On Friday, we took a look at the battle for control of the United States Senate, noting that Republicans, who once had high-hopes to gain a majority in that chamber, are very likely to fall short at the polls tomorrow. Their struggles to take control of the Senate can really be highlighted by races in Indiana and Missouri, where the Republican nominees have struggled after making controversial comments about abortion and rape.
Todd Akin’s misstep in Missouri, where he is likely to lose to Sen. Claire McCaskill, who was thought to be the most vulnerable Democrat in the Senate, has been well documented. More recently, however, are Richard Mourdock’s troubles in Indiana.
With the monthly jobs report for October — the last before the presidential election — due on Friday, there are signs that President Barack Obama’s team is lowering expectations. Over at Hot Air, Ed Morrissey notes an exchange between George Stephanopoulos and Austan Goolsbee, a former chief economic adviser to President Obama, that took place on Sunday (emphasis mine):
NRO’s Eliana Johnson picked up on an interesting moment during yesterday’s This Week on ABC. George Stephanopoulos asked former Obama administration economist Austan Goolsbee about the political impact of the jobs report coming up this Friday, just four days before most voters cast their ballots. Goolsbee notes that only “unbelievable outliers … crack through the shell” of the electorate’s consciousness for a single-month’s report. Goolsbee then admits that last month’s jobs report was “artificially too optimistic” — an “unbelievable outlier,” in other words.
So why admit that now? Well, that “unbelievable outlier” is likely to get corrected in this month’s household survey, and that will drive the jobless rate up. Goolsbee argues, in other words, that a jump in the jobless rate won’t impact voter psyche because voters already know the economy is improving regardless of these “unbelievable outliers”
On Friday, the Commerce Department released economic growth statistics for the third quarter of this year. Anyone hoping that the United States was seeing movement towards a quicker economic recover was no doubt disappointed at the tepid 2% growth reported:
Growth in the July-September quarter climbed slightly but was still too weak to stir significantly more hiring. The pace of expansion rose to a 2 percent annual rate from 1.3 percent in the April-June quarter, led by more consumer and government spending.
Consumer spending rose at an annual rate of 2 percent in the July-September quarter, up from 1.5 percent in the previous quarter. And a survey by the University of Michigan released Friday found consumer confidence increased to its highest level in five years this month. That suggests spending may keep growing.
Americans spent more on cars, adding nearly 0.2 percentage point to growth. Housing added to growth for the sixth straight quarter.
Sure, it’s better than the dismal numbers from the second quarter, but the economy generally sees much more substantial growth in a period of recovery. Take, for example, the recovery under Ronald Reagan. The economy was coming out of a deep recession, but grew at an annual pace of 5.7% and created millions of private-sector jobs.
While most mainstream pundits believe the fight over ObamaCare is over after the Supreme Court’s decision during the summer, polls still show that the law is still unpopular with Americans.
Health insurance premiums are still on the rise, companies are dropping coverage or cutting hours to skirt the law’s mandates, and the cost of ObamaCare has skyrocketed. The law has also been a jobs killer. According to a recent study, ObamaCare’s regulations have killed some 30,000 jobs and cost $27.6 billion.
If these reasons weren’t enough to do away with the law and start over, a new compendium put together by Dean Clancy, Vice President of Health Care Policy at FreedomWorks, goes over the top 10 reasons to repeal ObamaCare.
In addition to some of the points already made, Clancy explains that ObamaCare is a bureaucratic mess that will force many Americans to lose their current health insurance, pushing them into buy government-controlled plans. He explains that taxes imposed as part of the law will hit all areas of the health care system. Clancy also notes that the law will lead to rationing of health care.
More importantly, as Clancy explains, “there is a better way.” After repealing ObamaCare, Congress could start over again by crafting legislation that focuses on the needs of patients, not bureaucrats.
With the election now under three weeks away, outside groups are pouring money into swing states that could tip the presidential election. American Crossroads, a “super PAC” co-founded by Karl Rove which has already spent millions in toss-up Senate races, has launched an $11 million ad buy in eight swing states — including Colorado, Florida, Ohio, and Virginia, hoping to help defeat President Barack Obama’s bid for re-election.
