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Obama by the Numbers -- Are You Better Off Than You Were Two Years Ago?

By Gary Starr for the Neville Awards
Feb. 19, 2010

Are you better off today than you were two years ago when our Fraudinator-in-Chief was inaugurated as president of the United States, promising hope-n-change.

These numbers, sourced below, the tell the story. Given rising inflation, including food, energy and clothing, the rediculous budget Obama submitted, and the battles brewing with his union buddies across the country who won't give an inch on givebacks, it's time for the current regime to be thrown off the property.

It's misery index time, Carter style. 2012 can't come fast enough.

  Jan. 2009 Current % chg Source
Avg. retail price/gallon gas in U.S. (regular conventional)$1.83$3.10469.6%1
Selected commodities:    
Crude oil, European Brent (barrel)$43.48$99.02127.7%2
Crude oil, West TX Inter. (barrel)$38.74$91.38135.9%2
Natural gas, Henry Hub, $ per MMbtu $4.85$4.48-7.6%2
Gold: London (per troy oz.)$853.25$1,369.5060.5%2
Corn, No.2 yellow, Central IL$3.56$6.3378.1%2
Soybeans, No. 1 yellow, IL$9.66$13.7542.3%2
Sugar, cane, raw, world, lb. fob$13.37$35.39164.7%2
Consumer Price Index (for all urban consumers)211.1219.23.8%3
Producer Price Index:  finished goods170.3183.07.5%3
Producer Price Index:  all commodities171.0189.911.1%3
Unemployment rate, non-farm, overall7.6%9.4%23.7%3
Unemployment rate, blacks12.6%15.8%25.4%3
Number of unemployed11,616,00014,485,00024.7%3
Number of fed. employees, ex. uniformed military (curr = 12/10 prelim)2,779,0002,840,0002.2%3
Real median household income (1758 vs 1759)$50,65$49,777-0.7%4
Number of food stamp recipients (curr = 10/10)31,983,71643,175,87835.1%5
Number of unemployment benefit recipients (curr = 12/10)7,526,5989,193,83822.2%6
Number of long-term unemployed, in millions2.66.4146.2%3
Poverty rate, individuals (1758 vs 1759)13.2%14.3%8.3%4
People in poverty in U.S., in millions (1758 vs 1759)39.843.69.5%4
House price index (current = Q3 2010)198.7192.7-3.0%7
S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index: 20 city composite (curr = 10/10)146.4145.3-0.8%8
Number of properties subject of foreclosure filings, in millions2.822.871.7%9
DJIA (12,403 on 6/3/08, date BHO clinched Dem. nomination)7,94911,82548.8%2
NASDAQ (2,465 on 6/3/08)1,4412,72589.1%2
S&P 500 (1,378 on 6/3/08)6551,28259.2%2
Global Dow1,3562,15358.8%2
U.S. rank in Economic Freedom World Rankings59n/a10
Consumer Confidence Index (curr = 12/10)37.752.539.3%11
Present Situation Index (curr = 12/10)29.923.5-21.4%11
Failed banks (curr = 2010 + 2011 to date)14016417.1%12
U.S. dollar versus Japanese yen exchange rate89.7682.03-8.6%2
U.S. money supply, M1, in billions (curr = 12/10 preliminary)1,575.11,865.718.4%13
U.S. money supply, M2, in billions (curr = 12/10 preliminary)8,310.98,852.36.5%13
National debt, in trillions$10.627$14.05232.2%14
1 - U.S. Energy Information Admin.    
2 - Wall Street Journal    
3 - Bureau of Labor Statistics    
4 - Census Bureau    
5 - USDA    
6 - U.S. Dept. of Labor    
7 - FHFA    
8 - Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller    
9 - RealtyTrac    
10 - Heritage Foundation and WSJ    
11 - The Conference Board    
12 - FDIC    
13 - Federal Reserve    
14 - U.S. Treasury    

Published on on February 14, 2011

The Obama Administration and its acolytes on the Bowles-Simpson deficit reduction commission are propagating the myth that it is Social Security and Medicare that are driving the deficit over $1.5 trillion. Discretionary spending, they plead, is but a tiny part of the budget, not much worth fooling with.

The reality, as we explain Revolt! -- our new book due out on March 1 - this formulation is a myth! The fact is that this deficit has been caused by a rapid runup in discretionary, non-defense spending and in welfare entitlements like Medicaid and food stamps. The key to cutting spending and slashing the deficit is not to focus on Social Security or Medicare, but on the real culprits - discretionary spending and welfare entitlements.

The following chart, taken from Revolt!, illustrates this key point:
Category 2008 2010 % Incr
Welfare $260 $400 54%
Domestic $485 $682 41%
Medicare $456 $528 16%
Social Security $612 $700 14%
Defense $612 $690 11%
Source: US Government

Obama and the Democrats are playing a game (the same one they played in the 1990s before Bill Clinton called their bluff). By pretending that the most politically popular programs - Social Security and Medicare -- cause the deficit, they insulate the whole array of less popular government programs from cuts. They hide appropriations for EPA, PBS, highway construction, the Department of Education and like behind Social Security and Medicare reform.

But it is the core spending on the bureaucracy itself that is driving this deficit, increasing by $200 billion in the two Obama years. And it is Medicaid and food stamps and other welfare entitlements, up by $140 billion that are also culprits.

In the past two years, we have added 80,000 federal workers, 11 million food stamp recipients and $50 billion in Medicaid costs under Obama.

When baby boomers start to retire in greater numbers later in the decade, we will need to focus on Social Security and Medicare, but now lets cut the core federal discretionary and welfare spending that is at the root of our burgeoning deficit.

In Revolt!, we list the very specific budget cuts in discretionary spending that make the most sense. Here are a few of them:
  • Save $30 billion a year by freezing new highway construction for three years. Keep spending what is needed for maintenance and safety.
  • Save $4 billion by making passengers and airlines pay for airport improvements rather than using tax money
  • Save $4 billion a year by cutting climate research and energy loan guarantees
  • Save $500 million a year by rolling back the cost of Congress to 2008 levels.
  • Save $12 billion a year by eliminating Obama's pork barrel programs - National Infrastructure Innovation and Finance Fund and the Build America bonds.
  • Save $3 billion a year by a 20% cut in diplomatic missions and foreign service staff
  • Save $12 billion a year by cutting farm subsidies to the largest ten percent of US farms
  • Save $4 billion by tying federal pension COLAs to price inflation not wage inflation.
  • Save $7 billion a year by eliminating Obama's proposed increases in the Dept of Education.
  • Save $1 billion a year by eliminating the Endowment for the Arts and the Humanities and ending PBS subsidies.
  • Save $5 billion a year by making no new Section 8 rent subsidy commitments.
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