The True State of the Economy

Posted on Tue 01/25/2011 by


By Alan Caruba

The mainstream media will fall all over itself to put a good face on the President’s State of the Union speech. Time was when Presidents simply sent a written message to the Congress (Article II, Section 3) to be read in chambers, but we must now suffer through an hour and a half of madcap Democrat applause and frozen Republican silence.

Great television, it isn’t. The worst part, even before the speech, is that everyone knows it will be filled with boldfaced lies about “investments”, i.e., more spending, and other fictions. Thank goodness that all spending bills must originate in the House of Representatives (Article I, Section 7). Since Republicans now control the house those “investments” are not likely to be approved or authorized.

In recent days,, has posted excellent articles that provide the cold hard numbers regarding the first two years of the Obama administration and past four years of Democrat rule. A sampling tells the truth.

The prices of selected commodities, all of which translate to what you pay at the gas pump or in the supermarket, have all risen in the past two years.

#Crude Oil, European Brent (barrel) was selling for $43.49 in January 2009. It now sells for $99.02, an increase of 127.7%

#Corn, No. 2 yellow was selling for $3.56 a bushel in January 2009. It now sells for $6.33, an increase of 60.5%. Corn is an important indicator because much of it, by government mandate, must be turned into a gasoline additive called ethanol. The result is that the cost of food is increased as corn which is widely used to feed livestock and in countless other ways in the food chain is diverted to make fuel.

#Sugar, cane, raw, world price per pound was $13.37 in January 2009. It now sells for $35.39, an increase of 164%,

# Unemployment, non-farm, overall was at 7.6% and is now at 9.4%, an increase of 23.7%. The number of unemployed in January 2009 was 11,616.000 and has since risen to 14,485,000, an increase of 24.7% despite the promise of “shovel ready” and “Green” jobs. The number of people on food stamps increased 35.1%. The number of people receiving unemployment benefits increased 22.2%

# The national debt in trillions was $10.627 in January 2009 and now stands at $14.052, an increase of 32.2%.

Do you see a pattern here?

By December 2010, more than fifty percent of Americans said they were worse off than they were two years earlier when President Obama took office. The Bloomberg National Poll showed that two-thirds of Americans believed the nation was headed in the wrong direction.

None of this is surprising, given that the nation is struggling to recover from the longest recession since the Great Depression. There is no indication that Obama can, will, or even wants to correct the current recession. Recessions are cyclical and most presidents have encountered one while in office.

No amount of speeches, State of the Union or otherwise, will improve the economy if the past policies of the Obama administration continue. The nation has suffered unemployment at more than 9% for the twentieth month in a row as of January. That is a post-World War II record!

The Obama administration has done nothing useful to turn the recession around. Instead it has wasted billions bailing out General Motors to save the auto union, followed by an idiotic “Cash for Clunkers” program. At the same time, it has insisted that GM turn out $41,000 electric cars while raising the mandate for ethanol levels in gasoline, thus reducing the mileage per gallon while increasing its cost to consumers.

The housing market, brought to its knees by two horrid government entities, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, is still in the basement. The government had to seize both of them and is billions in debt as a result. “Social justice” was the excuse given for the government’s intervention in the mortgage loan marketplace instead of leaving it to the normal prudence of lending institutions.

Instead of focusing on ways to encourage the growth of small businesses, the administration spent its time and energy on passing Obamacare, taking trillions out of Medicare while at the same time adding more people to its rolls. This is the Obama definition of “saving” Medicare. More than half of the States have joined a suit to abrogate Obamacare as unconstitutional.

Obama’s is an utterly failed administration. In an effort to be reelected, Obama will apply a Clintonian approach, appearing to move to the middle, be more fiscally prudent, et cetera, but this is one leopard that will not change his spots. He is a committed Marxist and one who gives every indication of deliberately crashing the economy. In that respect, he is succeeding.

© Alan Caruba, 2011   Alan Caruba blogs daily at Warning Signs . An author, business and science writer, he is the founder of National Anxiety Center.