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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Republicans who have long insisted that Obamacare will “destroy the economy,” acting as a “poverty trap,” as Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) put it. But new data show that without Obamacare, GDP growth for the first quarter of 2014 would have been negative.

In the face of a particularly harsh and long winter, the United States saw only a 0.1 percent annualized gain over the past three months — but if not for health care spending, the economy would have shrunk.

Chart via WonkWire

The 0.1 percent growth came as a shock to many economists and the Commerce Department — which projected a more robust 1.2 percent increase — and this year’s Q1 numbers mark the lowest margin of growth since Q4, 2012. Health care spending , however, skyrocketed 9.9 percent, marking the largest leap in sector spending since 1980.

The Affordable Care Act was the primary catalyst behind GDP growth this quarter, singlehandedly contributing 1.1 percent of overall growth. This would suggest that without the law, the economy would have actually slowed by at least one percentage point.

Economists attribute Q1’s sluggish progress to insignificant automotive sales, a decline in average weekly hours worked, slowing retail and foodservice sales, and decreased capital goods shipments. However, with 8 million Americans signed up for Obamacare, previously uninsured Americans are now paying health care premiums. Additionally, other Americans seem to be buying more expansive coverage, resulting in the health care sector’s significant contribution to spending.

Chart via <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Wall Street Journal</em></a>
Chart via Wall Street Journal

This trend isn’t exactly what the Obama administration had in mind for the Affordable Care Act; the president and the law’s supporters have said that the new policy would actually curb health care spending and drive down medical costs. In fact, earlier this year, the White House attributed the then-slowing growth of health care spending to Obamacare successes. “For years, health care costs in America skyrocketed, with brutal consequences for our country,” White House deputy assistant for health policy Jeanne Lambrew wrote in a blog post. “The Affordable Care Act, for the first time in decades, has helped to stop that trend.”

Of course, an increase in health care spending does not mean that health care costs have risen as well. Analysts have suggested that both Medicaid expansion and private insurance subsidies will be considerably less expensive than initially anticipated, saving the government billions.

Despite these reports, however, Americans are still skeptical about how much money Obamacare will save them. A recent Washington Post poll showed that only 11 percent of consumers believe that the law is driving costs down, and 58 percent said that it is in fact making health care more expensive.

While Q1 GDP growth was clearly disappointing, many experts remain confident that Q2 growth will compensate for this quarter’s lackluster numbers. Monthly data for March has already shown “marked improvement,” according to Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics. Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics agreed, saying, “Q2 will be better.”

And although there remain conflicting opinions as to the source of Q1’s unimpressive numbers, one thing’s certain: Obamacare helped the economy this time around.

AFP Photo/David McNew

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  • charleo1

    Republicans have claimed a lot of things since that long hot summer of ’08.
    The price of a barrel of oil was at all time highs. Pushed not by demand, or
    the potential for hostilities in the Mid-East. But by commodity traders, who
    “speculated,” on the shortages of oil, in a market they themselves created,
    would drive oil futures to ever greater heights. And ever greater pain at the
    pump. We couldn’t know it then, but the smattering of bank failures, like
    those huge raindrops that precede a deluge, were just then starting. Humm, that was a huge bank! Like that one in California last week. What’s going on? Something about credit, and liquidity. President Bush says, the economy’s never been better! No issues of liquidity. Depositors are not at risk here, so go shopping, America. We’ve got this. Now, if you all will excuse me, I have a lot of packing to do. How could we know, this was the first in a long line of Republican attempts, to put their own spin on the disintegration, and epic fail, of our in hock up to the eyeballs, banking, and financial sector. How prophetic, that Bush’s default position on the state of the economy, was to be the position of the Conservative Right for the next 6 years, denial. Denial their deregulation policies helped put us where we found ourselves. Denial that their tax policies did nothing to prevent the disaster. Nor that the continuation of them was likely to pull the Country out of it’s giant pit of debt. An emphatic denial that they stood in any way remotely responsible for the current situation. And of course, the denial of their responsibility, as the new minority Party, to lift a finger to in any way to help the majority Party, deal with the fallout. Furthermore, they have denied the government could help. Denied, in fact it had ever helped in such situations. And, went on to deny that they themselves had ever thought it was possible for the government to create jobs. While denying the very votes they had cast for similar bills, in earlier hard times, that promised, and delivered, those jobs through govt. initiatives. They have denied, both positive employment numbers, and the lack of jobs. Whichever denial best served them at the time. They’ve denied economic gains, better outlooks, more consumer confidence, and denied in the face of all of that, that Barack Obama as President, has yet to do anything that has improved the economy. How long can it be, until we have Congressmen, and Senators prowling the halls of Congress, that deny the very existence of the Govt. to which they profess to hold office?

