The Obama Administration promised its “stimulus” spending binge would keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent. That didn’t happen. Since the “stimulus” was enacted, more than 1.3 million jobs have been lost and unemployment has averaged 9.5 percent. Now, as the Democrats running Washington push for more of the same failed “stimulus” policies, a new report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates the unemployment rate could stay above 8 percent until 2014:
- “DREARY ECONOMIC PICTURE”: “The Congressional Budget Office painted a dreary economic picture Wednesday … The national unemployment rate – now at 9.1 percent – isn’t expected to drop below 8 percent until 2014, according to the report on the country’s budget and economic outlook.” (Politico, 8/24/11)
- “LOUSY JOB MARKET”: “Under current law, it says, federal tax and spending policies will impose substantial restraint on the economy … The U.S. economy won’t be operating at potential – meaning that labor and capital are fully employed – until 2017 … That means a lousy job market for years to come. CBO expects the unemployment rate to fall from today’s 9.1 to 8.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012—and then to remain above 8% until 2014.” (Wall Street Journal, 8/24/11)
- “SLOW GROWTH & HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT”: “The Congressional Budget Office projects slow growth and high unemployment for years to come as a result of the financial crisis and recession, a new report shows. In its semi-annual update of budget and economic data, the agency ... projects the jobless rate will fall to 8.9% by the end of this but remain above 8% until 2014.” (USA Today, 8/24/11)
The White House’s “stimulus”-driven agenda of more spending, higher taxes, and excessive regulations has not only left us with fewer jobs – it’s left us with fewer workers paying taxes. Speaker Boehner said the CBO report shows “President Obama’s policies are continuing to make it harder for the private sector to create jobs, and that’s continuing to make it harder to balance the federal budget.”
There were glimmers of good news in the CBO report, including limited improvements in our fiscal outlook thanks to recent spending cuts. But any positives are outweighed by the bleak economic forecast. It’s time for the Obama Administration to abandon the short-term “stimulus” gimmicks that are spreading uncertainty and begin working with Republicans to remove the barriers to long-term private sector job growth.