Amid the onslaught of bad news last week, President Obama’s message was that we’d hit some “bumps in the road” and that people need to be patient in the face of what called economic “headwinds.” He even joked about the wildly mistaken predictions he and others at the White House made a couple years back about the job-creating potential of the Stimulus.
Well, Kentucky’s senior senator, U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, indicated today in remarks made on the Senate floor that he doesn’t share the president’s sense of humor on this subject.
“Over the past few weeks,” said McConnell, “Americans have gotten what seems like a daily dose of bad news about the state of the economy. Whether it’s more joblessness, threats from ratings agencies, the price of gasoline, goods and housing, or a slowdown in manufacturing, people are finding very little reason for optimism.”
Referring to President Obama’s quip about the mistaken predictions he and others at the White House made a couple years back about the job-creating potential of the Stimulus, the Senator responded, “Well, I don’t think the 14 million Americans who are looking for jobs right now and can’t find them find any of this very funny. I don’t think that the 23 percent of Americans who now owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth are laughing about their predicament. I don’t think recent college graduates out there who are burdened with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt and who can’t find a job are amused that the Stimulus bill turned out to be a failure.”
McConnell said that the following facts “speak for themselves:”
- The day the President took the oath of office, 12 million Americans were out of work. Today, nearly 14 million Americans are out of work. That’s a 17% increase in the unemployment rate under President Obama. So unemployment’s worse.
- Gas prices have nearly doubled. When the President came into office the average price of a gallon of gas in this country was $1.85. Today, it’s $3.69. So gas prices have gotten worse.
- The national debt has reached crisis levels. In just the last two years, the debt has gone from $10.6 trillion to $14.3 trillion — a 35% increase from when the President was sworn into office — and his own budget projects that it will only continue to grow.
- Health insurance premiums have gone up. For more than a year, the President devoted what seemed like every waking moment to a health care proposal that he said would lower health insurance premiums by as much as $2,500. Instead, health premiums for working families continue to rise. And the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office says they’ll continue to grow, by as much as $2,100 per year. So health insurance costs have gotten worse.
- Nationally, home values have gone down 12 percent since Inauguration Day. So home values have gotten worse too — driving down the equity people have built up over years.
Senator McConnell concluded by saying, “Americans don’t have infinite patience. They don’t want to be told to just wait a little longer when all the evidence shows that their circumstances and their prospects are only getting worse. They want a change in direction.”
Democrats Disconnected From Economic Reality: