Examiner Editorial: Time to admit that Obamanomics has failed 

It’s no coincidence that Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, announced her retirement the day before Friday’s brutal unemployment report. With another 131,000 jobs lost in July, and downward revisions of 97,000 for the previous two months, it’s easy to see why she would start looking for the exits.

Romer is best known for drafting the February 2009 report, “The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan,” which the White House used as an ammunition belt in the fight to gain passage of its $862 billion economic stimulus bill (the actual cost of which exceeds $1 trillion when interest is included).

Romer predicted that following passage of the stimulus bill, unemployment would plateau below 8 percent last fall and by this month register at 7 percent. That’s not close enough for government work, as unemployment stands at 9.5 percent today. It would be higher except that hundreds of thousands of frustrated job seekers have given up looking for new jobs and dropped out of the labor force. Predictably, the stimulus bill has proven to be an extraordinary waste of borrowed money that has failed to create jobs, generate new economic growth or do much of anything other than line the pockets of White House political allies. That and for giving $308 million in subsidies to BP before the Gulf oil spill disaster, and for subsidizing a study on what happens when monkeys snort cocaine.

As Romer fades back to her teaching post at Berkeley, President Barack Obama is adding to the economic misery by creating an environment of regulatory uncertainty. The Wall Street reform law Obama recently signed potentially requires 533 new regulations, 60 studies and 93 reports, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency has 29 active rule-makings, there are 100 new rules on the Labor Department’s agenda, and 26 at the Transportation Department. Add Obama’s determination to raise everybody’s taxes by allowing President George W. Bush’s cuts from 2001 and 2003 to expire on January 1, and it’s easy to see why banks, businesses, and consumers are hoarding trillions of dollars that could otherwise spur economic growth. And we haven’t even addressed the destructive impact on economic growth of Obama’s nationalization of major portions of the economy, including the banks, health care and the auto industry.

The economy is stalling, unemployment seems stuck at European levels of idleness, the federal deficit and the national debt are at historic highs, public confidence in Congress is at its lowest-ever level and big majorities of Mainstream Americans say Obama has the country on the wrong path. Obamanomics has failed miserably and it’s time for everybody in this town to admit it, so we can move on.

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