However, while Obama has been fond of saying he "inherited" the nation's economic mess and stagnant unemployment rut from George Bush since he assumed office four years ago, the economic disaster he will inherit from himself is far worse.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday that December’s unemployment rate – the last labor report to be issued for President Barack Obama’s first term in office -- was 7.8 percent. BLS numbers also show that unemployment was 7.8 percent when Obama assumed office in January 2009.
When you add in the 2.6 million “marginally attached” or “discouraged” workers who “were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey,” the real unemployment rate (U6) is 9.4 percent.
Add in the 7.9 million “involuntary part-time workers” – Americans forced to accept “part time” work “because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job” -- and the real unemployment rate rises to 14.4 percent.
The U6 unemployment rate for December 2008 – the last month of George Bush’s presidency – was 13.5 percent.
According to the United States Energy Information Administration, the average price for a gallon of gas was $1.73 when Obama assumed office in January of 2009. As of Dec. 31, 2012, the average cost was $3.37.
The Census Bureau reported in September that the overall poverty rate for 2011 stood at 15 percent. As reported by Bloomberg, “that figure was the highest in the more than half a century that records have been kept.”
International Business Times reported in November that – according to the Economic Policy Institute -- the number of people collecting benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance (SNAP) program increased to 42.2 million.
In 2009 – Obama’s first year in office -- the number of people collecting food stamps was 36.2 million.
Then there’s the new fiscal cliff deal.
As reported Tuesday by CNS News, “the U.S. Senate voted 89-8 to approve legislation to avoid the fiscal cliff.”
“Under this law,” Obama said, “more than 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses will not see their income taxes go up.”
In reality, The Daily Mail reported Thursday that the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center said middle-class workers – those making between $30,000 and $200,000 -- will take a bigger hit to their income than those earning between $200,000 and $500,000.
While earners in the latter group will pay an average 1.3 percent more - or an additional $2,711 - in taxes this year, the paychecks of middle-class workers will shrink by as much as 1.7 percent - or up to $1,784.
Overall, nearly 80 percent of households will pay more money to the federal government as a result of the fiscal cliff deal.
In September of 2010, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) -- one of the chief authors of Obama’s healthcare law -- admitted he didn’t read the entire bill before voting to pass that measure either.
“I will not sign a plan that adds one dime to our deficits -- either now or in the future,” Obama vowed of his health care plan before a joint session of Congress on Sept. 9, 2009. “I will not sign it if it adds one dime to the deficit, now or in the future, period.
But in January 2010, the Congressional Budget Office concluded that Obamacare "would amount to a net increase in federal deficits of $226 billion" by the end of 2019.
In February 2010, the day after Obama boasted in his weekly radio address that he signed into law the legislation commonly known as “Pay-Go” – which he said meant that “Congress will have to pay for what it spends, just like everybody else"— he signed another measure authorizing an additional $1.9 trillion in federal debt.
On Jan.9, 2011, Fox News reported that the national debt was $15.23 trillion.
On Aug. 5, 2011, Newsmax reported that the debt deal Obama signed in the wake of the 2011 fiscal cliff negotiations immediately raised the debt ceiling again by $400 billion, automatically increased it by another $500 billion later in the year and raised it by an additional $1.5 trillion in 2012.
In all, Obama boosted the national debt by $5.8 trillion during his first term, lifting it from $10.6 trillion to $16.4 trillion.
On Dec. 31, Obama’s government hit the $16.4 trillion ceiling.
As of Jan. 2, The Associated Press reported that the total outstanding public debt had climbed to $16,432,706 trillion.
While the federal government took in $315,474 billion in taxes through November of 2011, they spent $551,243 billion.
While taking in more tax dollars through November of 2012 -- $346,045 billion – the government also spent more -- $638,152 billion -- than they spent in 2011.
While the interest accrued on the debt through November of 2011 was $44,000 billion, the additional debt amassed in interest through the same period in 2012 rose to $47,959 billion.
As The Daily Caller reported Thursday, Obama is "expected to add another $3.4 trillion to the national debt by 2017."
“The fact is the deficit is still too high,” Obama said in Tuesday’s speech after the fiscal cliff deal was passed, “and we’re still investing too little in the things that we need for the economy to grow as fast as it should.
So we’re going to have to continue to move forward in deficit reduction, but we have to do it in a balanced way, making sure that we are growing even as we get a handle on our spending.
This is from the man who twice vowed to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term.
“In a move that is rich in irony,” Keith Koffler of Washington Dossier wrote Thursday, after Obama “agreed Tuesday night to sign an emergency deficit reduction bill that does almost nothing to rein in spending -- he “jetted out to Hawaii to resume his vacation at an extra cost of more than $3 million to taxpayers.”
The price tag is in addition to more than $4 million that is already being spent on the Obamas’ Hawaii idyll, bringing the total cost of the excursion to well over $7 million.
In fact, according ABC News, Obama was in such a hurry to return to his vacation that he waited until he got back to Hawaii to use an autopen – a machine that reproduces signatures – to sign the fiscal cliff bill late Wednesday night.
While USA Today reported that this was “the third time he has used such a device,” The Washington Post noted that Obama was the first president in United States history to use an autopen to actually sign a bill into law.
To borrow from Obama's Tuesday speech: “Happy New Year everybody.”