Did Obama’s Economic Plan “Work”?

In a recent campaign speech about taxes, jobs and the economy the President bellowed:

“Just like we’ve tried their [Republican’s] plan, we’ve tried our plan, and it worked.  That’s the difference.  That’s the choice in this election.  That’s why I’m running for a second term.”

How, in the face of America’s ongoing economic misery could he say “our plan” worked?  Predictably, Obama’s supporters claim that Mitt Romney and anyone else who has quoted and criticized Obama’s words “took them out of context.” He was referring, they say, to the Clinton Administration’s tax bracket rates.

The quote did follow a reference to the Clinton era when all the tax bracket rates from top to bottom were higher than they are now.  But Obama doesn’t want to go back to the higher rates for all taxpayers.  He would raise only the rates paid by those earning over $250,000. 

So according to Obama’s media defenders “our plan” that “worked” when “we” tried it before is a new tax rate schedule that combines the Bush tax rates that were enacted in 2003 for taxpayers earning less than  $250,000 and the Clinton tax rates from 1993 for those earning more.

But it doesn’t matter what plan or combination of plans Obama was referring to.  The People are free to assess his actual economic plan, enacted by the Democratic Congress on the 21st day of his Administration.  We can now judge for ourselves whether this plan “worked,” and whether we’re willing to submit to the power of government being used to force the next Obama plan upon us.

Obama’s January 2009 message describing his audacious plan, the $860 billion “stimulus” or recovery act, is still here at Change.gov, the Administration’s transition website.  Here’s an excerpt:

I’ve taken the extraordinary step of working – even before I take office – with my economic team and leaders of both parties on an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan that will call for major investments to revive our economy, create jobs, and lay a solid foundation for future growth.

I asked my nominee for Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, Dr. Christina Romer, and the Vice President-Elect’s Chief Economic Adviser, Dr. Jared Bernstein, to conduct a rigorous analysis of this plan and come up with projections of how many jobs it will create – and what kind of jobs they will be.  Today, I am releasing a report of their findings so that the American people can see exactly what this plan will mean for their families, their communities, and our economy.

The report confirms that our plan will likely save or create three to four million jobs.

The report, still posted on the Change.gov website  here invoked Keynesian economic theories to explain how the now infamous “stimulus” or Recovery Act would cause increased economic growth and create millions of jobs.  It included projections – that looked like promises – of GDP growth and job creation. 

Those projections and the actual GDP and jobs results are displayed below in two charts so readers can decide for themselves if the Obama plan “worked.”  The first chart compares actual GDP with the projections in the report.

The second chart tracks the number of jobs compared to the projections in the report.

The conclusions from the data in these charts is obvious:  The American people were forced to submit to Obama’s plan.   It did not “work,”  and millions of us are suffering the consequences.  We’ll all suffer more consequences in the future when the debt must be repaid.

The media/academic/political gang that hyped the Obama plan back in 2009 has an excuse for it’s failure.  The plan didn’t spend enough, they say,  because the planners didn’t have enough information about how deep the recession was. 

But that excuse validates the philosophical case for liberty and a limited government with no power to ever force “economic plans” upon The People.   Government officials can never know enough about the present or the future to construct an intervention that somehow is exactly the right thing at exactly the right time with no unintended, negative consequences.   

The GDP statistics that were published July 27 were for April May and June.  Included were revisions to previous GDP statistics as far back as the second quarter of 2011.  Obama is currently promoting a “jobs bill” he sent to Congress in January.  If it became law today it wouldn’t be implemented until November or December.  If the promised millions of new jobs didn’t materialize the political-media establishment would offer the same excuse – not enough information at the time the plan was concocted.

Politicians rarely make the mistake of offering numerical values in writing, providing The People with measurement criteria to objectively compare real world results with extravagant political promises.  It happened in 2009 only because the President was arrogant and naive enough to believe his own hype.   But it appears that he has learned his lesson.  His campaign now offers only vague promises and emotional appeals with no verifiable numbers.

In a TV ad Obama calls the election a choice between two very different “plans.”  But “plan” is the wrong word.  This election will turn out to be a decisive battle between two very different philosophies.  Obama is the candidate of collectivism, government planning and government supervision of the citizens’ business and personal lives.  Romney is the candidate of individual liberty.  We can only hope the voters make the right choice.

2 Comments so far

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  2. Drew on July 31st, 2012

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