  • Sand_Cat

    I love how matters of fact – either the ACA is driving down costs or it isn’t – become objects of polling. I guess what the polls really say is nothing about ACA, but about how informed or ignorant the responders are.

    • Grannysmovin

      The problem with polls is what questions are they asking? Do they form a question to get the desired response? Do they ask necessary follow up questions to support previous responses? Do they poll people in Gerrymandered districts? Do they poll people in heavily Democratic districts? Do they seek out tea party and conservatives and Democrats to get the desired result?

      • Sand_Cat

        I’m not much of a fan of polls.

    • Allan Richardson

      I agree: polling the population about whether the GDP is growing or declining only tells you what people BELIEVE, not what is actually TRUE. And unfortunately, Americans are not only getting dumber, they are getting PROUDER of getting dumber.

  • Independent1

    “While Q1 GDP growth was clearly disappointing, many experts remain confident that Q2 growth will compensate for this quarter’s lackluster numbers. Monthly data for March has already shown “marked improvement,” according to Paul Ashworth of Capital Economics. Ian Shepherdson of Pantheon Macroeconomics agreed, saying, “Q2 will be better.”

    Well, if CNN’s breaking news today is any indication, it looks like Q2 may in fact be better:

    U.S. job growth showed strong gains last month, increasing at a much stronger pace than in recent months.

    Employers added 288,000 jobs in April, and unemployment fell sharply to 6.3% from 6.7%, the Labor Department said Friday.


    “And although there remain conflicting opinions as to the source of Q1′s unimpressive numbers, one thing’s certain: Obamacare helped the economy this time around.”

    I don’t think there’s too many conflicting opinions here in Maine, most Mainers know why the economy struggled in Q1: the worst winter Maine has experienced since the 1950s which not only kept consumers at home for much of the 1st two months of the year but also ate up a good bit of their spendable cash just paying their heating bills to keep from freezing to death.

    Our heating bill was almost $800 higher than in recent winters for two reasons: the extended cold spells and the fact that Big Oil took advantage of people struggling to keep warm by keeping the price of heating oil 30 to 40 cents per gallon higher than it’s been during the past 3-4 winters.

  • Dominick Vila

    A part of the Q1 report the GOP does not want to talk about is the fact that unemployment has dropped to its lowest level in 5.5 years – 6.3%. Companies continue to post record profits and are hiring, and while sales during the first quarter of this calendar year may be disappointing, they are not indicative of the strength of our economy. The most likely cause for the drop in sales is the harsh Winter we just left behind.
    As for ACA, it is working as designed. Claims of failure, such as recent reports that the percentage of Americans between ages 18 and 30 is much lower than expected, ignore the fact that a facet of ACA involves the ability of dependents under age 26 to remain in their parents insurance policy. Claims of failure based on the fact that some of the people who got insurance coverage via Federal or State exchanges have not paid their first month premium can be easily explained. When one of my sons decided to start his own business he shopped for healthcare insurance on his own. He was quoted $1,800 for a family plan. He managed to get insurance coverage via ACA for $700 a month. A lot of money, but much less than what it would have been without ACA. A couple of months later he got an offer from a midsize company that he could simply not turn down. He accepted and is now enjoying healthcare coverage offered by his new employer. Needless to say, he is not making ACA insurance policy premium payments since he no longer needs it. Something the GOP does not seem to understand, or ignore for political gain, is the fact that ACA is not meant to provide perpetual insurance coverage. People who get jobs that offer healthcare coverage, or who no longer need ACA insurance for whatever reason can and do decline the ACA insurance. That does not mean ACA is a failure, it means ACA is working as designed.

