No wonder the president didn’t want to talk in his inaugural address about economic growth — we don’t have any. In fact, the economy is contracting, as Bloomberg reports: “Gross domestic product, the volume of all goods and services produced, dropped at a 0.1 percent annual rate, weaker than any economist forecast in a Bloomberg survey and the worst performance since the second quarter of 2009, when the world’s largest economy was still in the recession, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. A decline in government outlays and smaller gain in stockpiles subtracted a combined 2.6 percentage points from growth.”

President Barack Obama speaks at an interfaith vigil for Sandy Hook victims - Olivier Douliery/ President Barack Obama speaks at an interfaith vigil for Sandy Hook victims – Olivier Douliery/

In large part, the drop is driven by the looming defense sequestration: “Government outlays dropped at a 6.6 percent annual pace from October through December, subtracting 1.3 percentage points from GDP. The decrease was led by a 22.2 percent fall in defense that was the biggest since 1972, following the Vietnam War.”

I don’t know why they say the drop is unexpected. We are preparing to decimate national security, at a cost of perhaps 1.2 million jobs. The country was and still is poised to accept more tax hikes. The regulatory burden on employers and the prospect of Obamacare hang over our heads. No wonder we are in an economic slump. One more quarter of this, and, according to the technical definition, we will be in a recession.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio)  via his communications director Kevin Smith tells Right Turn: “Today’s report is another warning sign that families and small businesses are still struggling, and our economy isn’t creating enough jobs under President Obama.  That’s why Republicans are focusing on pro-growth policies such as reforming our burdensome tax code and stopping excessive regulations to create jobs and promote a healthier, more robust economy.”

This is why Republicans must talk growth, jobs and economic opportunity. The president isn’t because his policies stifle all three.