Speaking at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton in September, President Obama touted his economic record with these lines: “More Americans are working. More have health insurance. Incomes are rising. Poverty is falling. And gas is $2 a gallon.”
First of all, the economic numbers he’s bragging about are absolute smoke and mirrors.
In November, Bernie Sanders told a crowd that Obama might be touting an unemployment rate of 5% or less, but that he could only claim that number when part-time jobs were counted the same as full-time jobs. According to Sanders, the real unemployment rate is over 9%.
Counting part-time jobs as jobs in determining the so-called “unemployment rate” is just part of how the Obama administration changed the measuring stick to make the job market look a lot better than it actually is. The Obama administration also decided that people who gave up looking for work or hadn’t found work in a certain amount of time (mere months) would not be factored in to how the rate is determined. In this way, unlike any other president, Obama’s “unemployment” formulation not only hides the long-term unemployed, but gets to count part-time jobs the same as full-time jobs. He gets to remove the negatives and count never-before used stats as positives in order to make the unemployment rate look significantly better than it actually is. If we are being unbiased, isn’t that just silly? Isn’t it insulting that he would think we would fall for that so easily?
It’s like me telling you that I’ve lost weight because I decided not to count the pounds I gained over the holidays. Did I really lose weight at all? No!
But Obama’s fake unemployment rate can’t hide the record 94,708,000 people who aren’t even in the work force. That’s where you’ll find those unemployed people Obama doesn’t want to count anymore.
His mention of gas prices is possibly even more interesting. In September when Obama bragged about gas prices, the national average was right around $2.00. At the moment the national average is $2.22.
There are two major issues with Obama taking credit for low gas prices.
First of all, he didn’t do anything to cause gas prices to go down. Gas prices are set by global supply and demand. Supply has, for the most part been high due to oil being cheaper to obtain because of a modern technique called fracking that can get oil from a source previously thought to be drilled dry.
A president can, however, make gas prices go up by working with Congress to add more taxes on gas.
This brings us to the second point, and that is that Obama said he wanted gas to be $5.00 per gallon. Watch below:
Obama wanted a “gradual adjustment” to higher gas prices and responded as such when the interviewer referenced $5.00 gas.
Obama thinks we use too much gas and that it should be much more expensive so that we use less. But the House and Senate wouldn’t even consider something as unpopular with the people as more tax on gas when the taxes on gas already make more for the government than the oil companies profit.
So gas prices didn’t go up like Obama wanted. But he might as well take credit for the cheap prices since that is popular with the people. He failed to do what he wanted, which was to make gas prices higher, so he’ll call for applause for his failure. Talk about opportunistic! Maybe the better word is hypocritical.