Obama Blames Economy on ‘Bad Decisions’

Obama Blames Economy on ‘Bad Decisions’

9:49 AM, FEB 2, 2013 • BY DANIEL HALPER
 In his weekly address, President Barack Obama blamed the economic problems on “bad decisions.”
 “[T]his week, we also received the first estimate of America’s economic growth over the last few months.  And it reminded us that bad decisions in Washington can get in the way of our economic progress,” said Obama, presumably referring to the uptick in unemployment from 7.8 percent to 7.9 percent and the news that the economy contracted in the final quarter of last year.

The president did not name which decisions were “bad,” and who specifically was to blame for those “bad decisions.” But he did blame Washington. 

“2013 can be a year of solid growth, more jobs, and higher wages.  But that will only happen if we put a stop to self-inflicted wounds in Washington.  Everyone in Washington needs to focus not on politics but on what’s right for the country; on what’s right for you and your families.  That’s how we’ll get our economy growing faster.  That’s how we’ll strengthen our middle class.  And that’s how we’ll build a country that rewards the effort and determination of every single American,” said Obama.

Obama reiterated his support for a “balanced approach” going forward.

“We all agree that it’s critical to cut unnecessary spending.  But we can’t just cut our way to prosperity.  It hasn’t worked in the past, and it won’t work today.  It could slow down our recovery.  It could weaken our economy.  And it could cost us jobs – now, and in the future,” said Obama.

“What we need instead is a balanced approach; an approach that says let’s cut what we can’t afford but let’s make the investments we can’t afford to live without.  Investments in education and infrastructure, research and development – the things that will help America compete for the best jobs and new industries.”

Medical Company Blames ‘Obamacare’ For Layoffs Of Nearly 100 People

February 1, 2013 2:01 PM
President Barack Obama signs the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va., on March 30, 2010. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama signs the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 at Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, Va., on March 30, 2010. (credit: JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (CBSDC) — A medical company is blaming President Obama’s health care law for the layoffs of nearly 100 people.

Smith & Nephew says a 2.3 percent excise tax on medical devices in the “Obamacare” law caused the layoffs in the Memphis and Andover, Mass., offices.

“The nearly $30 billion tax on medical devices that took effect Jan. 1, 2013, has impacted a number of companies across the U.S.,” the company said in a statement to WHBQ-TV.

Joe Metzger, senior vice president of corporate communications for the company, tells theMemphis Business Journalthat they were “not immune” to the tax burden.

“Unfortunately, and in order to absorb this cost burden into our business, this has meant less than 100 positions have been made redundant across various departmental functions in our Tennessee and Massachusetts sites,” Metzger told the Business Journal. “The company is providing the affected employees with a comprehensive severance package and outplacement support.”

The Business Journal reports that the company announced last February it would lay off 7 percent of its workforce worldwide.

The tax took effect on Jan. 1.

Unemployment rises again.

The new year started off with an old story: Employment grew again in January but not at a pace able to lower the jobless rate.

Nonfarm payrolls rose 157,000 for the first month of 2013 while the unemployment rate edged higher to 7.9 percent, news unlikely to alter the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy or instill confidence that the recovery is gaining steam.

Economists were looking for 160,000 net new jobs created with the unemployment rate holding steady at 7.8 percent.

Economy shows sudden drop: Obama wants swift action on taxes, gay marriage, illegal immigrants, but not jobs.

GDP Shows Surprise Drop for US in Fourth Quarter

Published: Wednesday, 30 Jan 2013 | 8:11 AM ET

Getty Images

The U.S. economy posted a stunning drop of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, defying expectations for slow growth and possibly providing incentive for more Federal Reserve stimulus.

The economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles.

The Commerce Department said Wednesday that the economy contracted at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter. That’s a sharp slowdown from the 3.1 percent growth rate in the July-September quarter.

The surprise contraction could raise fears about the economy’s ability to handle tax increases that took effect in January and looming spending cuts.

Still, the weakness may be because of one-time factors. Government spending cuts and slower inventory growth subtracted a total of 2.6 percentage points from growth.

And those volatile categories offset faster growth in consumer spending, business investment and housing — the economy’s core drivers of growth.

Another positive aspect of the report: For all of 2012, the economy expanded 2.2 percent, better than 2011’s growth of 1.8 percent.

The economy may stay weak at the start of the year because Americans are coming to grips with an increase in Social Security taxes that has left them with less take-home pay.

Subpar growth has held back hiring. The economy has created about 150,000 jobs a month, on average, for the past two years. That’s barely enough to reduce the unemployment rate, which has been 7.8 percent for the past two months.

