The Obama disease takes toll on economy

ObamaEbola

Ronald Reagan’s famous question that sank Jimmy Carter in 1980 — “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” — could be reprised to measure the performance of Barack Obama and the Democrats. The latest figures from the Census Bureau and Federal Reserve suggest the answer would be an emphatic “no.”

In 2008, Mr. Obama’s message of hope and change resonated with the promise of “policies that invest in our middle-class, create new jobs, and grow this economy from the bottom up so that everyone has a chance to succeed.” Audiences cheered, but now with the knowledge from experience, the question becomes, has that investment paid off?

A new Federal Reserve study finds the median net worth of families last year fell to its lowest level since 1992, after adjusting for inflation. For most families, this means that the work of two decades of economic struggle has vanished. The dollar figure on the paycheck is higher, but dollars don’t buy nearly as much as they did.

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By this measure, the presiding generation is less well-off than the one that preceded it. This is not a surprise to parents who find their dreams of peace in an “empty nest” dashed when their children return from college, unable to find jobs.

Stimulus and “investment” were supposed to reinvigorate the economy. Government spending would create jobs and rescue Americans from the grim clutch of poverty. Census Bureau statistics released Tuesday show 45.3 million Americans living below the poverty level as measured by the government. That’s almost 10 million more living in poverty than in 1992.

While the population is larger, the poverty rate is identical — 14.5 percent. It’s as likely that someone is poor today as in 1992, or in 1962. Mr. Obama’s economic policies have achieved nothing, but worse, the entire 50-year Democratic “war on poverty” has made no discernible impact on poverty.

Washington Times: The Obama disease takes toll on economy

Party of the Rich? That’s the Democrats, GOP is the Middle-Class

As we continue to knock down individual members from the long list of liberal talking points, another we can add to the scrap heap of history is that Republicans are the “party of the rich.”

In polling data during the 2012 election campaign, two and a half times more registered voters said that the Republicans’ policies favor the rich versus those of the Democrats. Twice as many voters thought the Democrats’ policies favored the middle class compared to those of the Republicans. And twelve times as many voters indicated that the Democrats’ policies favored the poor over those of the Republicans.

And yet, when we look at the data, what do we see? The Democrats are actually the party of the rich, the Republicans are the party of the middle class, and the Republicans may even have a slight lead over the Democrats in representing the poor.

The US Census Bureau has released its latest installment of “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States,” a document that includes measures of household income dispersion.

The following figure shows the change in share of household income going to the top 5% and the highest quintile (i.e., top 20%) over each presidential term since Reagan.

RichParty2

Well, now. This doesn’t fit the liberal narrative very well. Clinton increased the share of household income going to the top 5% by a whopping 3.5% during his two terms, double the rate of Reagan at only 1.8%. After four years, Obama increased this share to the rich (0.8%) more than Reagan had following his first term (0.6%). Bush 43 actually dramatically decreased the share of household income headed to the top 5%, and his father saw only a very small increase.

So, on a time-equivalent basis, the two presidents who increased the household income share the most for the top 5% are both Democrats, with Republicans pulling up the rear in third, fourth, and fifth place. After four years, the three Republican presidents average only a 0.2% increase, compared to a 1.8% increase for the two Democrat presidents. After eight years, the two Republicans are up only 0.6% versus a 3.5% increase for the Democrat.

We see the same message in the share of household income for the highest quintile. Clinton is well out in front in terms of increasing the income share for the highest 20%. Reagan and Obama are in an effective dead heat after their first four years. After four years, the Republicans average a 0.7% increase; the Democrats are at +1.6%. After eight years, it is Republicans at +1.2% and the Democrat at +2.9%.

But the Democrats are the party of the middle class and the poor, aren’t they? Wrong again. The following plot shows the change in share of household income going to the third quintile (i.e., middle class) and the lowest 40% over each presidential term.

RichParty2

Clinton decreased (-1.0%) the share of household income going to the middle class more than Reagan (-0.8%), and far more than Bush 43 (effectively unchanged at -0.1%). After four years, Obama (-0.3%) has decreased the middle-class income share more than both Bush 41 (-0.2%) and Bush 43 (-0.1%). Four years into their terms, the Republicans average a much smaller decline in the middle-class income share (-0.3%) than the Democrats (-0.5%). After eight years the gap is even wider, with Republicans averaging -0.4% and Democrats at -1.0%.

In his first term, Obama has decreased the household income share going to the lowest 40% by 0.5%, the same decrease as Reagan after four years, and more than either Bush 41 (-0.2%) or Bush 43 (-0.4%). Clinton leads the way in this statistic, decreasing the income share going to the poorest members of society by 0.6% after four years in office. After eight years, the two Republicans average out to equal Clinton at a 0.7% reduction in the income share for the lowest 40%.

Another liberal storyline in shambles. Could it be that “Reaganomics” and the “Bush tax cuts” actually favor the middle class more, and the rich less, than the corresponding liberal policies enacted under Clinton and Obama? Nearly three and a half decades of data suggest that this may be the case. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being rich — and promoting the acquisition and protection of wealth — but if liberals persists in using these terms pejoratively, they may find that the data works against them.

American Thinker: Party of the Rich? That’s the Democrats by Sierra Rayne

Over 150,000 Flee #Benghazi, Libya

UNITED NATIONS, August 28 (RIA Novosti) – A record number of Libyans are leaving the country amid new airstrikes, outgoing UN Libya envoy, Tarek Mitri, told the UN Security Council Wednesday.

“In Tripoli, we have seen an unprecedented movement of population in an attempt to escape the fighting,” Mitri said.

“The damage inflict on the public institutions in Tripoli’s southern and western sections – including the airport, the main oil depot, roads and bridges – is nothing less than tragic,” he added.

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Despite the destruction of the airport, many are leaving the Tripoli airport and the country as a whole.

“Conservative figures for those displaced are estimated at over 100,000, with at least another 150,000 having sought refuge abroad, including workers, who also fled the country,” Mitri said.

The UN Support Mission in Libya has pulled out its international staff, including Mitri, who is to be replaced as UN envoy by Bernardino Leon of Spain on September 1.

On August 7, a small team led by Mitri’s deputy traveled to Tripoli to explore options for an unconditional ceasefire.

“While all engaged constructively with our proposals, it is clear that more work is needed to overcome mistrust between the parties to the conflict,” he said.

Libya is currently facing its worst wave of violence since the 2011 overthrow of the country’s long-standing leader Muammar Gaddafi and the subsequent civil war. Clashes between government forces and Islamist-allied militias, armed with weapons, seized from Gaddafi government ammunition depots, have continued in the country for months. Many countries are evacuating their citizens and diplomatic staff from the country.

RIA NovoSTI: At Least 150,000 Flee Libya, Ceasefire Talks Unsuccessful – UN Libya Envoy

 

Islamists have ‘Secured’ US Emabassy In Tripoli, Libya

TRIPOLI, Libya – An Islamist-allied militia group says it has “secured” a U.S. Embassy compound in Libya’s capital, more than a month after American personnel evacuated from the country over ongoing fighting.

An Associated Press journalist walked through the compound Sunday after the Dawn of Libya, an umbrella group for Islamist militias, invited onlookers inside. Windows at the compound had been broken, but it appeared most of the equipment there remained untouched.

A commander for the Dawn of Libya group said his forces had entered and been in control of the compound since last week.

A video posted online showed men playing in a pool at the compound. In a message on Twitter, U.S. Ambassador to Libya Safira Deborah said the video appeared to have been shot in at the embassy’s residential annex.

Fox News / AP: Islamists have ‘Secured’ US Emabassy In Tripoli, Libya