RUSH: There is some interesting data out from Zero Hedge, but I can’t see it anymore. Zero Hedge, it’s a website, has pointed out some confirmation about something that I’ve been talking about for a long time; and they have been saying it, too, as well. And that is: If you factor in the smaller workforce, the real unemployment rate would be a good bit higher than it is. There’s a companion story to this, and that is in the Wall Street Journal today: “Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Declines.” You know, Obama’s trying to set this scenario up where the economy’s roaring back, everything’s doing fine.
Some woman shows up… Grab sound bites one and two. This is amazing what happened yesterday. This was on the Google Plus website last night at the White House, and during the Q&A a citizen named Jennifer Weddel (or Wed-del, I don’t know how she pronounces it) asked a question. She’s in Fort Worth. She said, “My husband has an engineering degree with over ten years experience. He was laid off three years ago. He has yet to find a permanent job in his field. My question to you is: ‘Why does the government continue to issue and extend H-1B visas when there are tons of Americans just like my husband with no jobs?'”
OBAMA: I can tell you that there’s a huge demand around the country for engineers. Where you’re seeing a lot of specialized demand is, uh, in engineering that’s related to the high-tech industries. And, now, what industry tells me is that they don’t have enough highly skilled engineers. If your husband’s in that field, uhh, then we should get his resume and I’ll forward it to some of these companies —
OBAMA: — that are telling me they can’t find, uh, enough engineers in this field. So i-it’s gonna vary, but, as a basic matter, there’s a huge demand for engineers around the country right now.
RUSH: Okay, so here’s a woman whose husband is unemployed. She shows up to this stupid Google Plus thing with Obama, says her husband has been unemployed for three years, worked as an engineer. Obama says it’s not possible. What do you mean? In this economy, we need engineers left and right — and the woman says, “Well, he’s a semiconductor engineer.”
OBAMA: See, it is interesting to me — and I meant what I said.
OBAMA: If — if you send me your husband’s resume, I’d be interested in finding out exactly what’s happening right there because the word we’re getting is — is that somebody in that kind of high-tech field, that kind of engineer, should be able to find somethin’ right away.
RUSH: That is incredible! So (summarizing), “Send me the resume! I’m gonna find out what’s going on. Our economy is coming back; there’s no reason your stupid, idiotic husband can’t find a job. Send me his resume. Let me find out what the hell’s wrong with this idiot.” This is amazing.
RUSH: So here’s Obama out there. You know, it wasn’t long ago people sent tea bags to the White House. Maybe everybody ought to send their resume to the White House. Obama asked for the woman’s husband’s resume. (impression) “Well, I don’t understand. Our economy is coming back. Uh, high-tech engineer jobs? Uh, I knew Steve Jobs! Uh, I know Zuckerberg! Those jobs are, uh, everywhere out there. I don’t get it. Uh, uh, let me see that resume! I’m gonna find out why your stupid husband can’t find a job with the economy roaring back!”
Let me see his resume? Send me his resume? It doesn’t makes sense! The economy roaring back? Is the economy roaring back? Back to the guys at Zero Hedge. If you factor in the smaller workforce, the real unemployment rate would be a lot higher than it is, and where does Zero Hedge get that confirmation? Where do they get it? From the supposedly nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which says (buried, by the way) in its latest report: You take out the portion of “the decline in the labor force participation rate since 2007 that is attributable to neither the aging of the Baby Boomers nor the downturn in the business cycle … the unemployment rate in the fourth quarter of 2011 would have been about 1Â¼ percentage points higher than the actual rate of 8.7%.”
Now, what all that means is, if you take out the people who have quit working because there aren’t any jobs — if we just reduced the universe of available jobs because they don’t exist anymore — and then add the unemployment number and compare it to that, you actually end up with an unemployment number 9.35% right now instead of 8.1%. It was 8.7 when these numbers were run. If you add the 1Â¼ percentage point to the 8.7% unemployment back when it was eight, you get 10.1%. Now, the U6 number is still in the 16 to 17s. That counts people who’ve gone beyond their 99 weeks of unemployment and nobody knows what they’re doing.
The economy is not shaping up. Obama started this whole charade in the State of the Union show. They’re gonna focus every bit of energy they have on the Buffett Rule, the new Alternative Minimum Tax, class envy — trying to get 99% of the people revved up and in full rage and hatred against the 1% — and that’s how they’re gonna try to win the election. Because they cannot talk about their record. They cannot say, “Vote for Obama because we need four more years of this.” They can’t do that. So they’ve gotta go back to something that traditionally, in presidential elections, hasn’t worked: The class envy thing. Ask Walter F. Mondull about 1984. Mondull tried it and lost 49 states. It just doesn’t work. (interruption) No, don’t cite Clinton in ’92. Clinton ’92 didn’t do class warfare.
Clinton did “worst economy in the last 50 years.” Clinton, he was not at that time focused on the rich being the sole reason for a down economy. He was blaming it on Bush. You know, Bush had raised taxes in violation of his pledge, like everybody wanted him to do. They weren’t able to run around and say that Bush had done tax cuts for the rich and that stuff, so they had to focus on Bush not caring. To the extent that there was class envy, Bush was a patrician blue-blooder, didn’t care that much, wasn’t engaged, worst economy. And that was a lie. The Democrats can’t get anywhere without lying about it.
We just literally cannot survive as we exist today and as we were founded with four more years of Obama. And I’ll tell you something else. Four years of effectively being a lame duck, meaning he can’t run again so he doesn’t have to worry about the negatives. The only stop for Obama is if we hold the House and increase the numbers in the Senate. But you give this guy four years with no accountability and not really having to worry about what his negative numbers are because he can’t run again, theoretically can’t run again, the second term is where his base would be having an orgasm every minute of every day for four years. Might as well get Saul Alinsky out of the grave, put him in the White House, and have him run things. That’s what it would end up being.
Now, Kathleen Madigan in the Wall Street Journal: “Consumer Confidence Unexpectedly Declines.” Unexpectedly. Yes, because Obama said last week that we’re in this big recovery now, everything’s back to normal, everything’s cool, we’re roaring ahead. “U.S. consumer confidence in January gave back some of the huge gains posted in the previous two months, according to a report released Tuesday. Views on labor markets darkened. The Conference Board, a private research group, said its index of consumer confidence retreated to 61.1 this month from a revised 64.8 in December. … Consumer expectations for economic activity over the next six months slipped only slightly.”
Now, normally a healthy Conference Board number is close to 100. So even this 61.1, the revised down 64.8 doesn’t mean much. They’re just excited, they were excited about the trend last month. Consumer confidence moving back up. Still way below what’s normal. But now, as they say, it even gave back the gain. And they don’t know why. They are just stunned here. “The more-cautious results are in line with expectations among economists that nonfarm payrolls did not grow as robustly this month as they did in December.” So don’t let anybody tell you that there’s this vestige or genuine economic recovery roaring back. It just isn’t happening.