By Mr. Curmudgeon:
On Wednesday, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis announced the fourth quarter of 2012 saw a contraction in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 0.1%, a drop that signals what may be the start of a double-dip recession. The Federal Reserve said the pause in economic activity was “in large part because of weather-related disruptions and other transitory factors.” The Obama administration, on the other hand, blamed the decline in GDP on the irrelevant, dead horses of the Republican Party. Both excuses, of course, are science fiction.
As a Congressional Budget Office fiscal cliff report released last October admitted, government spending accounts for 4% of U.S. GDP, which was 3.23% in 2012. Our “sluggish recovery” is starting to sputter as government spending drifts in new directions. According to CNN, “A large cut in federal spending, primarily on defense, was one of the biggest drags on growth. Defense spending contracted at a 22% annual rate.”
Of course, the purpose of defense spending is first and foremost to protect the nation and facilitate its projection of power to guard American lives and interests. Its residual benefit is the bolstering of America’s dying smokestack industries. If government spending creates demand, as economist John Maynard Keynes’ theory insists, the products produced by Obamanomics (a.k.a., Solyndra) aren’t attracting any buyers.
In other words, the shift in federal spending from high-tech defense to ObamaCare bureaucracy, food stamps and green-energy boondoggles is having its effect. America’s “military industrial complex” is being supplanted by Obama’s hope-and-change de-industrial nitwittery.
This shift was made manifest when Eric Holder’s Justice Department announced it filed suit to block the Anheuser-Busch $20.1 billion acquisition of Grupo Modelo, maker of the satisfying Mexican inebriant Corona beer. According to the government, the merger “would result in less competition and higher beer prices for American consumers.” And who says the left doesn’t give a fig about José Sixpack.
In reality, the merger would have expanded Grupo Modelo’s operation in the growing beer-guzzling market south of the border and allowed Anheuser to export their fermented goodies globally; creating what is sorely missing in our Obama economy – jobs.
So, the question we have to ask ourselves is: Who is the greatest enemy of the American consumer, Anheuser-Bush or Washington? After all, Obama’s anti-oil industry policies, the Federal Reserve’s destruction of the dollar through endless rounds of quantitative easing, drive up fuel costs while devaluing the dollar. According to an arm (tentacle) of the very government that is killing us (the U.S. Department of Agriculture), energy and transportation costs add at least 8.2 cents for every dollar spent on food.
Who, then, do we see about suing the idiots in Washington who limit business competition by destroying all hope of future economic growth through a ballooning debt, high taxation and the devaluation of the dollar? It’s more likely Holder would confess to his wrongdoing in Operation Fast and Furious than lift a finger to protect American consumers against Washington’s master planners.
Another sign of the twisted perceptions so indicative of the Age of Obama was a Reuter’s report that happily declared, “Employers announced 32,556 job cuts last month,” heralding this achievement as “the lowest since 1997.” Meanwhile, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that, when added together, unemployed and underemployed Americans represent 14.4% of our population.
A day after Washington announced the drop in U.S. GDP, the White House said the president was disbanding his “shovel-ready” jobs council. A White House official told the Associated Press that “the president always intended for the council to fulfill its mission and then wind down.” The AP did not mention if the Obama administration official used a ready shovel to dispense that mountain of bull.
At any rate … Mission Accomplished!
I guess we should just follow the mainstream media’s lead by putting as positive a spin on all the economic misery unleashed by Obama’s Washington as possible. Like the late comedian Slappy White who said, when you’re unemployed, “… The minute you wake up in the morning … you’re on the job.” That’s the spirit!