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Stuck In The Mud

- May 4, 2011

Obama’s Economic  Policies Have Left The Nation’s Economy Sputtering On Several Fronts

 GAS PRICES ARE SURGING 

The National Average For Regular Gas Is $3.98. (“Daily Fuel Gauge Report,” AAA, Accessed 5/4/11)

Gasoline Prices Have Doubled Since Obama Took Office. “Feeling pain at the pump? Gas prices have doubled since Mr. Obama took office.” (James S. Robbins, “Gasoline Up 100% Under Obama,” The Washington Times’ “Water Cooler” Blog, 3/30/11)

  • Gas Price Hikes Are “Relentless.” “The relentless rise in retail gasoline prices continued over the last week, the U.S. Energy Department said, with some analysts predicting that fuel prices could test record highs.” (Ronald D. White, “Gasoline Prices Climb In California And The Nation,” Los Angeles Times4/19/11)

71 Percent Of Americans Say The Rise In Gas Prices Caused Financial Hardship For Them And Their Families. (Washington Post/ABC News Poll, 1001 A, MoE 3.5%,4/14-17/11)

Five Dollar A Gallon Gas Could “Tip The Nation Back Into Recession.” “If gas were to go to $5 a gallon and stay there, some analysts believe, it could erase the steady gains the economy is making and tip the nation back into recession because Americans would sharply curtail their spending elsewhere.” (Michelle R. Smith, “No Break This Spring At The Gas Pump,” The Associated Press4/21/11)

AMERICANS’ CONFIDENCE IN THE ECONOMY HAS HIT A NEW LOW 

Approval Of President Obama's Handling Of The Economy Hit An All-Time Low In A CBS/New York Times Poll Released Wednesday.” (Michael O’Brien, “Poll: Obama Gets Big Bounce, But Handling Of Economy At All-Time Low,” The Hill’s “Briefing Room” Blog, 5/4/11)

  • “Just 34 Percent Of Americans Said In The CBS/Times Poll That They Approved Of The Way Obama Was Handling The Economy, The Lowest Point Since He Took Office.” (Michael O’Brien, “Poll: Obama Gets Big Bounce, But Handling Of Economy At All-Time Low,” The Hill’s “Briefing Room” Blog, 5/4/11)

57 Percent Of Americans Disapprove Of Obama’s Handling Of The Economy. (Washington Post/ABC News Poll, 1001 A, MoE 3.5%,4/14-17/11)

A New Weekly Low In Economic Confidence. “Gallup's Economic Confidence Index dropped to -39 in the week ending April 24 -- a new weekly low for 2011.” (Dennis Jacobe, “Americans' Economic Confidence Declines Further,” Gallup4/26/11)

70 Percent Of Americans Think The Country Is On The Wrong Track. (New York Times/CBS News Poll, 1224A, MoE 3%, 4/15-20/11)

“Americans' Economic Confidence Declines Further.” (Dennis Jacobe, “Americans' Economic Confidence Declines Further,” Gallup4/26/11)

“Nearly Half Of Americans Rated Current Economic Conditions ‘Poor’ During The Week Ending April 24 -- The Highest Level Of Negativity On This Measure So Far This Year.” (Dennis Jacobe, “Americans' Economic Confidence Declines Further,” Gallup4/26/11)

Americans Have “Good Reason” For The Drop In Confidence. “Americans may have good reason to be less confident now than they were earlier this year.” (Dennis Jacobe, “Americans' Economic Confidence Declines Further,” Gallup4/26/11)

  • “Gas Prices Are Surging And Are Approaching The 2008 Record High Of $4.11 A Gallon.” (Dennis Jacobe, “Americans' Economic Confidence Declines Further,” Gallup4/26/11)
  • “Food Prices Are Also Surging, And Jobs Remain A Major Economic Problem.” (Dennis Jacobe, “Americans' Economic Confidence Declines Further,” Gallup4/26/11)

Almost 80 Percent Of Economists Are “Less Optimistic” About The Economy Than They Were A Few Months Ago. “Nearly eight in 10 economists say they’re less optimistic about the nation's economic outlook this year than they were three months ago and most call high energy prices the biggest threat to the recovery, according to a USA TODAY survey.”(Paul Davidson and Barbara Hansen, “Economic See Less-Positive Outlook As Consumers Face Energy-Price Squeeze,” USA Today4/25/11)

  • Mostly Because Of Higher Gas Prices. “Most of the 38 economists who reduced their estimates pointed to higher oil and gasoline prices primarily, as well as rising food and other commodity costs.” (Paul Davidson and Barbara Hansen, “Economic See Less-Positive Outlook As Consumers Face Energy-Price Squeeze,” USA Today4/25/11)

