Three stories from Investors Business Daily, and one of them is about the dreaded stagflation.
First one, on the CBO report.
On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office made another blockbuster pronouncement, this one concluding that the White House minimum wage hike to $10.10 an hour really does kill jobs.
The $10.10 option, when fully implemented, “would reduce total employment by about 500,000 workers, or 0.3%,” CBO says. Job losses could be as high as 1 million.
This followed last week’s CBO calculation that the impact of ObamaCare on the labor market will be about 2 million fewer workers over time, due to higher costs on employers and employees of mandated coverage and the availability of subsidized insurance to nonworkers.
Second article, about how the Democrats seem to be trying to create dependency in order to buy votes from people who cannot pay their own way.
January’s labor report confirmed yet another month with over 100 million Americans not working. In fact, more than 100 million Americans have not been working in Obama’s workers’ paradise for all of 2012 and 2013, a unique achievement in American history.
[...]How has Obama managed to “liberate” so many workers from work? Through Social Security disability, which has increased by more than 21%, extending “unemployment” benefits to two years and by eliminating work requirements as a condition of receiving federal benefits.
The number of Americans on food stamps has soared by 50% under Obama to close to 50 million, largely because work requirements, asset checks and other restraints on abuse have been relaxed. Indeed, more than twice as many more Americans have gotten food stamps under Obama than have gotten jobs. Under ObamaCare, the same transformation is now under way for Medicaid.
Today, federal and state taxpayers pay a trillion dollars every year to the lowest 20% on the income ladder basically not to work. Under Obama total welfare spending has doubled since 2008. (Note that the administration is suing the state of Louisiana to turn over the names of everyone on welfare, precisely for Obama’s voter-turnout database.)
[...]CBO estimates that the slower economic growth from this reduced labor supply will mean $1.4 trillion less in federal tax revenue over the next 10 years. So ObamaCare will increase the deficit after all.
Third article, explaining that the failed policies of the Democrats have been tried before – by Carter.
Since the Obama “recovery” started 4-1/2 years ago, inflation appears to have been relatively tame, with core prices climbing just 7% from June 2009 to December 2013.
But as CBS News discovered when it looked a little closer, the overall number is deceptive. In fact, it found food prices soaring.
The official inflation data confirm this. Overall, food prices are up 9% since June 2009, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And the cost of many staples is skyrocketing. Pork prices have climbed 14%; poultry is up 12%; eggs, 27%; milk, 20%.
Meanwhile, energy prices have climbed 18% during the recovery, and the price of gasoline is up a whopping 31.5%. Then there’s college tuition, up 23%.
At the same time, wages aren’t budging. In fact, measured in real terms, the median household income is 4% below where it was four-1/2 years ago. And while the official unemployment rate is down, that’s due to millions quitting the workforce altogether.
Yes, the economy has created 6.6 million jobs since June 2009. But the ranks of those not in the labor force climbed nearly 11 million, driving the labor force participation rate down from 65.7% to today’s 63% — a level not seen since 1978.
You might remember from the Carter era that stagflation was the name given to describe a period of slow or stagnant economic growth, low labor force participation and high prices (inflation). The only solution to this is to raise interest rates, which is very painful. But the longer we keep interest rates low, and keep government spending high, and keep taxing and regulating businesses into oblivion, the worst the medicine is going to be when we are forced to take it.