Myths of the Economy?
For many Americans, the economy is still not doing very well. Unemployment is higher than it should be and people are still facing serious concerns regarding their pay, job security, and finances.
The Obama administration has been blamed for many of the woes. This is, of course, a great American tradition. Part of this blame is fair. After all, the actions of the President certainly have some impact on the economy. However, blame should only be placed where it is deserved. Interestingly, some of what Obama is being blamed for is not actually his fault. However, the blame is placed on the basis of what can be best described as myths.
The first myth is that Obama is to blame for the loss of oil related jobs. While this does seem plausible because of the ban imposed after the BP rig blew up, it does seem to be a myth. According to the White House, 2 out of three oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico are not being utilized. As such, it seems more reasonable to blame the companies who are electing not to exploit those leases. Also, there is the fact that the number of active oil rigs is now higher than during the Bush administration. If these claims are true, then it would seem that the idea that Obama is holding back big oil is not true.
The second myth is that Obama is somehow holding back hiring in some manner, perhaps by his assertion that he wants to let the Bush tax cuts expire for the wealthy. However, the wealthy have enjoyed these benefits throughout the course of the economic mess and the impact on employment seems to be rather clear. There is also the fact that corporations are, in general, doing amazing well. However, while many of them are “rewarding” their top people with bonuses, they are (with the notable exception of McDonald’s) not very inclined to hire people. This clearly is not due to a lack of money (as noted above, it has been a good year for corporations and their top people) and seems best explained in terms of corporate strategy rather than as an act of Obama.
Of course, the impact of the deficit on the economy is no myth and Obama (and congress) have to bear some of the blame for this. Until they show the political will needed to do what must be done, the economy will continue to be impacted by the deficit. That said, one reason why they need to have the will is because we make it hard for them to cut entitlements. As such, they have to be willing to stand up to us to do what must be done.