 trillion dollars.
- 6.5 million jobs have been lost in the private sector and 290,00 in the Public sector, in last three years.
- Four million bankruptcies have occurred during this period.
- The unemployment rate has been above nine percent for 840 of the 1000 days, and the average unemployed worker has been without a job for more than 9 months.
- 2.4 Million Homes have been foreclosed on.
- Health Insurance premiums have increased by on average 13%.
- 1 in 6 American’s are now officially classified as poor largely due to rising unemployment and 49.9 million American’s are uninsured, the biggest in more than two decades.
In fairness, the President has done some good work by extending the Bush era tax cuts and unemployment benefits. He also saved the automobile industry which regardless of your political view, is a hard fact to deny.
What we have seen from the Obama Administration though is bigger government, more regulations, and massive amounts of government spending in the hope of stimulating the economy. The trouble is that it simply hasn’t worked, as the numbers have shown. President Obama Promised that his $787 billion stimulus would save or create 3.3 million jobs by the end of 2010. It simply hasn’t, in fact, his stimulus bill has caused nothing but problems with states now seeking more money to keep teachers and other public sector workers on the payroll, President Obama calling for an additional $35 billion funding bill today for the states. There has also been the wasted billions on green energy projects and the no so ready, shovel ready job projects.
The President has been touring the country over the last month, trying to sell his $447 billion jobs package or as most people call it, Stimulus II. It was defeated in the Senate last week on a bi-partisan basis. I actually don’t blame the president entirely for the state of the economy. I blame those academic advisors and special advisors he brought into his administration in the early days. They applied their theories without really having the practical experience of working in the economy ironically, a lot of the criticism’s which people are labelling against Herman Cain and Mitt Romney at present is based on their having real life experience. Where are President Obama economic experts 1,000 days down the road, they’ve abandoned the sinking ship.
The two big strategic mistakes President Obama did make in his first 1,000 days are as follows; firstly, he should’ve waited until his second term to pursue and implement his signature piece healthcare legislation “Obamacare”. The first mistake he made is what President Bush Snr (41) made, if you don’t look after the domestic economy, you can have all the success in the world on every other front however, people want jobs and want to know they are better off now, then they were four years ago. President Obama should’ve focussing on getting the economy right in his first term and leaving Obamacare until his second term.
The second mistake President Obama has made strategically in his first 1,000 days is not moving to the center and working with the Republican Congress after the mid-term election defeat. In 1994 when the Republicans won control of Congress under the Contract of America with Speaker Newt Gingrich, then President Bill Clinton knew in order to get re-elected, he had to work with the Republicans and move to the center. President Clinton did and worked effectively and in fact, gained the upper hand winning over independent voter by the time the next presidential election came around in 1996. It is Independent voters that decide the outcome of elections not the respective party faithful.
President Obama with all respect may be the only person who believes he has done a good job on the economy. Beyond that, he may be the only person who believes his current rhetoric and embracing of protests against entrepreneurs and successful and hardworking people, will get him re-elected next year and win over independent minded voters although I sincerely doubt it.
The eventual GOP nominee needs to emphasise the best of American traditions and empower the private sector, liberalise the markets and stimulate the education system to restore America’s economic engine. It will require strong leadership, collaboration and the involvement of expertise from both the public and private sectors until the economy is back in good health. It will require sacrifice in the short term and there will be no short term fixes.
Above all, it is clear that the rhetoric going into next years election is going to be based on class warfare and aimed at dividing people something President Obama promised he wouldn’t do. It is a very sad day when a president resorts to that tactic in order to win an election.
I would hope that any GOP nominee has the courage and conviction to refrain from engaging in such low level politics and be a president for all the people regardless of creed, colour or religion.
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