With 14 million Americans either out of work or underemployed, a lot of folks aren’t buying Christmas gifts or celebrating with a little holiday cheer this year. As Washington Examiner columnist John Stossel makes clear elsewhere in today’s edition, a major reason for the continued high and underemployment is found in the massive economic uncertainties that will result if the U.S. Supreme Court allows Obamacare to go forward. Businesses aren’t replacing current workers or adding new ones in great part because they simply cannot know how much doing so would cost them until the future of Obamacare is decided. This is a textbook case of the unintended consequences that inevitably accompany grand Big Government programs.
But there is another factor behind the economic stagnation produced by President Obama’s policies — soaring energy costs — that hurt all Americans, not just those without jobs or who are trapped in lower-paying positions. As CNBC reported earlier this week, the typical American family will spend the largest portion ever of its budget — 8.4 percent — on gasoline this year. Economists expect the average price of a gallon of gas to be $3.53, a 76-cent increase over 2010.