Hey President Obama, for Most Americans the Economy Is Still Weak


Hey President Obama, for Most Americans the Economy Is Still Weak

Feb 25, 2016 2 min read
Stephen Moore

Distinguished Fellow in Economics

Stephen Moore is a Distinguished Fellow in Economics at The Heritage Foundation.

Bernie Sanders says this is an economy that has been rigged with only the gains of the last decade going to the richest one percent. Hillary Clinton admits the middle class is falling behind.

In fact, about the only person in America who is happy with the economy is Obama himself.

Every new statistic documents what American voters keep saying: they are sick of slow growth, flat wages, runaway debt, and the gains going only to the top 10 percent.

The latest statistics indicate an economy slowing down, not gaining momentum. Here are a few of the more troubling lead indicators of more trouble ahead:

* The GDP in 4th quarter grew by‎ 0.8 percent and without government growth the private economy hardly grew at all.

* The stock market had one of its worst January's ever and stocks are down 7 percent from last year already.

* The real unemployment rate taking account of the ‎long term unemployed is close to 10 percent.

* Business spending and investment are flat or falling.

* Take home pay is falling. The Census Bureau finds that from 2009-14 median household income is down more than $1,000.

* The budget deficit is rising again and headed back to $1 trillion.

* The growth gap between the Reagan and Obama recoveries is almost $3 trillion. In other words, if the economy had grown as fast under Obama since the recovery began than it did under Reagan's recovery, we would have $3 trillion more output over the last 12 months.

If Obama and Democrats want to own this economy: it's all theirs.

Last week I testified before the House Ways and Means Committee on how to restore growth in America. Arthur Laffer, Larry Kudlow and I have proposed a 15 percent corporate tax now to bring companies back home. We would also allow businesses to immediately expense capital purchases to get business investment spendig back up.

This would take America from the highest business tax country to one of the lowest. Those companies like Burger King and Pfizer would come back home and bring jobs with them. I believe the extra growth and jobs would nearly pay for this tax cut.

Instead of going this route, Obama late last week endorsed a $10 a barrel oil tax (about 20 cents a gallon) that will only strangle the economy further as will the Hillary Clinton call for higher income taxes.

Obama sa‎ys a tax on oil will make people use less oil. If this is true, then doesn't it stand to figure that a tax on businesses and work will mean fewer businesses and fewer hours worked? Just wondering.

The economy is staggering again and Republicans should get out ahead of the potential slump/recession by talking about growth and jobs through a business tax cut. This probably won't get done in 2016, but it will at least force Obama/Clinton/ Sanders to publicly choose sides. It's no secret where they will come down.

In the meantime, Obama is going to be cheerleading this economy until the last American is working. Call‎ it the audacity of hope.

It's no wonder investors and employers are nervous.

 - Stephen Moore is a visiting scholar at the Heritage Foundation and a Fox News contributor.

 - This piece originally appeared in Real Clear Markets.

Originally distributed by the Real Clear Markets