by Floyd and Mary Beth Brown
While Barack Obama spends his time running victory laps around the country over the killing of Osama bin Laden, the American economy is careening toward a dangerous cliff. Royal Weddings, Obama’s multiple birth certificates, and absurd arguments about the NFL lockout dominate the news while daily Americans get poorer.
Obamanomics is a disaster. A greater disaster hasn’t been visited on the United States in our economic history because we are taking no substantial steps toward recovery. The real news, which should be screaming from every television and newspaper isn’t pro-Obama; therefore, it is ignored.
Here are the stories on which we should be focusing. The U.S. dollar has slumped to a record low against major currencies. Since we have devastated our manufacturing base over the last two decades, this will result in Americans paying substantially more for goods on the store shelves in retailers from Wal-Mart to Costco.
The outlook for the recovery has diminished to almost zero. If you subtract the impact of inflation, many economists believe we are actually still in a recession. When I talk to my friends and neighbors outside of Washington, D.C., we unanimously agree we are still in recession.
Here are some statistics which will help you understand the pain. More Americans are on food stamps today than at any other time in history. That’s right—the most in history. The number of persons on food stamps is 44.2 million, according a recent report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Those not on food stamps feel a different pain when they buy groceries. We see unbelievably high prices at the grocery store. The cost of living in the U.S. rose at its fastest pace since December 2009 in the 12 months ended in March. Wheat, meat, vegetables and other grains are all surging in price.
But if you don’t have a job, it is hard to shop for groceries.
Bloomberg reported last week, “Applications for jobless benefits jumped by 43,000 to 474,000 in the week ended April 30, the most since August, Labor Department figures showed today.” This is a serious darkening in the employment clouds just as the recovery was supposed to be broadening.
The unprecedented easy money policies from the Federal Reserve haven’t helped the real economy. Sure, they did pump enough billions of dollars into Wall Street banks and government agencies to make sure the leather loafer wearing crowds in New York City and Washington, D.C., are still swimming in cash. But for the majority of Americans, they have felt only the pain of higher food and energy prices from the misallocation of dollars.
This week, as we fueled a rental car near the San Diego airport, we paid $15 for three gallons of gasoline. At these prices, Americans are spending as much as $100 a week just to fuel the car to commute to work. Why hasn’t the president cleared the decks to deal with this energy crisis? It is a crisis when it costs as much to commute to work as you make in take home pay. Many Americans are already at this tipping point. Obama mutters on about windmills and electric cars. We need off shore drilling and increased production to ease this pain.