Answering the challenge on why Obama is a failed President
“Tell me again why Barack Obama has been such a bad president?” Jonathan Alter writes in his column.There is much more. It is all fact based criticism. There are no personal insults, just facts. Wehner has provided an outline for Republican candidates to use in the coming election.
Alter tells us he’s not talking here about Obama as a tactician and communicator, and he’s not interested in hearing ad hominem attacks or about people’s generalized “disappointment.” (Neither am I.) He wants to know on a substantive basis why Obama should be judged to have failed so far.
In Alter’s words, “Your mission, Jim [or anyone else for that matter], should you decide to accept it, is to be specific and rational, not vague and visceral.”
Consider the mission accepted.
In one sense, the answer to the Alter challenge is obvious: Obama has failed by his own standards. It’s the Obama administration, not the RNC, that said if his stimulus package was passed unemployment would not exceed 8 percent. It’s Obama who joked there weren’t as many “shovel-ready” jobs as he thought.
It’s Obama who promised to cut the deficit in half. It’s Obama who said if we passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care cost curve would go down rather than up. It’s Obama who promised us recovery and prosperity, hope and change. What we’ve gotten instead is the opposite.
* Under Obama’s stewardship, we have lost 2.2 million jobs (and 900,000 full-time jobs in the last four months alone). He is now on track to have the worst jobs record of any president in the modern era.
* The unemployment rate stands at 9.1 percent v. 7.8 percent the month Obama took office.
* July marked the 30th consecutive month in which the unemployment rate was above the 8 percent level, the highest since the Great Depression.
* Since May 2009 — roughly 14 weeks into the Obama administration — the unemployment rate has been above 10 percent during three months, above 9 percent during 22 months, and above 8 percent during two months.
* Chronic unemployment is worse than during the Great Depression.
* The youth employment rate is at the lowest level since records were first kept in 1948.
* The share of the eligible population holding a job has declined to the lowest level since the early 1980s.
* The housing crisis is worse than in the Great Depression. (Home values are worth roughly one-third less than they were five years ago.)