Even as President Barack Obama attempts to argue for extended unemployment benefits (in defiance of the evidence that longer benefits produce higher unemployment), there are signs that the U.S. economy is finally poised to begin a real recovery. The dollar is gaining strength as overseas investors bet on U.S. assets. Exports are up on strong demand for American energy. And U.S. consumers are buying cars–big ones–once again.
All of these promising signs come in spite of President Obama’s best efforts. U.S. asset prices have risen due to the Federal Reserve’s aggressive, bond-buying program, which has pumped $85 billion into Wall Street every month. Energy has grown due to tracking, despite foot-dragging from the administration and opposition from environmentalists. And consumers have rejected Obama’s wasteful “green tech” in favor of cars they can afford.
The White House continues to claim credit for the slow growth of health care costs, but again the evidence is that the slowdown is occurring despite the Obama administration’s policies, not because of them. The growth rate in health care costs began slowing long before Obamacare passed, and there are in fact provisions of the law that increase cost–including its basic structure, which enshrines our expensive third-party-payer system.
Moreover, after the disastrous Obamacare rollout, no one in his or her right mind would attribute any economic improvement to the president’s management skills. The economy is healing because Americans still prefer individual success to government failure, and because several states ignored Obama’s policy on fossil fuels. Freedom and federalism, not government intervention, are slowly turning the American economy around.