Larry Elder: “Don’t Let Obama’s Scandals Distract From The Sluggish Economy”

Asserts the libertarian-conservative Republican commentator in California: “The recent Obama administration scandals shift the spotlight from the economy. Yet the recovery remains depressingly sluggish, with the labor force participation rate at a 34-year low as millions of able-bodied, able-minded Americans simply stopped looking for work. With President Obama in the fifth year of his presidency, let us examine the effect of the stimulus program, tax hikes, ObamaCare and additional regulation on the economy. It isn’t pretty.”

He continues his commentary: “For the richest Americans, their net worth has fully recovered. For the non-rich, the recovery tells a very different story. At the start of ‘recovery’ in 2009, the mean net worth of the lower 93% of households was $139,896. By the close of 2011 — the latest year available — it had fallen 4%, to $133,817. Food stamp usage sets new records. So far this fiscal year, more than 22 million households have received food stamps, up from less than 15 million in 2009. While the stock market has recovered, most Americans have not. The biggest investment for most Americans is their home and the equity in an average home remains 28% below its 2006 peak.”

More commentary from Mr. Elder: “Compared to five years ago, 8 million more people are no longer in the workforce today. Twenty-three million are underemployed, meaning people are working fewer hours than they would like or have accepted a job for which they are overqualified. The one silver lining is this: Obama’s left-wing collectivism is getting a full airing — and it is not working. Obama has inadvertently taught — or in some cases re-taught — one of the most important laws of economics: There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch. Not even in a rock-star administration.”