O'Malley got it right
by Sam Hanna, Jr. - posted Wednesday, September 5th, 2012 @ 5:11 pm
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley got one thing right Sunday in his appearance on CBS's Face the Nation.
When host Bob Schieffer asked O'Malley if the country was better off than it was four years ago, O'Malley said it wasn't. Instead of shouldering responsibility for President Obama's failed economic policies, the leader of the Democratic Governor's Association blamed former President George W. Bush for the ills that plague America today.
Memo to O'Malley: Bush is no longer around browbeating the Congress into approving economic policies advocated by a conservative Republican.
Yet, O'Malley's remarks on Face the Nation raise a few questions.
When will Obama realize the U.S. economy of 2012 belongs to him? The economy is his responsibility now, and its performance, good or bad, is directly impacted by decisions made by his administration, particularly actions taken during the first two years of Obama's presidency when Democrats controlled the U.S. House and Senate.
Weren't we told shortly after Obama took office in January 2009 that all the country needed was an economic stimulus package to jumpstart the economy? Did the Democrat-controlled Congress plow ahead and approve an almost $1 trillion spending plan that was sold as a cure-all for the economic problems that trouble us? Didn't Obama say that if the Congress approved his stimulus bill, the unemployment rate would never top 8 percent? Didn't he say that if the Congress went along with his economic plan, the unemployment rate would drop to 5 percent to 5.5 percent?
Now Obama would have us believe that it will take many years – possibly a decade -- for the economy to rebound from the fiscal crisis that surfaced in the financial markets in mid September 2008, less than two months before the presidential election in which then-Sen. Obama easily outdistanced the Republican nominee, Sen. John McCain of Arizona. And Obama and his minions like O'Malley still blame Bush for the state of the economy some three and a half years after he left office, or some 1,200 days ago.
It's important to note that Obama has no choice but to blame Bush, or anyone else for that matter, because everything he did to rekindle the economy has failed miserably thus far. It's especially important for Obama to point the finger with the Democratic National Convention taking place this week in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Think about it.
Think about it, but don't lose sight of the facts.
And the facts speak volumes.
The unemployment rate stood at 8.3 percent this week, but that figure does not include the underemployed and the men and women who quit looking for work because they couldn't find a job. In Bush's last month in office (December 2008), the unemployment rate was slightly more than 7 percent. The median income in America hovers around $46,000 today, down from almost $50,000 just five years ago. The average American family's net worth stands at roughly $80,000 today, down from more than $126,000 in 2008. The average equity a middle class family holds in its home stands at some $75,000 today, down from $110,000 five years ago.
Meanwhile, the economy is puttering along at a snail's pace, according to economists, who tell us we should expect a 1.5 percent to 2 percent growth on the economic front this year.
Those are the facts.
And any incumbent president in his right mind should never look the American people in the face and ask them, "Are you better off today than you were four years ago?"
Well, are you?
Sam Hanna, Jr. is publisher of The Ouachita Citizen, and he serves in an editorial/management capacity with The Concordia Sentinel and The Franklin Sun, three newspapers owned and operated by the Hanna family. Hanna can be reached by calling (318) 805-8158 or by emailing him at email@example.com.