    • bikejedi

      When Obama gets done extending waivers for companies ( past the Mid Terms just so the Dems can try to hang on to some seats ) and Companies have to start complying then Millions will be dropped from Company supplied plans . Logically you know I’m right otherwise they wouldn’t have delayed that mandate ( delayed Illegally by the way ) . You can spin that any way you want and be a useful tool for Obama’s Lying ….But be careful Dom … You aren’t stupid you know why they are delaying that mandate and if you don’t want to look like a fool I would admit that is the reason … Otherwise when it happens I will remind you that you repeated their lies and allowed yourself to be used like a tool by them ….We both know that once they get past the mid term waivers Obama and the Dems will try to find a way to push those waivers past 2016 so it doesn’t cost Killary … Of course that would take a lot of nerve but with Loyal Sheep repeating whatever Bull they put out and a Media that wont ask why in the hell they need to push this past 2016 they may just get away with it …

      • Dominick Vila

        I support the mandate inasmuch as it ensures all Americans have access to adequate and affordable healthcare. In my opinion, the waivers that began as early as 2011, are counter productive and should not have taken place.
        The Affordable Care Act, like every other government program, needs and has undergone a number of changes as we learn more about its strengths and weaknesses. Here is a sample of changes that have taken place, which are not limited to mandate extensions:


        1. Medicare Advantage patch, (April 19, 2011)

        2. Employee reporting. (January 1, 2012)

        3. Subsidies through federal exchanges. (May 23, 2012)

        4. Delaying the low-income plan. (February 7, 2013)

        5. Closing the high-risk pool. (February 15, 2013)

        6. Doubling allowed deductibles. (February 20, 2013)

        7. Small businesses on hold. (March 11, 2013)

        8. Employer-mandate delay. (July 2, 2013)

        9. Self-attestation. (July 15, 2013)

        10. Delaying the online SHOP exchange. (September 26, 2013) (November 27, 2013)

        11. Congressional opt-out. (September 30, 2013)

        12. Delaying the individual mandate. (October 23, 2013)

        13. Insurance companies may offer canceled plans. (November 14, 2013)

        14. Exempting unions from reinsurance fee. (December 2, 2013)

        15. Extending Preexisting Condition Insurance Plan.
        (December 12, 2013) (January 14, 2014) (March 14, 2014)

        16. Expanding hardship waiver to those with canceled plans. (December 19, 2013) (March 5, 2014)

        17. Equal employer coverage delayed. (January 18, 2014)

        18. Employer-mandate delayed again. (February 10, 2014)

        19. Extending subsidies to non-exchange plans. (February 27, 2014)

        20. Non-compliant health plans get two year extension.
        (March 5, 2014)

        21. Delaying the sign-up deadline. (March 26, 2014)

        22. Canceling Medicare Advantage cuts. (April 7, 2014)


        23. Military benefits. (April 26, 2010)

        24. VA benefits. (May 27, 2010)

        25. Drug-price clarification. (August 10, 2010)

        26. Doc-fix tax. (December 15, 2010)

        27. Extending the adoption credit. (December 17, 2010)

        28. TRICARE for adult children. (January 7, 2011)

        29. 1099 repealed. (April 14, 2011)

        30. No free-choice vouchers. (April 15, 2011)

        31. No Medicaid for well-to-do seniors. (November, 2011)

        32. CO-OPs, IPAB, IRS defunded. (December 23, 2011)

        33. Slush-fund savings. (February 22, 2012)

        34. Less cash for Louisiana. (July 6, 2012)

        35. CLASS Act eliminated. (January 2, 2013)

        36. Cutting CO-OPs. (January 2, 2013)

        37. Trimming the Medicare trust-fund transfer. (March 26, 2013)

        38. Eliminating caps on deductibles for small group plans. (April 1, 2014)


        39. Medicaid expansion made voluntary.

        40. The individual mandate made a tax.

        • bikejedi

          So it seems we agree on some things . 1The Delays to this law shouldn’t be taking place . 2 Obama does not have the authority to change written law by Executive Order so that is Illegal and should be rescinded and sent to the House and Senate . 3 A so called Constitutional lecturer should know that he is acting Illegally and that means he is breaking his oath of office . 4 The delays are purely for political purposes and are an attempt to save the Dems in the Mid Terms .

