Has The GOP House Made A Difference?
President Obama has now been in office for 3 years and 3 months, and economically speaking it has not been a productive period. In fact it has been rather abysmal but it seems it could be much worse were it not for the Republicans gaining the majority in the House in January 2011.
Based on data from the Office of the Public Debt, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Bureau of Economic Analysis and using January 2009 as a baseline, the following chart depicts the percentage of change in four key economic indicators for Obama’s entire term to date.
On a whole it’s not a pretty picture with a gallon of unleaded regular gas up 116.5%, the total debt up 46.6%, GDP up 11.3% and total private jobs up only 0.5%. But the question is could it be worse and the answer seems to be yes, and considerably so.
Looking at the same indicators for the first two years of Obama’s presidency with a Democratic controlled House and Senate, the percentage changes are shown below.
With the Democrats in the majority in both chambers, a gallon of unleaded regular gas was up 67.0%, the total debt was up 31.9%, GDP was up 6.2% and total private jobs were down 0.5%.
I’ll accept a portion of these numbers were affected by the financial services market upheaval in 2008 but the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 pumped $787 billion into the economy. On a whole I’ll call that a wash and certainly the second year is all on Obama and the liberal Keynesian economists from whom he was taking his direction.
Looking at the last five quarters from January 2011 to March 2012 the same indicator percentage changes are still not pretty but are clearly better.
With a Republican majority in the House and using January 2011 as the baseline, a gallon of unleaded regular gas is up 25.1%, the total debt is up 10.3%, GDP is up 4.0% and total private jobs are up 3.2%. Not a robust recovery by any stretch but certainly a trend toward a better picture and maybe one that would be even better if the Democratic controlled Senate was not inert.
There are currently 17 regulation reduction and job creation bills, and 6 domestic energy production bills stalled in the Senate with little indication they will move anytime soon. Certainly not guaranteed, but it’s not hard to imagine what this chart could look like with just a portion of that legislation passed by the Senate and signed into law by President Obama.
It would seem it is time to move “forward” with a change in the Senate majority and the White House.