12.10.2013 2

Obama’s class warfare claptrap

Barack ObamaBy Robert Romano

On Dec. 4, President Barack Obama in a major speech on economic policy spoke of “a dangerous and growing inequality and lack of upward mobility that has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain.”

He thinks it is income inequality that is holding back regular Americans. But for that to even be a problem, many Americans would first need an income.

Yet according to the latest job numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, folks are not even entering the labor force (i.e. looking for work), let alone finding jobs at the rate needed to significantly improve labor market conditions.

That is the real problem with the Obama economy. Not fairness, but simply the lack of opportunity.

Since 2009, the civilian non-institutional population aged 25 to 64 has increased by 4.2 million. The workforce, however, has not grown to match the population increase. Those working or looking for work shrank by 165,000.

For that reason, the so-called unemployment rate for that age category has dropped from 7.4 percent to 5.7 percent, and yet the participation rate in the workforce has dropped from 79.1 percent to 76.9 percent.

Mind you, this excludes those over the age of 65 to eliminate any doubt that declining labor participation is because of Baby Boomers retiring en masse. They are not.

If anything, seniors are working longer.

Labor participation (i.e. working or looking for work) among those 65 years and older has increased from 17.3 percent to 18.6 percent, meaning seniors are actually working longer, a theme certainly borne out by data.

There are 1.7 million more seniors are working today than in 2009, a 27 percent increase. For comparison, those working aged 25 to 64 increased by just 2 million, a 1.75 percent increase.

While the fact that 2 million aged 25 to 64 found jobs may seem like good news, relative to 2009’s 73.2 percent employment population ratio, it should have more like 3 million found jobs.

In simple terms, these means almost 1 million people in their prime earning years are not participating in the economy.

That is an alarming statement on current labor market conditions.

So, with all due respect to Obama’s screed against income inequality, that is not what is wrong with the economy. It is his assault on America’s private job-creation engine, and the failure to recover from the financial crisis.

Between Obamacare, the EPA, and bailing out financial institutions, Obama has done more to destroy middle income jobs while protecting the super wealthy than anyone and now wants to everyone to believe has a solution to the very inequality for which he is responsible.

If Obama truly wants to jumpstart an economy that will create jobs at all, he should immediately rescind those same EPA regulations, Obamacare mandates, and job-killing bailouts that divert resources from productive activities to government bonds.

In short, he should get the government out of the way and out of the class warfare business.

Robert Romano is the senior editor of Americans for Limited Government. 

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