          It might interest you to know I also prefer a single payer . One based solely on a National Sales Tax . Everyone from the President on down gets the same exact plan . NO EXEMPTIONS and all the Public Unions also get that plan . This plan would not put extra burden on American Businesses and thus it would make them more competitive . It also wouldn’t redistribute wealth from those businesses and producers in the Private Sector to Obama and Dem voters on the dole ( but that was the purpose of this all along right ? To redistribute wealth for votes right ? ) Everyone pays in and everyone gets the same plan PERIOD .

          I am glad you didn’t attempt to defend those delays and the pain that is going to ensue when Companies have to comply with this evil law and producers get their plans dropped .

          • Dominick Vila

            We agree that changes have taken place, including changes to the “mandate”, and that more changes are likely. I disagree, however, with the premise that the Administrative branch does not have the authority to administrate government programs. The administration of a program requires making changes, adjustments, and cancellations as required.
            There have been times when the Administrative branch has gone too far. An example of that involves President Reagan’s decision to ignore the fact that we did not have diplomatic or trade relations with Iran and, nevertheless, engaged in illegal transactions with the government of that country in what became known as Iran-Contra. That was illegal and bordered on high treason.
            I am not in a position to determine whether or not

            the ACA changes that have taken place are politically motivated. Although everything that happens in Washington does have political imperatives, I prefer to think that those changes were motivated by the circumstances we are in, and by the fact that changes are needed whenever the reality of circumstances demand doing so.
            Like I have said before, I would have preferred a Single Payer System, or Universal healthcare if you will, but considering the opposition to a new program that leaves the special interests that are the root cause for the cost inefficiencies we have experienced during the last several decades, and the exclusionary policies that have adversely affected so many Americans, an incremental transition is the best we can hope for. Honestly, I don’t expect to see a transition to a model similar to those in Canada and most Western European countries in my lifetime. I don’t support ACA because I think it is a panacea that solves all our healthcare problems, but because under the circumstances we live in, this is the best we can hope for.

  • bikejedi

    Love the spin . We have depression level GDP growth of 1/10th of 1 % .. and the way the Liberal Media spins that is that it is because of Obamacare that we have positive growth . Well there is some truth to that as the Insurance Co.s are having their profitability insured by the trillion in Govt spending . That forced Tax Payer spending is the only thing that saved us from having a Negative GDP in the 5 years of Obamanomics . So even with Tarp that saved the banks and returned a profit , Obama’s own policies have netted a 1/10th of 1% growth . That is with the Stimulus spending, the Cash for Clunkers , the GM bailout of Union Pensions , and all of the Crony Capitalism of the DOE with Solyndra and Fisker . Not to mention the QE Spending …. and for all of that economic policy by Community Organizer we have 1/10th of 1% growth and the Liberal Media is trying to spin that miniscule growth as a positive reflection of Obamacare ?????? Do you people even realize the warped logic that takes ?

    • Sand_Cat

      Beats the hell out of minus 800,000+ jobs per month he inherited from his noble and competent predecessor. Interesting you focus on the result and not on the cause.

      • bikejedi

        So you argument is it is all Bush’s fault ???? You guys are still spinning that ? That 800, 000 job loss was for the last month and a half of Bush and came after 7 years of real GDP growth . That growth came after the 9 /11 attacks which severely effected the economy . And that doesn’t explain why there have been between 2.7 and 1.6 fewer Americans employed under Obama then the day he took office . We also have the lowest Labor Participation rate that we have seen in 35 years and remember we had approx. 100 million fewer Americans 35 years ago . That number is appalling . Also consider that under Obama we have the greatest number and percentage of Americans working Part Time and Minimum Wage Jobs in this Nations history . Average incomes are down $4000/yr because of this . We also have the greatest number and percentage of Americans on Tax Payer funded Handouts in this Nations History . Economy by Community Organizer indeed .

