The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

News From Ohio: Obamanomics Sucks

Posted on | October 1, 2012 | 26 Comments

Back home from a week in Ohio, I find the two latest polls — from PPP and the Columbus Dispatch — showing Obama still ahead in the Buckeye State, although not by the insane 7- to 10-point margins claimed by polls last week. Anybody can report on the polls, but what about the reality on the ground in Ohio?

One of the bits of Conventional Wisdom you hear about why Mitt Romney is having a hard time in Ohio is that the economy isn’t so bad there. Republican Gov. John Kasich’s pro-business policies have ameliorated the state’s woes, and many Ohioans are also grateful for the GM bailout, so therefore (according to the Conventional Wisdom) Romney’s economic message doesn’t resonate as much.

Being habitually skeptical toward the Conventional Wisdom, I doubt the sufficiency of these explanations. And my doubts were bolstered last week when I walked into a convenience store and saw the headlines in Thursday’s Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum:

Those three front-page headlines in this small-town paper (in Crawford County, Ohio, where my wife is from) tell us a lot about what’s really going on in Ohio these days:

Unemployment remains the same
Even though Crawford Co. unemployment rate
fell 1 percent, more people are not employed

BUCYRUS — Although the unemployment rate for Crawford County fell from 9.0 percent in July to 8.0 percent in August, it does not mean more people are employed.
According to the Ohio Labor Market Information, the civilian labor force in Crawford County went from 20,700 in July to 20,500 in August but the number of employed people remained the same for both months at 18,800.
“Since the number of employed stayed the same, 200 people went off of unemployment because their time limit is up and they have not found work yet,” said Dave Williamson, director of the Crawford County Economic Development Partnership. “We have no more people working than we did last month.” . . .

See? No new jobs, but 200 people exhausted their unemployment benefits and therefore the official rate drops 1 percent. Generalize from this one example, and this shows how easy it is to pretend that this is a “recovery,” rather than a depression. Next:

Study says more children
have health insurance

Despite increasing poverty, the number of children with health insurance increased across Ohio last year.
Uninsured children fell from 6 percent to 5.8 percent. The data comes from the annual American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau.
The increase in children on insurance comes as median incomes across the state were relatively flat, and the percentage of families in poverty — especially those with children — rose slightly.
The reasons for the increase in insurance for children could be numerous, said Curtis Skinner, of the National Center for Children in Poverty.
Generally, he said, insurance coverage is better for children than adults because they qualify for Children’s Health Insurance Programs or Medicaid.
Ohio might have been more proactive in promoting its insurance program for children, Skinner said, or more families might have qualified for the benefit because of lost jobs or wages. He said the increase in children’s health insurance was not likely caused by an increase in private insurance coverage.
Angela Krile, spokeswoman for the Ohio Children’s Hospital Association, said she also couldn’t pinpoint the reason for a drop in uninsured children. She said one in three Ohio children are enrolled in Medicaid, which helps provide coverage for families in poverty.
“Really, this just shows the importance of Medicaid in our state for children,” she said. . . .

Got that? The good news — more children have health insurance — is actually bad news: More children in Crawford County are now living in poverty, and a third of all Ohio kids are covered by Medicaid. Can you say “Cloward-Piven Strategy,” boys and girls? Next:

Local children
are going hungry

‘Pack the Park’ event aims to help
BUCYRUS — There is a harsh reality in our community: children in Bucyrus and Crawford County are going hungry. The proof exists in the rising percentages of free and reduced-price lunches in school districts throughout Crawford County.
At 7 p.m. Saturday, local citizens can help combat this growing issue during an event called “Pack the Park” at Aumiller Park. Presented by the new Crawford County Young Professionals group and Together Time, this is an opportunity for community members to help feed hungry children in Bucyrus.
“The Young Professionals became aware of this problem facing Bucyrus City School students: more than 70 percent of our students require assistance with food by receiving free or reduced lunches,” said Casie Grau, CCYP president. “We are concerned about our area youth and the impact that lack of food and nutrition has on their ability to learn and succeed in school.” . . .

What? Children going hungry in Ohio? More than 70 percent of students in Bucyrus schools qualify for free or reduced lunches?

Is this the Hope or the Change?

Bucyrus, Ohio, is not a squalid inner-city ghetto. This is a small town about midway between Columbus and Toledo, in a county with a total population of less than 44,000, about 97 percent white. If the economic news is this bad in Bucyrus — unemployment stuck at 8 percent, one-third of children on Medicaid, 70 percent qualifying for free or reduced school lunches — how on earth can anybody be deceived into the belief that Obama’s policies are making things better for Ohio?

