It really is all about the economy

May 5, 2011
President Barack O'Bama.

Most Americans are almost giddy over the death of public  enemy number 1, Osama bin Laden, and it is great news that the mastermind behind the 9-11 attacks is out of the picture.

Many are saying President Barack O’Bama has a sure-fire lock on another four years in the White House because of the mission’s success.

The president is riding high right now, but there is a large rock hanging over his head that could fall at anytime – the U.S. economy.

The economy is not in a good place right now; we are all feeling the pain of high gas prices and rising food costs.

The price of a gallon of gas, which appears to be one of the greatest measures of a president’s success, has gone beyond the $4 mark in many parts of the country, and will hit that mark soon in this area. It’s already $3.95 to $3.99 for a gallon of regular at some stations.

It’s the highest price ever in the spring.

This week, the government released some astounding figures. More than 44 million Americans ­– 1 in 7 – receive Food Stamps, the highest number ever. The number is up 14 percent from this time a year ago.

Also this week, the U.S. dollar reached an all-time low of .8213 in international trading circles.

Closer to home, food prices are hitting everyone where it hurts. Food prices soared 4 percent in February, the highest jump in nearly 40 years. Prices of the basic commodities are on the increase.

More than 13 million Americans are unemployed with more than 8 million working at part-time jobs because they can’t make ends meet with one job. Another 1 million looking for work have given up, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

When things are good, the president gets the accolades, and when things are bad, he gets the blame – even if those “things” are out of his control.

The Republicans are easing the burden on the president somewhat because they have failed to put forth a viable candidate to face him in 2012. In reality, if the economy continues to spiral downward it may not matter who the Republican challenger is.

People vote with their wallets. Remember, it’s the economy stupid.

  • Ron MacArthur has lived and worked in Sussex County all his life. As a journalist for more than 40 years, he has covered everything from county and town meetings to presidential visits. He also has a unique perspective having served as an elected official and lived on both sides of the county.

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