        • Sand_Cat

          Until you can acknowledge the critical part in the whole mess played by Bush, McConnell, Boehner, and the rest of the GOP, why should Obama accept any blame whatsoever?

          • bikejedi

            Please , by all that is Holy , attempt to explain what part Bush played in an Economic collapse that was in the making since Jimmy Carter tried to use the Banks money to buy votes for the Dem Party ? . The whole thing collapsed because of the Bad Debt the banks were holding . Bad debt caused by them being forced to write loans to people who were poor risks . Loans that they were forced to write after Jimmy Carter passed the Community Reinvestment Act of 1977 . That Act create the housing bubble and bad debt but it put a lot of undeserving people ( based on ability to pay a loan ) into homes they otherwise wouldn’t of ever had gotten , but hey who cares it wasn’t his money it was the Banks money and everyone of their account holders money that was being lent out … It bought a lot of votes though right ? By the way the Congressional record shows that bush went to Congress on 26 occasions to warn of the impending collapse . All the while Bawneey Fwank was going on the talkers and telling all of the Liberals that things were peachy keen … Right up until Fannie and Freddie were about to collapse and he went to Bush begging for money . Also remember the collapse happened in the last 2 months of Bush while the Dems controlled both the House and Senate and did absolutely nothing to stop it … So enlighten me on why Bush is to blame ???? Or is it just the standard Liberal Talking Point of … ” It’s all Bush’s fault and you are a racist ” time … I mean the facts bear out the fact that that was just another Lie and talking point Obama and his lap dog media used to get him elected … He ran against Bush not McCain and you people repeat all the talking points they tell you to . Don’t you realize by now that the Dems and Obama are using you like tools ?

          • BillP

            Who was president during the economic collapse of 2007 and 2008?

          • Sand_Cat

            The popular explanation by the right is of course that it was all Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Dems’ fault. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Dems didn’t package worthless mortgages and sell them as prime assets, nor did they provide the triple A ratings given the garbage. All of this was on Bush’s watch, when he was busy appointing industry insiders guaranteed to not fulfill their regulatory responsibilities (chosen for that reason), just as he appointed people to the Justice Department who violated the law – with impunity – by hiring only right-wing zealots for non-partisan positions, refused to prosecute favored “evildoers,” and wrote rationalizations for crimes against humanity.
            And besides, haven’t you blamed every single bad thing that happened during Obama’s presidency on him, and added some others made up by Fox or the GOP propaganda machine?

          • bikejedi

            Maybe that is the popular explanation attributed to Conservative by Liberal Media . Most Conservatives are smart enough to know that Fannie and Freddie were only a part of it . No the Dems didn’t package worthless mortgages etc they forced the Banks to do that for them with the CRA of 1977 . It forced Banks to write Loans they NEVER would have originated to those people because they were bad credit risks . But hey if you were poor with no credit and the Dems told you that you could now own a home with NO money down and no ability to pay it back you would vote for them too … So they bought a lot of votes by using the Banks Money …When Clinton is Preezy the Banks started to balk at this house of cards because they knew they were carrying too much bad debt . The Dems and Clinton’s Atty Genl Janet Reno threatened the Banks with Fed discrimination law suits if they didn’t continue to write these worthless loans . Bawnee Fwank told Bush and Congress that Fannie and Freddie were fine to try to hide that house of cards . Right up until he wanted Bush to bail them out . Bush went to Congress 26 times to warn them of the impending implosion of the economy . That was a Dem Congress . So I just logically laid out a factual paper trail of the genesis of the collapse and didn’t even touch on Glass Steagall … Not once did I blame Obama for any of that . What Obama did during his Campaign was turn away from all the evidence that this was all caused by Dem Policy and he ignored that and LIED to serve his own Campaign . Obama didn’t even run against McCain he ran against the Ghost of Bush he LIED about … And to this day you people are being used as useful tools and repeating his LIE that is was all Bush’s fault … Please don’t portray that I ever blamed Obama for all of this economic collapse he just lied about how it happened . I mean if he would of told the truth ( that is was ALL Liberal Dem policy that caused the collapse ) do you think anyone would’ve voted for him ? Of course not . So he reached into his Community Organizer bag of tricks and created an evil enemy for you and his media to rail against ( that would be Bush ) … So no I resent you portraying that I blamed everything on Obama when I don’t and then you tried to throw Fox in there as well . At least they don’t lie to their viewers like MSNBC NBC and ABC