And if I can see this just by picking up a local paper in Ohio, how has it escaped the notice of those who control the Conventional Wisdom?





26 Responses to “News From Ohio: Obamanomics Sucks”

  1. Evi L. Bloggerlady
    October 1st, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    Rasmussen’s swing state poll show Obama up +4 for Sunday and now again today. What is up with that? Why would trends be breaking for Obama lately? It makes no sense.

  2. Shoe Leather v. Conventional Wisdom | hogewash
    October 1st, 2012 @ 10:15 am

    […] in Ohio and is therefore headed for reelection. Stacy McCain has spent some time in Ohio and, he reports that the situation on the ground seems to conflict with the polling data. Obamanomics isn’t […]

  3. WJJ Hoge
    October 1st, 2012 @ 10:20 am

    Perhaps the MSM polling is being done in OIHO.

  4. DarthLevin
    October 1st, 2012 @ 10:53 am

    If they’re polling in Ohio (or even Oiho), it’s being done in the heart of Cleveland, the Short North, Victorian Village, and German Village in Columbus, and Toledo. They only want to hear from the bastions of Progressivism in the state, because then they’ll get the answers they want.

    I visited my mom in Indiana last weekend and she asked me if Obama was really polling +10 in Ohio. I told her only if you listen to the polls and don’t pay any attention to the people. She said, “Yeah, that’s what I thought.”

    The MSM is only fooling themselves.

  5. Bob Belvedere
    October 1st, 2012 @ 11:04 am

    Glad you made home safe and semi-sound, Stacy.

  6. Obamanomics Is Making People Poorer | The Lonely Conservative
    October 1st, 2012 @ 11:50 am

    […] gripping not only Central New York, but the entire country.Stacy McCain was in Ohio last week and points out three front page stories in a local newspaper there. We’ve been told that the economy in Ohio is fantastic, so Mitt Romney will have a tough time […]

  7. 1bulwetweft
    October 1st, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

    Sampling breakdown? Respondent demographics? Polling in Ohio frequently over-samples metro areas, especially the 3 C’s (Cols, Cincy, & Cleveland). Those of us living in the country are too busy to sit by the phone and answer stupid questions. You simply cannot take anything at face value when it’s related to election polling – regardless of the source. At this point, I prefer to be told we are losing – then everyone will keep working hard and not become complacent or overconfident. This is not a time for the politically squeamish and easily-discourgaged, which unfortunately, includes a large number of conservatives. I truly believe we will prevail, but those of us on the ground will have to work tirelessly and understand that things could get ugly (very ugly indeed) as the entrenched institutions are challenged & defeated.

    PS: Greetings to Mrs. Other McCain from Crawford County’s southern neighbor. Does she remember which county that is?

  8. A
    October 1st, 2012 @ 1:19 pm
  9. Wisdom From Bob-Tzu « The Camp Of The Saints
    October 1st, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

    […] McCain, who is back home safe and semi-sound now from his very successful reporting trip to Ohio, asks the following question in his latest blog […]

  10. Adjoran
    October 1st, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

    Again, it fails to account for those dropped from the labor force not because they no longer want work, but only because it is more convenient for the Labor Department to forget them once their benefits are exhausted. The real unemployment rate is closer to 13%.

  11. Adjoran
    October 1st, 2012 @ 2:22 pm

    School lunches are a scam. As one who lives in a poor county with a high minority population, I found out how it works while monitoring the schools on another issue some years ago, which entailed attending all the School Board meetings and listening to the reports.

    Our schools have no standard at all for free lunches – and most districts have long since abandoned “reduced price” meals as stigmatizing (but apparently getting it free is okay). All you have to do is request it, and there is no form demanding income or financial information at all. Just ask, it’s like manna from heaven.

    There are a couple of reasons for this. First and simply, the federal subsidy for free lunches is more than the lunches themselves cost in most cases, so a “free lunch” becomes a profit center for the school district. Secondly, many federal aid programs are factors of the poverty rate AND the subsidized lunch %, so the more kids getting a freebie, the more cash for the district.

    Finally, free lunches (and especially breakfasts) improve attendance, and other federal programs are factored by attendance. This is also why students are rarely expelled anymore unless they shoot up the school. Instead, they are assigned to “alternative school” where they sit in a class and do busy work or nothing for half a day – enough to be counted as attending “school” for the day even though nothing is taught at all.

    A big fat scam, baby!

