In his latest State of the Union address, President Obama touted his record on jobs and the economy in the last year.
This is sort of laughable when you think back to the beginning of last year when he and the Democrats were arguing to retroactively re-extend the 99 weeks of federal unemployment benefits that expired on December 28, 2013. Something that those heartless Republicans in the House of Representatives allowed to happen. As a result, 1.3 million out-of-work Americans with 400 thousand children saw their pay checks simply disappear in a GOP attempt to save $26 billion a year in federal spending.
In arguing the reinstatement of benefits, the President painted a picture of coming doom and gloom ahead. The GOP ignored all those warnings and the benefits were never reinstated.
So, what dire predictions did the Democrats make and what really happened?
First, throwing 1.3 million people into the streets to fend for themselves was supposed to stall our fragile economic recovery. Well, we know that didn't happen because, otherwise, the President wouldn't be patting himself on the back for how great the economy was is 2014.
Then there's the prediction that unemployment would go up without those benefits being extended. Nancy Pelosi even went so far as to say paying people not to work actually creates jobs. OK? In January 2014, the unemployment rate went down from 6.7% to 6.6% from the month prior when the benefits were cut for 1.3 million people. Now, a year later, it sits at 5.6%. Dropping the unemployment rate by a full percent is not quite the doom that was predicted.
Then, there was the argument that poverty would increase. This is too early to answer because the Census Bureau data on U.S. poverty in 2014 won't be available for a few more months. But, on this one, the Democrats may be somewhat correct. It is highly possible that some number of those that lost unemployment benefits fell into poverty; or, at least until they found new jobs. However, being in poverty isn't necessarily as bad as it sounds. This is because of all the so-called "safety nets" that are afforded those entering that status in this country. In fact, most people in poverty have benefits that are greater than those earning a middle-class salary. Besides getting a welfare check, they also get free healthcare (Medicaid); subsidized food through food stamps; child care, and housing assistance; and, the list goes on.
Simply, the Democrats love to give billions of dollars in federal money away to buy votes. And, when anyone tries to cut a program because it is ineffectual and wasteful, they balk by predicting nothing but disaster. This is much in the same way they balked when welfare reform was enacted under an agreement between President Clinton and a GOP Congress. The cutting of that program also caused many dire predictions that never materialized.
The bottom line is that there is so much waste in the federal budget that is simply sitting there so that the Democrats lay claim to your votes by giving all kinds free stuff from programs they sponsored. Someday, the continuance of this kind of mindset will lead to complete economic destruction. This in the same way that entitlement crazy countries such as Spain, Ireland, Portugal, Italy, and Greece are on the verge of bankruptcy today.
2015 State of the Union: Obama Touts Economic Gains, Vows to Protect Signature Laws: http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/washington-whispers/2015/01/21/2015-state-of-the-union-obama-touts-economic-gains-vows-to-protect-signature-laws
Obama: Extend unemployment insurance – CNN: http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/01/04/obama-extend-unemployment-insurance/
Unemployment Benefits Are Ending for 1.3 Million Americans. What's That All About?: http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2013/12/unemployment-benefits-expiring-budget-deal
Nancy Pelosi Claims Unemployment Insurance Creates Jobs. Is She Right?: http://heritageaction.com/2014/04/nancy-pelosi-claims-unemployment-insurance-creates-jobs-right/
Labor Force Statistics by Year: http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000
"Poverty" pays better than middle-class employment: http://humanevents.com/2012/11/28/poverty-pays-better-than-middle-class-employment/
How the Dire Predictions for Welfare Reform Turned Out: http://waysandmeans.house.gov/media/pdf/welfare/063006welfarereport.pdf
Not just Argentina: 11 countries near bankruptcy - USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/07/31/countries-near-bankruptcy/13435097/
PIIGS - Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain: http://piigs.net/