Wednesday, March 23, 2016

March, 2016, Part 2, By The Numbers: Bad Economic Management, Bad Immigration Management, and More

On a periodic basis we do some posts that fall under the theme of “by the numbers.” Rather than trust what the American political tells us about reality, we like to examine the real numbers and the real reality in the world to understand what is actually going on. Relying on politicians, and their cohorts in the media, to tell us what is reality is always a sucker bet. They have their own agendas and goals, usually centering around their needs and self-enrichment. So we need to look at the reality of the numbers to determine what is really going on.

Previous analyses of “by the numbers” can be accessed by entering the phrase in the search box above. This is the third and final post this month where we look at the numbers to truly find out how good, not likely, or bad, most likely, the American political class is doing in managing our tax dollars, protecting our freedoms, and resolving major issues that affect all of us. 

1) Although Obama might claim he did a great job managing the economy, Stephen Rowe, writing for the website, throws a lot of cold water on that false claim:
  • Americans receiving food assistance every month from the Federal government have exceeded 45 million for 56 straight months.
  • The latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that 45,188,655 Americans were receiving food assistance in December, 2015, down from 265,216 in November, 2015.
  • When food assistance tracking began in 1969, the average number of Americans in the program was just under 2.9 million. 
  • That 2.9 million has grown 1,470% since then even though the U.S. population since that time has grown nowhere near that fast.
  • Today, the food assistance Federal program costs American taxpayers $5.73 billion a month.
Either the food assistance program run by the Obama administration is the most corrupt and inefficient program ever or the economy still really stinks, the numbers show that something is foul in the food assistance program.

2) Obama also claims that his administration has done a great job in enforcing the nation’s immigration laws. This is an almost laughable claim, at least according to the numbers of illegal immigrants currently in the country. Paul Bedard, writing for the Washington Examiner on March 7, 2016, quantified the problem with his claim:
  • There is a record 61 million immigrants living in the U.S. today.
  • A whopping 25% of them, 15.7 million, are here illegally.
  • The 15.7 million estimate, this one from the Center For Immigration Studies, is one of the highest estimates ever.
  • Their analysis was based on researching the latest 2015 Census information.
  • Immigrants are now 18.9% of the nation’s total population, up from 6.6% in 1970.
  • Steven Camarota, the Center For immigration Studies, raises a very valid question and issue based on the latest immigration numbers: "These numbers raise profound questions that are seldom even asked: What number of immigrants can be assimilated? What is the absorption capacity of our schools, health care system, infrastructure, and labor market? What is the effect on the environment and quality of life from significantly increasing the nation's population density? "With 45 million legal immigrants and their young children already here, does it make sense to continue admitting more than one million new legal permanent immigrants every year?" 
  • In 1970, there was one immigrant for every 15 native Americans.
  • In 2015, there was one immigrant for every five native Americans.
This is what the immigration debate should be based on, 1) the number of illegal immigrants in the country and how to handle them and 2) is there a functional limit on how many more immigrants, legal and illegal, the country handle? 

3) Obama also likes to claim that he “saved” the country’s economy. He seems to forget or ignore a few basic numbers:
  • Over 14 million Americans who want full time work still cannot find it, settling for part time work or not able to find any work.
  • The labor participation rate has been lingering at 40 year lows, not good news.
  • Over 90 million adults are no longer in the labor force, record highs.
  • Household wages and income has been stagnant despite being years removed from the recession.
  • The unemployment rate of minorities and younger Americans continue to significantly exceed the unemployment rate of whites.
  • Annual national economic growth during the Obama recovery has not come close to the long term historical annual growth rates.
Now, his supporters often claim that the Obama and administration has created a lot of new jobs since the recession ended. But the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly results, for February, 2016, show how weak these created jobs are. The latest job creation numbers include the following results:
  • Mining -18,000
  • Manufacturing -16,000
  • Trucking -5,000
  • Finance +6,000
  • Leisure and hospitality +48,000
  • Retail trade +55,000
  • Education and health +86,000
Thus, higher paying jobs, e.g. mining, manufacturing, trucking, and even finance, show minimal or negative job growth in February. Lower paying jobs and industries, e.g. retail and leisure, saw much higher job growth. So even when Obama has good economic news it is bad economic news, according to the job numbers.

4) The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) recently put forth its latest view of the Federal government’s budgeting and debt performance and as always, it is not good as the Washington political and the Obama administration continue to spend like drunken sailors, adding trillions of dollars to the country’s debt burden:

  • The rate and cost of government spending, if not changed, will grow much faster than the overall economy, putting even more financial pressure on an ever growing national debt.
  • For example, Federal government spending will grow by 6% this year, almost three times faster than the overall economy.
  • A huge portion of this growth is solely due to Social Security payment increases as Baby Boomers retire.
  • Social Security is now on sixth of the entire Federal government’s mandatory spending budget, a massive wealth redistribution scheme from the young to the old.
  • The 2016 Federal budget is about $3.9 TRILLION, an incredible $11 billion a DAY!
  • The Federal deficit for 2016 is projected to be a whopping $544 billion. That is nearly 3 percent of GDP, making this the first time since 2009 that the deficit has risen in relation to the size of the economy.
  • Much like during the Obama administration, unless Washington changes the growth in spending trend, upwards of $10 TRILLION more dollars will be added to the national debt in the next ten years, assuming that the country does not go bankrupt long before then, a large probability.
  • This increase in annual deficits and national debt will drive the amount of debt held by the public to 86% of GDP within 10 years, the highest level since World War II:

  • Note how the debt percentage has skyrocketed since Obama came into office and proceeded to run up trillion dollar deficits for four years in a row.
Despite the government spending more and more every year, way beyond its means and revenue stream, the economy has staggered, food assistance levels are up to over 45 million a month, wages and household incomes have flatlined and job growth has been tepid and in the wrong kind of industries, the kind that do not provide solid middle class life styles.So as we have always said, we continue to add trillions of dollars to our national debt and have nothing to show for it in return except the every growing possibility of insolvency and financial collapse, the CBO numbers do not lie.Bad economic management,bad immigration management, and bad food assistance management. Bad, bad, bad, the numbers prove the point over and over. More numbers next month.

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