Former President Clinton, in Ohio, yesterday:
Governor Romney’s argument is ‘we’re not fixed, so fire [President Obama] and put me in.’ It is true, we’re not fixed.
Clinton probably doesn’t know how right he is.
1. U.S. publicly held debt as a share of GDP was 41% in 2008. It is projected to be 76% next year — and more or less stay at that historically high level for another decade under the most recent Obama budget. Then it really gets bad.
2. During the more than three-year Obama recovery, we’ve recovered only 4.8 million private-sector jobs of the 8.9 million lost during the Great Recession. During the Reagan recovery, it took just a year to recover all the lost jobs.
3. At the current pace of job creation the past two years — and assuming labor force participation stays constant — the economy won’t return to the Bush low of 4.4% unemployment for 9 more years.
4. The current level of private sector jobs remains nearly 13 million below where it would be if the labor market was back to normal and creating jobs at what economists call a “trend recovery.” Lots of catch up still to be done.
5. The output gap — the difference between where the economy would be if it was recovering normally (the blue line below) and where it actually is (the red line) — remains wide:
6. The United States now ranks 7th in the World Economic Forum competitiveness rankings out of 144 nations. It was 1st back in 2008.
7. There are fewer new firms being formed today than two years ago when the recession ended, according to a Hudson Institute study. In fact, the rate of startup jobs during 2010 and 2011 — years in which the economy was technically in full recovery — are the lowest on record.
8. Real average hourly earnings fell 0.2%, seasonally adjusted, from September 2011 to September 2012, according to the Labor Department.
9. Too Big To Fail still exists despite Dodd Frank, as evidenced by the cost-of-funding advantage big banks hold over small banks. In fact, the borrowing edge is virtually the same as it was four years ago.
10. Median household income has fallen 5% on an inflation- adjusted basis since the recession ended in June 2009, according an analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by Sentier Research. That’s more than the 3% drop during the Great Recession itself.
11. When Obama took office, the U.S. had a fiscally unsustainable safety net, uncompetitive tax system, and an anti-innovation immigration policy. All are still true today.
So, yeah, I guess you could say, we’re “not fixed.” Excellent analysis, Mr. President.