    • BillP

      Hey bikey boy nice to see you back, did mommy let you back on the computer? We all know how much you like to show how bad President Obama has done in his 5+ years in office. The major stock indices DJIA – up 108.59%, S&P 500 – up 133.97%, Nasdaq – up 185.56%, Wilshire 5000 – up 139.45% and Russell 2000 Growth – up 185.39%. How deplorable these numbers are!!. 43 straight months of positive job growth, disgusting, let’s bring back the Bush final months of job growth from 4/2008 through 1/2009 (Obama was only in office for 10 days) there was job growth of -4.223 million job. Great job President GW Bush. Another 4.3 million jobs were lost through 12/2009 due to the great recession started under the all wonderful and all powerful GW Bush. In the 52 months since then there have been only 3 months with negative job growth (160k) while there have been 49 months of positive job growth and the unemployment rate is 6.3%. (how awful!!)
      You do realize that the .1% GDP growth was for the 1st quarter 2014 not for the 5+ years of this administration. Since 2009 the GDP quarterly rate has been negative 3 times including the 1st quarter of 2009 and has been positive 18 months with a range of 0.1% to 4.9%. What is warped is you understanding of any financial matters. You should try researching before you write your usual bs on this site.

      Your hatred of this president (no you are not telling it like it is) makes it impossible for you to offer any fair evaluation of his administration.

      • bikejedi

        So what your post is saying is that it is all Bush’s fault Obama is Fabuloooouuuussss and I’m a Racist right ? Hahahahahaha.. Are you still using that Talking Point Lie ??? hahahahaha .. Most Liberals aren’t even trying to do that anymore because they are sick of defending Obama just to find out he Lied to you and used you like a tool Hahahaha

        • BillP

          I don’t know whether you are a racist or not, don’t really care. What I do find ridiculous is your uniformed and immature comments. You sound like a silly little boy. You don’t like to have facts presented to you that don’t match your biased opinions. You above reply is typical of your lack of any serious thought, all you can do is reply with a juvenile “Hahaha”. Many economic and financial numbers are up for the 5+ years of the Obama administration, you can choose to ignore them but they are real. The worst thing about your comments is that you are too lazy to do any research before you write some inaccurate comment.

      • bikejedi

        First off even some more informed Liberals know why there have been gains in the Markets . That would be because of the fake bubble the Dems are creating with the QE policies of the Fed . When you invest digital money in the Markets it causes those Markets to go up . What happens when that phony investment of OUR Tax Dollars ends ? Can you say Market Bubble . You think the Dems would have learned from the Housing Bubble they created with the CRA of 1977 . We all see how that worked out in 2008 when the bill came due for that …But hey Bush happened to be in office and the Lying Community Organizer told all of you to blame Bush for it . Like the useful tools Liberals are they did just that without looking at cause and effect . As for Jobs we have been between 2.7 million to 1.6 Million fewer Jobs under economics by Community Organizer , so the argument that Obama has created X amount of jobs is poppycock that doesn’t take into account all the jobs he has lost . Bush didn’t have that problem . He steadily increased the number of people employed until the Dem Housing Bubble blew up the economy . And lets cover you 6.3 % Unemployment … Do you know anything of economics or are you too a Community Organizer ? To reach that number two things happened . 1 Obama uses the less accurate U3 Method to calculate Unemployment not the U6 EVERY other President used ( do some google searches because from your posts it doesn’t seem you know about this ) If Obama were using the more accurate U6 method then unemployment during his regime has hovered between 18 and 15 % … Sweet numbers . . 2 Next We have the lowest Labor Participation rate in 35 years . You do understand that there were approx. 100 million fewer Americans 35 years ago making Obama’s numbers Community Organizeresque ( is that a word ? ) . One last thing how can you claim any growth when under Obama we have only had 1/10th of 1% growth . And as the article pointed out that was only because of the forced Tax Payer spending on the Train Wreck of Obamacare . You arguments bear no basis in fact and logic and are juvenile talking Points spoon fed to you from MSNBC … I see the programming has worked well

        • BillP

          You are one of the most ridiculous writers on this site. Your comments are inaccurate and totally ignore reality.

