Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Cavalcade of Failure

"...the more the plans fail, the more the planners plan." --Ronald Reagan

When it comes to Barack Obama and the 111th Congress, where is the media summary of the Democrats' vast central-planning schemes and the results thereof? Where is the retrospective analysis?

That's a rhetorical question, drones. With that as context, please consider:

HOUSING Home Market Takes a Tumble, Wall Street Journal, 9 May 2011
Turnaround More Distant After 3% Drop, Steepest Quarterly Decline Since 2008

Home values posted the largest decline in the first quarter since late 2008, prompting many economists to push back their estimates of when the housing market will hit a bottom.

Home values fell 3% in the first quarter from the previous quarter and 1.1% in March from the previous month, pushed down by an abundance of foreclosed homes on the market, according to data to be released Monday by real-estate website Zillow.com. Prices have now fallen for 57 consecutive months, according to Zillow...

Last year, the housing market showed signs of improving as price depreciation slowed in some markets and stabilized in others. In response, a number of economists began forecasting that housing would hit a bottom in late 2011, then begin to recover. But the improvements, spurred by federal programs that gave buyers up to $8,000 in tax credits, proved fleeting. Sales collapsed when the credits expired last summer, and prices in many markets have been falling ever since.

While most economists expected sales to decline after tax credits expired, the drag on the market has been greater than many anticipated... Zillow estimates that more than 28% of borrowers owe more than their homes are worth nationally. Those numbers are much higher in hard-hit markets such as Phoenix, where more than two-thirds of borrowers owe more than their homes are worth.

AUTOS Used-car demand jumps, but the supply is down, Scripps News, 9 May 2011
Economic pressures of the last few years have pushed many consumers out of the new-car market in search of a cheaper alternative, good news for used-car dealers, if only they could find enough cars to sell.

But reduced production of new cars, federal incentive programs, exorbitant gasoline prices, natural disasters and other factors have conspired to reduce the supply of used cars on the market to a trickle and, as a result, drive prices through the roof...

"It's pretty crazy right now," said Tom Hughes, of San Bernardino, Calif., a used-car dealer for 27 years. "I've never seen anything like it." ... Hughes said prices and availability have never been this bad -- not by a long way. A car that would have cost $5,000 wholesale six months ago might cost $6,500 today, he said. And if it's a Toyota or a Honda, "it's insane"...

Joe Wiesenfelder, senior editor of Cars.com, said price increases have been the norm since the economy turned in 2008. It's all a matter of supply and demand, he said, but there are many factors at work... the federal Cash for Clunkers program that offered drivers incentives to trade in their old cars, removed nearly 700,000 used cars from the market...

ENERGY Washington vs. Energy Security, Wall Street Journal, 11 May 2011
Even former President Clinton calls the Obama administration's deep water drilling policy 'ridiculous.'

...In the year since the Deepwater Horizon spill, the Obama administration has put in place what is effectively a permanent moratorium on deep water drilling. It stretched out the approval process for some Gulf-region drilling permits to more than nine months, lengths that former President Bill Clinton has called "ridiculous."

...Then there's tax policy. Why, when gas prices are climbing, would any elected official call for new taxes on energy?...

...We won't achieve energy security by restricting our own companies from drilling or singling them out for punitive taxes. We're talking about an industry that provides millions of jobs and, for the foreseeable future, the power for our economic growth... [And] let's stop demonizing Big Oil to score political points. It does nothing to encourage the new talent, new ideas, and new entrepreneurs who are most likely to make breakthroughs in new sources of energy.

UNEMPLOYMENT Real Unemployment Hits 22%, ShadowStats.com, May 2011
The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment...

Of course, we've borrowed trillions of dollars to spend on a "Stimulus" program (trillions because it was built into subsequent baseline budgets), which Democrats promised would keep unemployment under 8%.

Housing. Automobiles. Energy. Unemployment.

President Obama and Congressional Democrats are utter and complete failures.

They are like King Midas in reverse. Everything they touch turns to crap.

They are ideologues, not economists. They are, by definition, economic illiterates. Nothing they've done has worked. Actually, everything they've tried has made things provably, measurably worse.

They are walking, talking clusters. Remember in 2012, before it's too late.


Zilla/MJ said...

Thank you, Doug for providing such explicit details of what complete and utter failures Obama and his fellow CRAPTASTICs have been. Trying to survive in this economy has been a living nightmare for my family. I hope we can get make it through the next couple of years.
I shared your post at that page I run at facebook.

Donald Douglas said...

Nice job!

Redneck Hayek said...

Good roundup Doug, hopefully this simple explanation of the Administration's abject econ-policy failure will find it's way to the opposition party which cannot seem to get the message to the public.
BTW I recall reading that every auto purchased thru the Cash for Clunkers cost the taxpayers~$30k and that's w/o the subsequent increase in the price of used autos.