Ed Rogers, Washington Post:
President Obama is presiding over weak economic growth that is shaping the political atmosphere that exists today. The middle class is worse off than it was at the end of the Great Recession, despite more than six years of what President Obama tries to bill as an economic “recovery.” Median household incomes are down, the number of people in poverty is increasing and dependency on the government is through the roof. All this bad economic news comes despite the fact that we are experiencing the lowest gasoline prices since 2009, with a nationwide average of under $2 per gallon. The lower gasoline prices, particularly as people travel for the holidays, are a remarkable gift to American consumers, especially the middle class, although Obama undoubtedly would have been against the worldwide oil boom if he had seen it coming. It is ironic that the president who wants to decarbonize the economy has seen oil prices drop dramatically on his watch, despite his best intentions and efforts.
But the weak economy can’t come as a surprise. This affirmatively anti-business White House has become the new normal for the Democratic Party. Given the Democrats’ onerous regulations on businesses everywhere, the approximately $8.2 trillion in new debt under Obama, the punitive measures instituted by the Environmental Protection Agency and the president’s dismissive attitude toward entrepreneurs and free enterprise generally, it is no wonder the economy is stagnant, job growth is weak and much of the middle class is looking for radical change. A new Pew Research poll shows that 22 percent of Americans think the economy will get worse over the next year, compared with 17 percent who thought that in January.