          Your comment “Obama uses the less accurate U3 Method to calculate Unemployment not the U6 EVERY other President used” is totally wrong both the U3 and U6 numbers have gone down since 1/2009. The U3 numbers have used all along. In the case of the U3 numbers – 1/2009 – 7.8% now 4/2014 – 6.3%, the U6 numbers as of 1/2009 – 14.2% and now 4/2014 – 12.3%. Both numbers are lower now then when President Obama took office.

          “If Obama were using the more accurate U6 method then unemployment during his regime has hovered between 18 and 15 % ..” Another erroneous “fact” by you. The real U6 numbers reached a high of 17.1% in 4/2010 and has been below 15% since 4/2012. Why don’t you do some real research instead of just writing your inaccurate numbers?

          “One last thing how can you claim any growth when under Obama we have only had 1/10th of 1% growth”

          That is the growth figure for the 1st quarter of 2014 not since President Obama took office. To repeat that is “only” for the 1st quarter 2014. You need to learn about finance and economics before you write your ignorant comments.
          As for the stock indices you can claim it’s the QE that has caused this large increases but that just shows your ignorance of the stock market. I remember you claimed a large sell off is coming, I saw the same thing on a libertarian website almost a year ago. Still hasn’t happen. By the way the QE has reduced for a number of months already but you don’t seem to know this.

          • bikejedi

            You really cant stand getting pasted on a forum can you ? Desperation and false accusations aren’t going to change that . Obama does use the less accurate U3 Method and he does that to try to make his pitiful number look better . NOBODY used the U3 besides this except for economists for data and research because it is a JOKE to use it . It was never published nor mentioned on ANY News before this because it is a poppycock number that is totally effected by the Labor Participation rate . ( It seems you don’t understand how the one effects the other so if need be I will define that using a very Crayola level explanation ) Bush averaged 5% Unemployment it only spiked in the last month or so of his term because the bill came due for all the votes the Dems bought since 1977 on the back of bad Bank Loans … I seem to know more about the QE and everything else we have discussed because you never once mentioned them before I embarrassed you by bringing it up … Either that or you choose to ignore ” inconvenient truths ” …. By the way HAHAHAHAHAHA … keep posting you only make yourself look silly

          • BillP

            Bikey boy you really do have an exaggerated opinion of yourself, I guess narcissists do. The U3 rate was and is being used by the media and economists for at least 20 years.

            You may want to rewrite this sentence “NOBODY used the U3 besides this except for economists for data and research because it is a JOKE to use it” so it makes sense. Your statement that Bush averaged 5% may be correct if you are using the JOKE U3 rate. However if the U6 rate is used for the Bush years then you are way off. The lowest U6 rate for Bush was 6.8 % in 10/2000 and its highest was his last month in office 1/2009 at 14.2%. Kind of hard to average 5% when the lowest rate is 6.8%. Want me to give you a math lesson bikey boy.

            The U6 rate rose steadily for at least the last 2 years of Bush’s administration. You seem to ignore the effect of 2 unfunded wars and the tax rate cut that was supposed to stimulate the economy. Your statements like “I seem to know more about the QE and everything else we have discussed because you never once mentioned them before I embarrassed you by bringing it up” give me a good laugh. You keep writing about your high intellect but can’t even do some basic research to find U3 & U6 rates. The QE did help the stock market recover but it was only one of a number of factors that were the reason the stock market indices had large increases. By the way the QE has been reduced for a number of months now and the large sell off you stated would occur didn’t seem to have happen. So Einstein tell me more about the stock market so I know to go the opposite way.
            Oooh your last statement just cuts me to the quick. Your rapier like wit is sooooo overwhelming I don’t know how you do it bikey boy

