By Akash Chougule
The US economy slowed to a grinding halt in the first quarter of 2014. The Commerce Department recently announced that gross domestic product (GDP), the broadest measure of economic growth, was just 0.1 percent from January through March. This is well below the already-miniscule 1.1 percent economists had predicted for the period. It was the second-worst quarter since the “Recovery” began five years ago. The announcement is the latest indication that President Obama’s policies—and specifically his signature health care reform law—are strangling the economy.
The further along we get in implementation, we see the huge impact that Obamacare’s mandates, regulations, and tax increases have on the economy. It hurts investment, job creation, and economic growth. White House apologists responded to criticism with the laughable claim that increased health care spending has contributed to economic growth since Obamacare launched, even though Obamacare was actually supposed to cut health care costs, and the negative consequences have drastically outweighed its benefits.
Instead of trying something new, we see the President and his allies in Congress repeatedly come back to the same, old policies that have failed to resurrect the economy and get Americans back to work. On the same day this disappointing GDP statistic was revealed, the US Senate was considering legislation that would raise the minimum wage to $10.10. That disastrous idea would result in the loss of 500,000 jobs. It also comes shortly after campaign strategists warned Democrats to avoid talking about “economic recovery,” because it is a political loser for the left – because the nation is quickly realizing how liberal policies continue to fail the economy and struggling families. (Thankfully, the minimum wage increase proposal failed to advance.)
President Obama’s defenders claim that the harsh winter contributed to the slow growth. While bad weather may have contributed, GDP numbers are already seasonally adjusted for winter slowdowns, so the brutal conditions do not tell nearly the entire story. And while this quarter was especially bad, the entirety of the last five years has been completely lethargic. Obviously, the blame cannot be placed on the wrath of Mother Nature. But it can – and should – be placed on the policies of President Obama.
Meanwhile, it was also revealed today that China is poised to take over the United States as the world’s largest economy later this year. That change was originally expected to take place in 2019, but will likely happen this year thanks to the lackadaisical recovery.
Statistic after statistic is making it clear – President Obama’s policies are not working. The economy continues to sputter while the welfare state expands. Government cannot create prosperity, but as we are seeing, it can destroy it. Sadly, the current direction is hurting millions of Americans who want nothing more than the opportunity to create a better life for themselves and their families – a chance too many are not being given in the Obama economy.