Saturday, February 14, 2009

Obama's Words and their Effect on the Economy

President Obama, whether he knows it or not, is hurting our economy. His words will likely prolong this recession, and in certain instances, people who are out of work will be able to (or can) thank President Obama personally for their situation.

Some examples:

His remarks on the severity of the downturn. Obama has made many dire claims, including discussing how this is the worst economic condition since the great depression. It may end up being that way, but right now our unemployment rate is at 7.6%. This is still lower than most of the recessions since the great depression. It could get worse - but claims like this are very harmful. The economy depends very much on consumer confidence, and Obama's depression and dark forecasts will not help American consumers desire to spend money. This is not good.

Las Vegas. Obama mentioned that companies should not be taking trips to reward employees and some companies have canceled trips. Some people living in one of the most prominent places to take a trip, Las Vegas are not pleased. Las Vegas mayor, Oscar Goodman, who like Obama is a Democrat, has discussed how this likely has had a negative effect on Las Vegas' tourism industry. (For more, see ). Obama's words are causing economic pain to Las Vegas residents and workers.

Corporate Jets. Obama mocked Citigroup for spending $50 million on a corporate jet. While this certainly is a lot of money, the company obviously felt it was better to have the jet to allow executives to travel more easily than to not have it. Whether that is true or not is debatable - but here is what isn't: When companies stop ordering corporate jets because of Obama's rhetoric, jobs are lost. People earning middle-income jobs are assembling those jets and repairing those jets. For more, see

As a new president, we could give Obama a bit of latitude. But words matter, and Obama has already worsened the economic situation for the country as a whole, and certainly for some specific groups of workers. Hopefully he is a quick learner and does not make these mistakes in the future. How quickly (or slowly) our economy recovers will depend, in part, on his words.