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JIM HARRIS: Obama And His Crystal Ball
Updated: May 9, 2012
As I pumped gas in my car recently I caught myself feeling lucky because the price per gallon had dropped below $3.50.
Perspective is everything. I’m old enough to remember when gas hit $1.00 per gallon and everybody was horrified. Of course, we all thought at the time it would never go beyond a single dollar per gallon.
Part of the reason for gas being so high these days is an occupant of the White House who has an administration that hates domestic drilling for oil.
To the Obama camp, oil production is dirty and should be avoided at all cost.
I’m told by a friend who has served on the Arkansas Oil and Gas Commission that if you want to drill for oil on your own land, it takes about $1.2 million in permits from the state and local government before you even touch the drill to earth.
Gone are the days of wild cat oil drilling where you took a chance by sinking a well. Great fortunes were made and lost during those days.
We have an administration that would rather import it from the Middle East and let the people there live with the dirty industry. Of course they also get to live with a lot of American dollars we are paying.
Back to the price of gas, less than $3.50 per gallon seems like a bargain because we have gotten used to paying much more for it.
A similar situation occurred recently when the latest unemployment figures came out.
Democrats were celebrating because the number of unemployed people was “only” 8.1 percent. Like the price of gas, those figures have been so high that 8.1 percent seems like a lot less than it has been.
Let’s take a minute to remember here that when Democrats controlled both Houses of Congress and passed Obama’s stimulus plan, we were promised that spending all that money the county had would mean the unemployment rate would not go above 8 percent.
Mitt Romney, who appears to be well on his way to being the Republican nominee, pointed out celebrating an 8.1 percent unemployment rate was not cause for celebrating.
While there were 115,000 jobs added during the pervious month, the 8.1 percent is misleading. It does not count people who have given up finding a job. Some people have been out of work since the economy started to drop in 2008.
The Obama administration has been inept at helping the economy revive. In fact, his economic policies have lengthened the time when the economy would normally recover.
The Obama administration sees business as the enemy. Somehow, businesses cause our economic problems when they start cutting jobs.
As any real businessman knows, you want to add jobs when you can because that means your business is growing. Businessmen cut jobs when customers don’t have any money to spend on their products. Maybe they don’t have any money because they are paying more for gasoline or maybe because they are paying more in taxes.
This desire to punish business with more regulation and higher taxes has not allowed the economy to improve.
“Just this morning there was some news that came across the wire that said that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.1 percent and normally that would be cause for celebration, but, in fact, anything over 8 percent, anything near 8 percent or anything over 4 percent is not cause for celebration,” Romney said.
The last time unemployment was at 4 percent, George W. Bush was President.
While I’m not an economist, I have seen how things work in both the economy and government.
I predict that we will see unemployment slowly decline until after November. Then it will head back up.
The Presidential election will be in November. Obama will do all he can to give the appearance that things are getting better up to the point people vote. After that, he won’t care.
Either he will be re-elected or he will be defeated. If Obama is re-elected, he will never have to ask voters to support him again. He is free to spend his last four years doing whatever he wants with no concern about what the people of this country want or need.
It will be meaningless to him if unemployment skyrockets in his last term.
If he loses, Obama will be glad to see President Romney take over when unemployment is high.
Why do I think it will be high in early 2013? Obama is bring home a lot of American troops from the Global War on Terror that has been waged in the Middle East .
The timing is such that many of those troops will be leaving the military and entering the job market around the end of this year.
Some of those will go back to their old jobs. The people who had held those jobs in their absence will be looking for a new job. Those just released from the military who do not have an old job to go to will be joining the ranks of the unemployed.
With one our of two new collage graduates unable to find work already, the unemployment figures will skyrocket.
In 1992, then-President George H.W. Bush ended the war in the Middle East and military personal getting out hit the job market during his bid for re-election.
Unemployment jumped and Bill Clinton was elected on the slogan “It is the economy, stupid.”
Obama learned from that election and he is timing the spike in unemployment from reducing the military to hit after the Presidential election.
Perception being what it is, by this time next year we may find ourselves longing for the days when unemployment was only 8.1 percent.