While I was away* several people asked me how long I thought President Obama would ride his Obamacare victory at the Supreme Court. My answer: Until the next bad economic news comes out.
Which turned out to be Friday’s jobs report.
The government reported just 80,000 net jobs created in June and an unemployment rate holding steady at 8.2 percent. That means the second quarter was the worst for job creation in two years and represented three more months in which job creation didn’t even keep pace with population growth. If labor-force participation was at the same level it was when Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be a dismal 10.9 percent — almost double what the Obama administration predicted for June 2012 with its “stimulus” package passed. As it is, our 41-month streak of more than 8 percent joblessness — covering Obama’s entire presidency — is the longest since the Great Depression.
This chart from economist Greg Mankiw’s blog tells the story:
The percentage of Americans with jobs has essentially been flat for almost three years.
We can count on the president to keep telling us it’s all George Bush’s fault, but that tale is getting stale and yielding diminishing returns. A new poll by The Hill found that, while two-thirds of likely voters say Obama has transformed America, a majority say he’s changed the country for the worse. That is: Bush didn’t leave him with a good situation, but Obama has made the worst of it, not the best. Amazingly, even 1 in 5 Democrats agrees with that sentiment.
As I’ve said before, these realities are the reason Mitt Romney is running circles around Obama when it comes to fund-raising — outdoing the president by about 50 percent last month. And they’re the reason Obama is left to ask voters to judge Romney by the content of his character bank accounts.
*I scheduled a Fourth of July post to go out early Wednesday morning and explain that I’d be off until today, but the WordPress gremlins didn’t let it out of the cage and I didn’t have a chance to check until the Fifth. I hope everyone had a happy Independence Day regardless.
Also: Note that, while comments are no longer being moderated, I will be publishing a separate post on the topic of blog commenting, and how I intend for it to proceed, later today.
– By Kyle Wingfield