Archive for August 5th, 2011

We all know about the wretched failure of Obama’s stimulus, and we can update the chart showing that the joblessness rate is two-and-one-half percentage points higher than the White House claimed it would be at this point if we flushed $800 billion down the Washington rat-hole.

But we also should pay attention to the second Obama jobs disaster. This chart shows the employment-population ratio from the Department of Labor, and it reveals that the number of people participating in the labor force has fallen off a cliff since 2008.

The decline began during the big-government Bush years, so Obama does not deserve all the blame. But we can say that his policies have hindered the economy’s natural tendency to bounce back from a downturn.

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Before we get wrapped up in the next fiscal fights, it’s time to step back and give House Republicans a bit of love and affection.

While I criticize them for some tactical blunders and needless compromises, the most important thing is whether they are willing – when it counts – to vote for smaller government.

This is why the successful votes for the Ryan budget and the cut-cap-balance plan are very encouraging. Neither plan was perfect, but they both took big steps in the right direction.

And if there is a new Senate and new president after the 2012 elections, it is distinctly possible that GOPers might be willing to actually enact the policies needed to save America from becoming another failed, European-style welfare state.

I wrote a few months ago that all politicians are a combination of good and evil. During the Bush years, the devil on one shoulder completely dominated and Republicans unambiguously became part of the problem.

Now the angel on the other shoulder is having some success.

I’m sure I’ll be whining about GOP mistakes in the coming months, but the most important thing we need to focus on is whether they will take principled stands in 2013. So far, the answer is yes.

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