The ad kicks off with President Obama, shown on a television inside a kitchen, talking, but quickly fades into a larger shot of a woman who begins asking questions about the lack of jobs, more national debt, and diminished family income under his administration:
Last night, President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney went toe-to-toe over issues concerning undecided voters at the second presidential debate at Hofstra University. After a dismal performance in the first debate nearly two weeks ago, Obama needed to get his campaign back on track by shifting the momentum gained by Romney.
While he may not have had a blowout last night, Obama did score a win on style. He was better prepared and clearly more comfortable in this setting than in the previous debate. Romney started strong, hitting points on Obama’s failed economic record and turning a question about energy and gas prices into a contentious back and forth that probably scored him some points. Romney was convincing and passionate when it came to the economy, and polls reflected that he won on that issue.
That’s not to say that he didn’t overstep on some of his rhetoric; particularly when it came to China and saying Obama doubled the national debt (he’s certainly increased it rapidly and significantly, but not doubled it).
Obama repeated frequently used familiar class warfare themes frequently during the debate, once again saying that a so-called “balanced approach” was needed to deal with the debt. However, Obama’s balanced approach isn’t so balanced when one looks at the math. Obama also quipped that “Governor Romney doesn’t have a five-point plan; he has a one-point plan. And that plan is to make sure that folks at the top play by a different set of rules.” That sort of rhetoric may play well at times, even though it’s annoyingly wrong, but it didn’t seem to work all that well last night.
On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the jobs report from September, showing 114,000 jobs created and the unemployment rate dropping to 7.8% (U-3 rate) — the first time it’s been under 8% since January 2009. The U-6, what many call the true measure of unemployment, is still stuck at 14.7%.
Via James Pethokoukis, here is an updated look at unemployment where the White House said it would be compared to today’s reality:
On its face, the report is very good news for President Barack Obama, who has been dogged by weak jobs numbers during this so-called “economic recovery.” However, the details of the September jobs report habe a lot Republicans questioning how the unemployment rate could fall when only 114,000 jobs were created — which is still below the number needed to keep up with population growth.
Despite the conspiracy theories about the BLS cooking the books, the Wall Street Journal explains why the unemployment rate dropped:
With President Barack Obama’s political supporters making a big deal about the new 7.8% unemployment number, it is easy to forget the real news: there are 12.1 million Americans who are unemployed and millions more are under-employed. With 114,000 jobs added last month the Great Recession job gap won’t be closed until 2025.
Because of this, Americans for Prosperity has launched a new campaign online, starting with this uncomfortable ad:
“The big-government policies of this administration have left more Americans out of work for longer than under the last 11 Presidents combined,” explained Tim Phillips, President of AFP. “It’s abundantly clear that President Obama’s policies of reckless spending, higher debt, and ever-increasing taxes are putting Americans out of work.”
Also, tomorrow AFP is hosting their 2nd National Prosperity Action Day, with 50+ AFP field offices in 16 states organizing door knocks to poll citizens about President Obama’s policies and job approval. Last time, volunteers made more than 400,000 phone calls, bringing their grand total for the year above 5,000,000.
As much as we poke fun at Vice President Joe Biden for the crazy stuff he says, you have to hand it to him, he’s at least straightforward with his thoughts. He’ll tell you exactly what he’s thinking, no matter how wrong or foolish he may be.
The latest example came yesterday during a campaign rally in Iowa when Biden told supporters that his boss, President Barack Obama, does want to raise taxes by $1 trillion:
You know the phrase they always use? Obama and Biden want to raise taxes by a trillion dollars. Guess what? Yes we do in one regard. We want to let that trillion dollar tax cut expire so the middle class doesn’t have to bear the burden of all that money going to the super wealthy. That’s not a tax raise, that’s called fairness where I come from.
Here’s the video:
Well, it’s not quite $1 trillion in tax revenue that would come with raising taxes on families making over $250,000 — not merely the “super wealthy.” It’s close, but estimates are between $600 to $850 billion over 10 years. Biden can talk about sequestration cuts, the $1 trillion in spending he referenced, but those aren’t hard cuts, but rather cuts in the anticipated growth of spending. The revenues are also a drop in the bucket when one looks at the bigger picture of spending and budget deficits over the next 10 years. And frankly, $1 trillion in spending cuts is nowhere near enough.