“Manufacturing is back”? Really?

| August 5 2012

Just a few months ago in one of his trademark speeches filled with bluster, Vice President Joe Biden told a friendly crowd in Iowa that all was well in the world of U.S. manufacturing.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I come here today with a very, very simple message: Manufacturing is back. Manufacturing is back.”

Not so fast, Joe. Now that we are in a summer slump with bad economic news popping up everywhere, we learn that manufacturing shrank for the second straight month in July. The culprit is slow economic growth that plagues the entire Obama economy – a 1.5 percent growth rate in the second quarter of this year.

Manufacturing is taking a hit along with every sector of the economy. Factory hiring was down in July over June. New orders declined. Orders for exports fell to the lowest level since April 2009, reflecting a downturn in economic growth globally.

The trend in manufacturing points straight down. Manufacturing output rose at an annual rate of 9.8 percent in the first quarter of this year. In the second quarter it fell to an annual rate of 1.4 percent, a dramatic decline.

What is wrong? The Obama economy is stagnant, stuck in neutral as consumers and businesses cut back. People see uncertainty everywhere and hesitate to spend or hire. The caution light flashes at every turn.

No wonder. The president wants to raise taxes on everyone. He continues to spend and borrow at a record pace. Congress delays action on taxes and spending until after the election. The bad news stacks up like unpaid bills.

Consumer spending makes up 70 percent of the U.S. economy. When consumers cut back and buy less of everything from cars to appliances, manufacturing suffers. These are not statistics. Real people suffer from job layoffs and fewer new hires.

Joe Biden needs to revisit those folks in Iowa and give them an update. Manufacturing is not back.  It is stuck in the mud.