The media machine that desperately wants Barack Obama re-elected has turned its focus on what it says are good unemployment numbers. The truth, though, is the job climate in America is miserable. While the media and the administration portray the most recent jobs number — 8.3% unemployment — as good economic news, more sober minds understand what's really going on.So how can anyone support another term? Two reasons. First, the Republican candidates are pathetic. Just pathetic. Yet another illustration of the desperate need for additional political parties. But that's another post.
Even worse for an administration straining to make the case that it deserves to be around for another four years is the real unemployment rate. It's not 8.3%, but closer to 15%, a figure that reflects those who "would like to work but have not searched for a job in the past four weeks as well as those who are working part time but would prefer full-time work," says the CBO.
Another White House problem comes from this in the CBO report: "The share of unemployed people looking for work for more than six months — referred to as the long-term unemployed — topped 40% in December 2009 for the first time since 1948, when such data began to be collected; it has remained above that level ever since."
The CBO data aren't isolated. Gallup reports that its unemployment rate based on weekly surveys stands at 9%, while underemployment is at a hefty 19%.
Also threatening Obama's re-election offensive is the nation's shrinking labor force (see chart). Many laid-off workers, frustrated by grim prospects, have stopped looking for jobs and are no longer in the labor pool.
That makes the jobless rate look better, as that number is a percentage of the labor force, not the overall national population. But those jobless Americans are real people who will cast real votes in November.
The trouble is fixing these facts in voters' minds. They need to know the full truth, not the half-truth the media and the White House feed them.
The other would be increased dependency on the government, and a desire to get even more benefits. The trend of recent government policies is to reward the irresponsible while punishing the productive and responsible. If we haven't already reached a "tipping point" we are well on our way.
Two trends worth noting:
From the Social Security Administration: Trends in the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income Disability Programs
The total cost of cash benefits for the Social Security disability program has increased dramatically since its inception. Since 1990 the total cost of disability has risen 93 percent in real terms (160 percent in nominal terms).Mail Online: HALF of Americans don't pay income tax despite crippling government debt
Much of the increase in costs for Social Security disability benefits is due to increases in the number of beneficiaries.
Since 1990, the number of disabled-worker beneficiaries has increased 84 percent; disabled 105 percent; and disabled adult children, 24 percent.
Only half of U.S. citizens pay federal income tax, according to the latest available figures.
Another finding by the Heritage Foundation shows that 21.8 per cent of U.S. citizens receive financial assistance from the federal government.
This means that 67.3million people - a record high - are 'dependent on the federal government', excluding government employees who rely on the public sector for their salaries.
The conjunction of fewer taxpayers with higher welfare payments has led to intense pressure on the public purse, with the national deficit running at $1.3trillion per year.
The Heritage Foundation argues that the reduction in the number of taxpayers will create an electorate dominated by non-taxpayers, who will always support higher taxes and spending because their own money is not at stake.