Ever have a nightmare where you’re falling, and everything happens in super slow-mo?
Where you have time to think “How did I ever get myself INTO this mess?”, or ”Why didn’t I do (insert alternate decision here) instead?”
Well, I feel the same way right now, and I dearly wish I was dreaming.
Real gross domestic product (GDP) — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — decreased at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 (that is, from the third quarter to the fourth quarter), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.
For you math-challenged folks out there, negative growth is “bad”.
So in addition to a shrinking GDP, four years of Obamanomics has resulted in our incomprehensibly high current debt, as well as an Unemployment rate currently hovering at 7.8%, or exactly what it was when Obama came INTO office 4 years ago.
That’s one heck of a report card.
Now call me a naysayer but this is hardly “unexpected”, the New York Times’ headline to the contrary. Since the beginning of Obama’s first term, Conservatives have been warning of the logical repercussions of out-of-control spending by this administration. This all came to a head during the Fiscal Cliff negotiations, when this excellent piece appeared over at PJMedia titled “Math Is Coming” :
“Politicians have long ignored Math. And it’s no wonder: Math is unelected, unsympathetic, and highly biased toward the rich and keeps demanding cuts to spending and changes to entitlements that are politically unfeasible In a nation filled with obese poor people, we’ve discovered a long list of things everyone should be entitled to besides food, clothing, and shelter — things people need, like subsidized hybrids — but heartless, uncompromising Math keeps looking at our revenue and telling us we can’t have all of that.
Thus Obama wants Math locked completely out of the fiscal cliff talks and instead wants unlimited power to raise the debt ceiling and then tax the rich because of the demands of Fairness — Fairness being the left’s favorite imaginary friend.
Math won’t stop laughing at Obama’s plan to pay for everything by taxing the rich, so Obama just won’t work with it at all.”
Or to put it another way, listen to CNBC’s Rick Santelli:
Quite so. Add in the recent tax hikes we’re going to experience this year, plus Obama’s continued attacks on energy production & healthcare, and it’s entirely possible we could look back at our current dire straits as “the good ol’ days”.
Shrinking GDP is a symptom of our problem, but our spending is the culprit. Even as we discuss growth (either positive or negative), we are wont to forget Social Security benefits are linked to income growth. Thus, higher growth equals higher benefits paid. Additionally, our nation’s Healthcare costs are still rising at a rate faster than our current average GDP growth.
All of which means that neither ‘growing’ the economy or taxing the rich will allow us to ever catch-up to our debt. Negative GDP growth just makes our inevitable day of reckoning get here that much sooner.
We (and by ‘we’, I mean the Federal Government) need to slash spending now, and start to live within our means. Santelli’s last statement is mathematically inarguable:
“Why do we need to reduce spending?” Santelli asked. “Because we run trillion-dollar deficits, for crying out loud.”
And until we fix that, our nation’s economy will continue to fall…and we won’t wake up safe-&-sound in our beds when it’s over, either.