Former Sen. Phil Gramm of Texas says President Obama is to blame for reducing U.S. economic growth to less than 3 percent annually, and said failing to return to that level of growth could kill off the American Dream.
"If 3 percent growth is irretrievably lost, so is the American Dream," Gramm wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed with Michael Solon of U.S. Policy Metrics.
The two wrote that 3 percent annual growth is almost a "national birthright" for Americans. They said real growth averaged 3.7 percent from 1890 to 1948, and averaged 3.4 percent from 1948 to 2008.
But under Obama, growth averaged just 1.47 percent, and Gramm and Solon blamed Obama's policies.
"A tidal wave of new rules and regulations across health care, financial services, energy and manufacturing forced companies to spend billions on new capital and labor that served government and not consumers," they wrote. "Banks hired compliance officers rather than loan officers. Energy companies spent billions on environmental compliance costs, and none of it produced energy more cheaply or abundantly. Health-insurance premiums skyrocketed but with no additional benefit to the vast majority of covered workers."
They said Obama's policies also created a disincentive for work, and led to an increase in disability rolls during the recovery, instead of a drop that was seen during the Reagan recovery.
"Bad policies — not bad luck or a loss of God's favor — have driven down labor productivity and the labor supply," they wrote.
They added that America without 3 percent growth is "not America," and Obama's policies need to be unwound if the American Dream is to be realized.
"With 3 percent growth, the American dream is achievable and virtually anybody willing to work hard can live it," they wrote. "Let 3 percent growth die and a lot of what we love most about our country will die with it."