ECONOMIC GROWTH HAS “BRAKED SHARPLY” WHILE INFLATION HAS SURGED 

Economic Growth Slows, Inflation Surges.” (Lucia Mutikani, “Economic Growth Slows, Inflation Surges,” Reuters4/28/11)

Economic Growth Braked Sharply In The First Quarter As Higher Food And Gasoline Prices Dampened Consumer Spending And Sent Inflation Rising At Its Fastest Pace In 2-1/2 Years.” (Lucia Mutikani, “Economic Growth Slows, Inflation Surges,” Reuters4/28/11)

  • “Growth Was Disappointing,” “‘Growth was disappointing given the momentum of the economy heading into the year. We are still of the belief that the economy will improve out of the soft patch through this quarter into the second half of the year,’ said Brian Levitt, an economist at OppenheimerFunds in New York.” (Lucia Mutikani, “Economic Growth Slows, Inflation Surges,” Reuters4/28/11)
  • Thanks In Part Due To “A Sharp Pull Back In Consumer Spending.” “Growth in the first quarter was curtailed by a sharp pull back in consumer spending, which expanded at a rate of 2.7 percent after a strong 4 percent rise in the fourth quarter.” (Lucia Mutikani, “Economic Growth Slows, Inflation Surges,” Reuters4/28/11)

The Week’s Economic News Kept The Dollar Near A Three-Year Low. “Prices for U.S. government debt rose after the data, while stocks edged lower. The weak GDP report and the Federal Reserve's stated commitment to a loose monetary policy stance after a two-day meeting on Wednesday kept the dollar near a three-year low against a basket of currencies.” (Lucia Mutikani, “Economic Growth Slows, Inflation Surges,” Reuters4/28/11)

THE HOUSING MARKET CONTINUES TO WEAKEN

“Home Prices Near ‘Double Dip.’” (Les Christie, “Home Prices Near ‘Double Dip,’” CNN4/26/11)

Home Prices In February Sank 3.3% To Just Above The Post-Crisis Lows Reached In April 2009. It Was The Eighth Straight Month Of Declines.” (Les Christie, “Home Prices Near ‘Double Dip,’” CNN4/26/11)

“‘There Is Very Little, If Any, Good News About Housing,’ Said David Blitzer, Spokesman For S&P. ‘Prices Continue To Weaken, Trends In Sales And Construction Are Disappointing.’” (Les Christie, “Home Prices Near ‘Double Dip,’” CNN4/26/11) 

AMERICANS ARE “RUNNING OUT OF MONEY”

American Consumers “Are Running Out Of Money Much Faster Than A Year Ago Due To Rising Gasoline Prices.” “Wal-Mart's core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday.” (Parija Kavilanz, “Wal-Mart: Our Shoppers Are 'Running Out Of Money.'” CNN Money4/27/11)

  • ‘Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year,’ Duke said. ‘This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern.’” (Parija Kavilanz, “Wal-Mart: Our Shoppers Are 'Running Out Of Money.'” CNN Money4/27/11)
  • “Duke Said He's Not Seeing Signs Of A Recovery Yet.” (Parija Kavilanz, “Wal-Mart: Our Shoppers Are 'Running Out Of Money.'” CNN Money4/27/11)

AND ARE STILL NOT WORKING

Applications For Unemployment Benefits Jumped 25,000 To A Seasonally Adjusted 429,000 For The Week Ending April 23, The Labor Department Said Thursday. That's The Highest Total Since Late January.” (Christopher S. Rugaber, “More People Applied For Unemployment Benefits,” The Associated Press, 4/28/11)

8.2 Million People Received Unemployment Benefits In The First Week Of April. “More than 3.6 million people are receiving unemployment benefits from regular state unemployment programs. Millions more are receiving aid under emergency programs put in place by Congress during the recession. All told, 8.2 million people obtained unemployment benefits in the week ended April 9, the latest data available.” (Christopher S. Rugaber, “More People Applied For Unemployment Benefits,” The Associated Press, 4/28/11)

Under Obama’s Presidency, The Unemployment Rate Has Remained Above 8 Percent For 26 Straight Months. (Bureau Of Labor Statistics Website, www.bls.gov, Accessed 4/1/11)

Black Unemployment At Depression Level Highs In Some Cities.” (Janell Ross, “Black Unemployment At Depression Level Highs In Some Cities,” The Huffington Post4/27/11)

  • “Only 12 Percent Of All Americans Are Black, But Working-Age Black Americans Comprise Nearly 21 Percent Of The Nation’s Unemployed, According To Federal Data.” (Janell Ross, “Black Unemployment At Depression Level Highs In Some Cities,” The Huffington Post4/27/11)

“Bernanke Said The Fed Can't Take Further Steps To Try To Reduce Unemployment Without Risking Higher Inflation.” (Christopher S. Rugaber, “More People Applied For Unemployment Benefits,” The Associated Press, 4/28/11)


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