09.06.2012 0

Will America fire Obama?

The Debt StarBy Rick Manning — America is now officially 16 trillion dollars in debt.

No other country in the history of the world has ever been even close to 16 trillion dollars in debt, and $5.3 trillion of that debt has been rolled up since Obama took office a little more than 3 and a half years ago.  The toll of the debt is that almost 20 cents of every dollar taken in by the federal government is being paid to cover just the interest on that debt.

46.7 million Americans are on food stamps, another record broken.

Some believe that the number of people on food stamps is a sign of our national compassion, and in some ways it is.  The hard truth is that when almost 15 percent of your people require government assistance to be able to eat, either too many people are eligible for the program or your economic system is failing.

23.5 million American workers are either under or unemployed, and the weekly new unemployment insurance applications show no sign of hope that this number will improve any time soon.

Even the liberal media has had to debunk repeated claims from Obama surrogates that he has created 4.5 million jobs.  Bureau of Labor Statistics data actually shows that there are 316,000 fewer jobs today than when Obama took office, even though the working-age population has increased by almost nine million people.

Consumer confidence shrunk back to November 2011 levels.

Consumer confidence is a pre-cursor to consumer spending, and consumer confidence is down as Americans are increasingly pessimistic about the short-term economic future.  But to get a feel for how far consumer confidence is down, the Board which conducts this survey uses a baseline of how consumers felt in 1985 as the average or 100.  The current level of confidence is 60.6, significantly below the established norm.

September 7, 2012 is when the next unemployment report comes out from the government.

Immediately on the heels of the Democratic National Convention, this report and how it is reported will play a large role in dictating whether wavering Americans will be willing to give the failed Obama presidency another four years to get it right.

And that is what most people forget, but Clint Eastwood got it exactly right in his famous empty chair speech at the Republican convention, when he reminded us that if someone isn’t getting the job done, you have to fire them.  It is difficult to get voters to fire someone who they originally hired.

In fact, since FDR, only two presidents who faced general election voters asking for a second term have been turned out of office — Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush.  In both cases, the economy was either in deep recession or just coming out of it, and the voters lost confidence in the country’s direction and leadership.

Sounds ominous for the incumbent, but, add into this mix that ultimately U.S. elections come down to a very narrow group of late deciding voters.

The issues are set, 90 percent of the people’s minds are made up, but the election is decided by the 10 percent who don’t pay very close attention to politics, and tend to choose based upon how they feel about things in the weeks ahead of the actual vote.

The old saying that the election doesn’t really start until Labor Day has stayed in the lexicon because once summer is over, these swing voters begin to focus a little bit on politics.  And with many of these voters it is hard to fire someone who they viscerally like.

As incredible as it might seem, even with low confidence in the future, high unemployment, a choking national debt and no end in sight of our economic woes, the November election is likely to be decided by how a relatively few voters feel  when they watch the thirty second commercials for the two candidates and their debates.

Do they want to fire Obama, when they still like him personally, even as they don’t think he has done a very good job in office?

Rational?  No.  Realistic? Yes.

But this truth is imbued in our political process.  November’s election, with all of its importance, will be the ultimate test of whether Obama’s likeability can overcome his overseeing an economy that is failing largely due to his policies to gain him four more years.

Right now, the Magic 8 ball says, “future uncertain.”

Rick Manning is the Communications Director of Americans for Limited Government.

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