That hissing and thud you heard just now was the hot air leaving conservatives’ mouths as they dropped the floor in shock. Despite telling us how terrible President Obama’s economic policies are for the country, the second quarter of 2013 saw a sharp increase in the growth of our gross domestic product, or GDP.
Experts had predicted second quarter growth would limp along again at an anemic 1% clip, but the data actually shows a much higher 1.7% growth rate — nearly double — and that will surely have the right-wingers scrambling for explanations. I expect to hear shouts of “cooked books” and screams of “he’s printing money!” It’s just like in 1998 when the economy was starting to recover, but Newt and the Republicans didn’t want to face the music so they focused on President Clinton’s sexual alliances instead.
Granted, 1.7% is still nearly half a percentage point lower than we need it to be at a minimum, but as always under the Obama Administration, you have to wonder what our economy would like if the Tea Party hadn’t yanked the hand brake on our recovery by practicing obstructionism for the last three years or so. They like to cry about the stimulus not doing anything, but the fact is that when Obama took office the GDP was plunging downward at an alarming rate because the economy was in a total free fall. Just look at this chart below, and note that Obama took office in 2009, and from around that time, when the stimulus was passed, you can see that the economy has grown slowly but steadily since.
That massive dip is The Great Recession. The massive bend upward is the result of all the efforts of Obama’s first term — saving GM, passing the stimulus, adjusting student loan rates. All of that work, all of that slow and painful work was done without raising taxes on the top earners. All of that was done before we cut over two trillion dollars from our deficit. All of that was before we posted a record June budget surplus last month. Yes it’s true that we still have one hell of a long way to go, and that the jobs that are being added aren’t full-time jobs for the most part, but just this year we have made those strides that should further bolster our jobs growth.
I just keep wondering at what point the scales will be tipped and Americans will start feeling that the economy is recovering. Home prices are starting to come back up as well, and considering that’s where the middle class derives much of its net worth from, that’s another good sign. Perhaps as people’s home values start climbing we’ll see some of that confidence come back. Perhaps as Obamacare is rolled out and the country’s health care system doesn’t fall apart, that’ll be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, but something has got to give. At some point the blinders will drop when the economic indicators are such that it really can no longer be denied by anyone that it’s Republican recalcitrance in Congress that’s most impeding our recovery.
Estimates are that the sequester has cost us about a million and a half jobs. The sequester only happened because Republicans saw it as their easiest path to further government spending cuts. The cuts are ham-handed and stupid, and you have to wonder how over a million more jobs would impact GDP growth as well. Clearly the wheels keep falling off the Republican argument that Democratic fiscal policies are bad for the country, but are they falling off fast enough to make a difference in 2014? That remains to be seen.
One thing’s for certain though. President Obama is truly the worst secret Communist ever. If his job was to kill American capitalism, he’s gone about it in a really counter-productive way…what with all this consistent growth since he took office and all.