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Guest Column: How much does Obama affect the economy?
By Jane Carrell
Coordinator, Northern IL Tea Party
Anyone with any knowledge of economies and markets knows U.S. presidents may promise they can create jobs and unleash economies, but that’s not really true. The economy and employment depend on billions of daily decisions made by investors, consumers (purchasers), employers, boards of directors, government regulators, job seekers, banks, etc.
Yet, the effect of the person in the White House and the party in charge of either house of Congress will be felt. President Barack Obama promised “fundamental change” when he took office. Did the change produce positive outcomes in the economy?
• A presidential order put a six-month stop to issuance of deep-water drilling permits after the BP oil spill in the Gulf. Two hundred thousand jobs hang on Gulf region drilling operations. A Florida judge ruled the order unconstitutional in June 2010, yet the agency charged did not issue its first drilling permit until March 2011.
• The president will wait until after the election to decide if the Keystone XL oil pipeline may proceed through Western states, to the joy of his environmentalist base. Canada would be a source of oil for Texas refineries, lessening our dependence on foreign oil. More than 20,000 high-paying jobs will wait for a State Department decision on alternate routes.
• The administration’s appointees in the Energy Department gave a $500 billion loan, against advice of experienced Energy Department staff, to Solyndra, a solar panel company whose investors were bundlers of Obama campaign contributions. The loan was renegotiated shortly before bankruptcy was declared, such that the taxpayer has last claim on company assets — Obama-friendly investors have first claim.
• Obamacare turns out to be the biggest job-killer of all. Section 3022 of the law, about the Medicare shared savings program, takes up just six pages in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But the Department of Health and Human Services wrote 429 pages of new regulations on those six pages. Rather than hiring workers, companies must hire lawyers to avoid government fines.
• Large employers, including AT&T, John Deere and Verizon are making plans to drop employee health plans, incurring the far less-costly $2,000 fine per employee rather than maintain the expensive, all-inclusive plan mandated by Obamacare. Much cheaper “major medical” plans become illegal in 2014, when Obamacare is in full effect. Young insured are most affected. See the John Goodman blog, “It’s Official: 51 percent Won’t Be Able to Stay in Their Employer Health Plan.”
• Has the Obama administration’s 21 percent increase in the growth of government done you any good? Unless you’re a bundler for contributions for his campaign, or a newly-hired federal regulation writer, I seriously doubt it.
• Finally, closer to home, Illinois faces the loss of a 6,100-person employer, with 9,000 ancillary jobs at risk, as the state of Ohio woos Sears. The massive corporate and personal tax rate increases passed in January by the Democrat-dominated Illinois General Assembly are having the result opponents predicted.
The only thing growing in this economy is government spending, supposedly to spur economic growth in the private sector (and to regulate all these nasty businesses). Face it, people, we were sold a bill of goods in 2008. The mainstream media did you no favors in their anything-but-investigative journalism on candidate Obama. Has his promise of “working with both sides of the aisle’” borne fruit? Are you happy paying for Obama campaign stops disguised as “official events”?
Six months ago, I thought the bleak news on the economy would be sufficient to make Obama a one-term president. Now, I am less sure. There’s enough Kool-Aid to drink for those who believe the president only “needs more time” for the “fundamental transformation” to bring America the utopia he promised. Wake up and smell the coffee, America! This is “gangsta’ government” at its finest. Whom you elect in 2012 will matter. The Northern IL Tea Party meets at 6:30 p.m., Dec. 15, at 1315 N. Blackhawk, the Rockton Township offices.
Roscoe, Ill., resident Jane Carrell is coordinator of the Northern IL Tea Party. She can be reached at jane@teaparty-NIL.com.
From the Dec. 14-20, 2011, issue