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Economy Contracts for First Time in Five Years


Economy Contracts for First Time in Five Years
Obama Years Have Left Workers Behind 

(Washington, D.C.) – The Department of Commerce reported today that the U.S. Economy contracted by 2.9 percent in the first 3 months of 2014. This is the worst quarter the economy has seen since 2009, when the last recession ended. In the 5 years since, the White House has taken credit for weak economic growth, while highlighting that overall wealth in the U.S. – including stock and real estate – has increased by $26 trillion. Yet despite tax increases that have federal revenue at historic highs, and despite big government policies that are sold as ways to help low-income families – few Americans seem to be sharing in this prosperity. With much of the wealth being created on paper – owing largely to the Federal Reserve's low interest rate policies – this has been a "balance sheet recovery," and families are being left behind. 

For the half of American households that own no stocks and the one-third that do not own a home, the weak recovery has done little to improve their finances. These Americans depend more on jobs and wage growth, both of which are lagging. When evaluated in terms economic growth, wage increase and job creation, the recovery has been among the weakest on record. It has taken more than 6 years for the total number of jobs to return to its 2008 peak – and during that time the working-age population grew by 15 million people. Analysts do not expect job growth to improve dramatically in the near future – especially if the U.S enters a new recession.

Daniel Garza, Executive Director of The LIBRE Initiative, released the following statement:

"When president Obama was elected, the economy was in bad shape. But despite a $1 trillion stimulus, tax increases, health care reform, and massive new federal regulations, things have not improved for working families. Now – at least for a short period – the economy is shrinking, instead of growing. Clearly, America needs a different approach to job creation and shared prosperity. The easy money, big government approach has failed to translate into the prosperity that the president promised low and middle-income workers. We can do better. It's time for policies that get Washington out of the way of America's entrepreneurs, so they can grow the economy and give more families a chance to climb the economic ladder. That's the way to generate more American success stories."

For interviews with a LIBRE representative, please contact: Brian Faughnan, 703-678-4581 or Steven Cruz, 202-578-6173.