Oof: U.S. GDP growth a horrendous 0.5 percent in 2016 1Q

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Thursday April 28th, 2016

The new normal.

Businesses aren't spending money. Neither are consumers. And while the unemployment rate is made to look good, record low labor-force participation tells a different story. The economy is not good. The economy has not been good for the entire Obama presidency. And while Democrats hope we're getting use to horrendous news like this, we shouldn't be:

The U.S. economy grew at its slowest pace in roughly 2 years, climbing just 0.5 percent in the first three months of 2016.

The trend of slow growth to open the year continued in 2016, after the U.S. economy reported subpar numbers in the first quarter for the third straight year. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted 0.7 percent growth.

The Commerce Department said the low growth was due to a pullback in spending by both businesses and consumers. The first few months of 2016 were filled with anxiety about the state of the global economy. The economy grew 1.4 percent in the last quarter of 2015.

While the U.S. has consistently reported solid gains in categories like jobs and housing, there has been growing anxiety about the impact of a steep decline in oil prices on oil-producing nations. And growing concern about an economic slowdown in China has exacerbated the situation.

Economic anxiety appeared to be a major culprit for the disappointing new data. Personal income grew at a faster rate to open 2016 than it did to close out 2015, climbing $130.8 billion in the first quarter compared to $117.4 billion in the fourth quarter. However, gross domestic purchases were only up 0.9 percent in the first quarter, compared to a 1.5 percent increase the three months prior.

The attempt to blame the problem on "anxiety" seems to imply that the anxiety is without justification. That's not the case at all. At no point since Obama has been president have seen sustained, robust growth. You get a decent quarter here and there, but it's always followed by a stumble, and the first quarter of just about every year is especially terrible.

You simply can't get any sort of economic footing when you're constantly dipping below 1 percent in growth, and you certainly can't generate the kind of tax revenue you need to balance the budget and start thinking about paying down debt.

The Democrats have had nearly eight years to show that they can give us a good economy with high taxes, heavy regulation and labor laws tilted heavily in favor of unions. It hasn't worked and it will never work. When Hillary and Bernie go around talking about taking on the fat cats, they ought to look at the policies of their own party. If the fat cats were dictating economic policy, we'd at least see businesses spending money on things that would allow them to grow. With the Democrats running the show, we don't even have that.

Obama was elected president in large part because the economy had collapsed and people were looking for a change in the nation's economic direction. We got the change. It's failed. Putting another Democrat in the White House to succeed Obama would guarantee more of the same, and that would simply be an insane thing to do.

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