  12. Cube
    October 1st, 2012 @ 2:26 pm

    I see the same thing as you here in southwest Ohio. Even though this is a Republican area, economic reality trumps political theory when you’re trying to sell your product. And the reality is this economy SUCKS and the Democrats are running the show nationally. (Yeah, I know the House is Republican, but the Democrat Senate won’t pass anything that would help and even if they did, the president would veto.)

    Let the Make-Believe Media keep reporting that Obama is winning Ohio. The trouble with propaganda is the creators tend to believe their own copy. So let them keep “hiding the decline” until it’s too late for the Donkeys to do anything about it. In the end, Truth matters.

  13. Adjoran
    October 1st, 2012 @ 2:27 pm

    9% response rate. The 91% aren’t being polled, and there is no way to ascertain exactly how they break down because they won’t consent to be polled! But I suspect a disproportionate % of the refuseniks are conservatives and Tea Party folks fed up with media.

    Who you poll is everything. Remember 2004, the exit polls called it: Kerry in a landslide.

  14. Welcome to Realville: Media reality vs Reality Reality » Da Tech Guy's Blog
    October 1st, 2012 @ 2:30 pm

    […] Update: And Stacy McCain tells you, there are papers in Realville too. […]

  15. DarthLevin
    October 1st, 2012 @ 2:37 pm

    I get the occasional call from a pollster. A couple times when I wasn’t busy (or the Reds weren’t on, or the kids were horsing around, etc.) I didn’t hang up and lied through my teeth. My positions didn’t make any sense unless I was clinically insane or a Progressive. But I repeat myself.

    Any reputable polling organization would have tossed my entire set of responses into the round file.

  16. richard mcenroe
    October 1st, 2012 @ 3:05 pm

    Problem is, DMan, it’s hard to distinguish a Prog from the clinically insane.

  17. A
    October 1st, 2012 @ 3:23 pm

    You are correct on the number but the point was the positive trend. If the number accounting for disaffected workers is currently higher than the standard unemployment measure, then so too was the peak in 2009. According to the BLS the latest U-6 unemployment number you refer to for Ohio is 14% while the 2009 figure was 17.2%. As a reference, since Ohio tends to have a higher unemployment rate than the nation as a whole, the comparable figures prior to the recession were 10.6% in 2004, 9.9% in 2005, and 9.7% in 2006. Unemployment in Ohio remains high (relative to the state’s “full employment” U-6 of about 10%) but it has improved since the financial crisis (before Kasich’s policies went into effect).

  18. Becca Lower
    October 1st, 2012 @ 5:47 pm

    The people I talk to don’t credit Obama with the improvement in our state’s economy/unemployment numbers. It might not help Mitt Romney, but it definitely isn’t helping the president, either.

  19. Rob Crawford
    October 1st, 2012 @ 5:48 pm

    My only concern is that the left is believing their Pravda, and will get violently angry if reality doesn’t.

  20. A
    October 1st, 2012 @ 6:49 pm

    Fair enough. Just trying to answer the question “how on earth can anybody be deceived into the belief that Obama’s policies are making things better for Ohio?” Maybe nobody’s being deceived by facts, but that was the premise I started with.

  21. BREAKING: Paul Krugman Gets Something Correct | hogewash
    October 1st, 2012 @ 10:12 pm

    […] one he knows is planning to vote for Mitt Romney. To have a different opinion he’d have to burn some shoe leather and get out past the Hudson River. Share this:TwitterFacebookLinkedInEmailPrintLike this:LikeBe the […]

  22. JeffS
    October 1st, 2012 @ 11:15 pm

    Yet another reason for the 2nd Amendment.

  23. Dapandico
    October 2nd, 2012 @ 7:38 am

    Even if the bills or legislation passes the house, Land Deal Reid won’t bring it up for a vote.

  24. Larwyn’s Linx: Uh oh: CNN sources say Obama lied about BenghaziGate | Preppers Universe
    October 2nd, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

    […] News From Ohio: Obamanomics Sucks: RSMObama Makes 10th Vegas Trip—Since Warning Not to Visit: CNSWhat If I Am Wrong About Europe?: Mish […]

  25. Guy Average
    October 2nd, 2012 @ 10:06 pm

    Dude, if you’re going to Bucyrus, go during the Bratwurst Festival.

  26. Larwyn’s Linx: EXPOSED: White House Had Advance Warning of Libyan Terror Threat | Preppers Universe
    October 3rd, 2012 @ 10:11 am

    […] And if I can see this just by picking up a local paper in Ohio, how has it escaped the notice of those who control the Conventional Wisdom?” –Robert Stacy McCain […]