Economists forecast that unemployment stayed at the still-high rate again this month. The government releases the January jobs report Friday.

The slower growth in stockpiles comes after a big jump in the third quarter. Companies frequently cut back on inventories if they anticipate a slowdown in sales. Slower inventory growth means factories likely produced less.

Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar, Inc. said this week that it reduced its inventories by $2 billion in the fourth quarter as global sales declined from a year earlier.

The biggest question going forward is how consumers react to the expiration of a Social Security tax cut. Congress and the White House allowed the temporary tax cut to expire in January, but reached a deal to keep income taxes from rising on most Americans.

The tax increase will lower take home pay this year by about 2 percent. That means a household earning $50,000 a year will have about $1,000 less to spend. A household with two high-paid workers will have up to $4,500 less.

Already, a key measure of consumer confidence plummeted this month after Americans noticed the reduction in their paychecks, the Conference Board reported Tuesday.

Economists expected the first reading on gross domestic product to show growth of 1 percent, down from the third quarter’s reading of 3.1 percent.

Obama axes Jobs Council

By Dave Boyer

The Washington Times

Thursday, January 31, 2013

  • ** FILE ** General Electric's Jeffrey Immelt looks on as President Obama speaks at a round-table discussion with business leaders in Mumbai, India, on Nov. 6, 2010. Mr. Obama is restructuring his economic advisory board and naming Mr. Immelt as it new head. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)** FILE ** General Electric’s Jeffrey Immelt looks on as President Obama …

With more than 12 million Americans still out of work, President Obama has decided to shut down his Jobs Council.

The White House announced Thursday that Mr. Obama would not extend authorization for the council, which he created two years ago. Its authority expired Thursday, a day after the government reported that the economy contracted in the fourth quarter of 2012.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Mr. Obama never intended the council to go beyond its original two-year mandate. He said the administration would “launch a new effort” to encourage business leaders to create more jobs.

Congressional Republicans said the petering out of the ineffective panel was typical of Mr. Obama’s weak record on job creation.

“To understand the abysmal nature of our economic recovery, look no further than the president’s disinterest in learning lessons from actual job creators,” said Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican. “Whether ignoring the group or rejecting its recommendations, the president treated his Jobs Council as more of a nuisance than a vehicle to spur job creation.”

Mr. Obama filled the panel with economists and business leaders such as General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, with the intention of finding new ways to work with the business community to create jobs. But the councilinstead became a symbol of the administration’s inability to reduce unemployment significantly, and the group met in full only four times over two years, most recently in February 2012.

The nation’s unemployment has dropped from 9 percent to 7.8 percent since Mr. Obama formed the council, but there are still about 12.2 million people without jobs, with millions more either underemployed or leaving the labor force entirely.

There is Treasure in Your Trial. Plus notes from video blog.

There is Treasure in Your Trial. Notes from video blog.  Check out my special message to you on video  and then check out the notes below.

The Ephesians must have asked Paul “how are you, and how are you doing

 “And [pray] also for me, that [freedom of] utterance may be given me, that I may open my mouth to proclaim boldly the mystery of the good news (the Gospel), For which I am an ambassador in a coupling chain [in prison. Pray] that I may declare it boldly and courageously, as I ought to do.  21Now that you may know how I am and what I am doing, Tychicus, the beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord [and His service], will tell you everything. Ephesians 6:19-21(AMP).

The Ephesians must have asked Paul “how are you, and how are you doing.”  His answer is a treasure map. Here is a formula for success in a brutal environment.

1. What you are is infinitely more important than how you are. “I am an AMBASSADOR in chains.”  I have the unspeakable honor of being the official representative of a Kingdom.  I am a royal, political and military prisoner.”   It is not ease and comfort that make life bearable and it is not trials and tribulations that make life unbearable.  My identity in Christ is more real than anything else.  

2. What you are doing is infinitely more important than how you are doing.  You have a daily defining moment. Every day, you must impose your mission on your circumstances. The life that knows it is here on purpose, and for a destiny is unstoppable.

3. Find your voice. “And [pray] also for me, that [freedom of] utterance may be given me.”  He did not ask for freedom from jail but for freedom and boldness to open his mouth in jail.  You may wish you were free, but God has placed you there for miracles.

4. The eternal weight of glory: I am convinced that Paul’s jail time inspired the following verses: 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. 17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, 18 while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

When Paul said, “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”, He had no idea how right he was!  No doubt Satan was elated to see Paul neutralized in jail. However, elation turned to horror. Paul would start writing.  More than half of the New Testament came from Paul’s pen and how can you calculate the wreckage to Lucifer from those writings?  Lift up holy hands and begin to rejoice right where you are.  There is treasure in your trial!