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Summer of Stasis: Stuck in an economic rut
The White House called the summer of 2010 the “Summer of Recovery.” This year we have the Summer of Stasis. If this kind of economic growth is what the President means by “forward” (his new campaign slogan, cribbed from MSNBC), it is no wonder he didn’t make the varsity basketball team in high school.
The official Summer of Recovery campaign was launched in June of 2010. The unemployment rate was 9.4 percent. By August it was 9.6 percent. By November it was 9.8 percent. It remained at 9 percent or above for nine of the next 10 months.
By this January the painfully slow recovery had worked the unemployment rate down to 8.3 percent, and it has hovered between 8.1 and 8.3 percent since. For the past two months it has been stuck at 8.2 percent. (Hey, at least he’s consistent.)
It is an odd time for the President to use “forward” as a slogan. The economy is stuck in neutral, and instead of offering new ideas to get things moving again, he is offering exactly the same policies that have kept us motionless.
The last time the unemployment rate was below 8 percent was 42 months ago — the month Barack Obama moved into the Oval Office. As Mitt Romney said in Wolfeboro on Friday, a President cannot control everything, and so a few jobs reports provide insufficient information for judging a President’s policies. But 41 months’ worth unemployment higher than 8 percent — starting with a President’s first full month in office — indicate that the President’s policies are hindering rather than helping the economy.
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