          • bikejedi

            Keep posting you only make yourself look foolish .. You know as well as any other informed Liberal that the only numbers that were reported under Bush were U6 and that the U3 was never used or reported … You know that and yet you do just like Obama does and LIE . Look Bill you might get a few of the flock to believe that but no one else in America would . Also it is common knowledge that Bush averaged 5% Unemployment even amongst Liberals so stop embarrassing yourself . You mention that unemployment rose steadily in the last two years of Bush and I am sure you will spout some numbers from Media Matters Hahahahah or MSNBC hahahahahah … So who exactly controlled both the House and the Senate in those years … Oh that’s right the Democrats did . Also the QE is the major reason the Markets are up while Unemployment is crazy high , people on Tax payer hand outs are at an all time high and the Labor Participation rate is at a 35 year low .. By the way the forced artificial bubble is also increasing income inequality . After all Obama has created a record number of poor people decimated the middle class ( bringing incomes down ) all the while the QE policy is helping the Uber Wealthy gain even more ( all on the backs of the working class Geee ) Anyway I grow tired of you because I don’t like fibbers

          • BillP

            Bikey boy you have to get out of that right wing bubble you live in and check out the U3 & U6 rates for 2/2000 through 1/2009. Your “common knowledge that W averaged a 5% U6 rate” is so wrong. Why don’t you try doing some research on this issue. During the W administration the U6 rate started at 7.2% went to a low of 6.8%in 10/2009 then rose to 10.4% in 9/2003, dropped to a low of 7.9% in 12/2006 and then pretty much climbed every month till his last month (1/2009) in office to 14.2%. The U3 rate during this time started at 4.1% dropped to 3.8% and then rose to the 4% level, 5% level, 6% level and ended at 7.8% as of 1/2009. So your 5% average for President GW Bush using the U6 rate is a mathematical impossibility since (I repeat) the lowest U6 rate was 6.8% and the highest was 14.2%. Even using the lower (joke rate according to you) W’s average was 5.8% for the 8 years.
            Why don’t you try looking up these numbers to prove me wrong. I will give you a hint, don’t look on MSNBC or Media Matters. All you can do make some juvenile and disparaging remarks. Typical of a narcissistic little boy who can stand to be refuted.
            Bikey boy you love to write totally ludicrous statement like the Democrats controlled both the House and Senate during all 8 years of the W administration. Even when they did how many bills were filibustered in the Senate over that time, hundreds.
            You do realize that repeating that the QE was totally responsible for the strong stock indices numbers doesn’t make it true. You can keep believing it but I will just watch my investments and retirement funds grow and smile when I get my statements. While the 1% have gotten wealthier during this time, anyone with retirement accounts (401K, SEP, IRA) have seen their accounts increase in value too. So a lot of people have benefitted from this rise in the stock market.
            Bikey boy you can keep calling me a “fibber” but prove my numbers wrong, another hint you will not be able to do so.

          • BillP

            Bikey boy where did you go? You know you should never play cards for money, you have too many easy tells. I always know when you have nothing to come back with. Whenever you say something like “Anyway I grow tired of you because I don’t like fibbers” I know you have lost and have no rebuttal. Still believe that the Bush unemployment rate that you say averaged 5% was the U3 rate? That kind of flies in the face of the Bureau of Labor Statistics for the U3 & U6 rates for 2/2000 through 1/2009. But those are only the official numbers not the right wing bubble world figures.

  • Mark

    “In the face of a particularly harsh and long winter, the United States saw only a 0.1 percent annualized gain over the past three months — but if not for health care spending, the economy would have shrunk.”

    I suppose after the GDP has been revised down to -1.0 for Q1 of 2014 the article would conclude it would have been -2 or worse without Ocare? Whatever you say.

  • TopAngler

    Revised Q1 numbers are out and the economy shrank by the largest non-recessionary margin in 58 years (-2.9%)! Well, thank God for ObamaCare or it may have been much worse. Thank you Mr. Obama!