A cascade of bad economic and political news knocked President Barack Obama off his game today, and prompted him to revive his 2008-style criticism of his predecessor, and also to suggest that investors, consumers and even the media are responsible for today’s stalled economy.
The blame-game rhetoric – which pollsters say is counterproductive – came during the White House’s joint press conference with Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel. “It is just very important for folks to remember how close we came to complete disaster,” he told the watching TV cameras and reporters...
Obama’s misstep at the Tuesday press conference followed several days of bad news showing the economy produced only 54,000 jobs in May and spiked the formal unemployment rate to 9.1 percent. His economic adviser resigned, and a new poll showed his economic record getting record-low ratings and that he was trailing Gov. Mitt Romney by a few points among registered voters.
Let's remember, this guy his been president for 2-1/2 years and up until a half a year ago, his political party had run both houses of Congress for 4 years. Charlie Cook agrees with me: Obama owns this debacle:
While I generally loathe press releases, I have to admit that one caught my eye on Monday morning. The e-mail release from the Republican National Committee simply said, “They Own It.”
As I expected, “They” referred to President Obama and Democrats, and “It” referred to the economy. Within the first six months or even a year of a new administration, it’s fair game to blame predecessors for any problems. Indeed, it’s a legitimate and time-honored tradition by presidents of both parties. But such arguments get much less convincing as the second year comes to an end. Once into the third year, such claims sound downright silly. Gradually, any president and any administration take ownership of the problems facing the country.
And Charlie's liberal enough to think to that the stimulus was too little!
Well, let's look at that three-quarters of a trillion dollar stimulus--as much money as has been spent on the Iraq war!--and see what we were promised and what we got:
Back in January 2009, Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein produced a report estimating future unemployment rates with and without a stimulus plan. Their estimates, which were widely circulated, projected that unemployment would approach 9% without a stimulus, but would never exceed 8% with the plan. The estimates, along with real unemployment rates, are posted below:
You can blame President Bush all day long, lefties, but this is on you. You got what you wanted, with a grand total of 3 Republican votes (if memory serves) in the entire 535-seat Congress, and this is the result.
History tells us how to fix this, but it's you liberals who are too hellbent on your ideology to see reality and fix the problem. Your failed beliefs are dragging out a recession far beyond when it should have ended, just like Roosevelt's policies dragged out the Great Depression for 7 extra years.
And wishing it weren't so doesn't change the facts.
Update, 6/9/11: This New York Post column doesn't pull any punches, either:
The growth in GDP declined to a measly 1.8 percent in the first quarter of 2011 as consumers hung desperately onto their wallets. Job growth has completely collapsed. Fully 60 percent of the electorate thinks the country is on the wrong track. No wonder the daily economic briefing, once on a par with the intelligence briefing, has vanished from President Obama's schedule.Here on this blog I used to criticize President Bush and the Republican Congress for "spending money like a drunken sailor in a Southeast Asian port", but they were models of fiscal restraint and responsibility compared to the Pelosi/Reid Congress and President Obama.
Heckuva job, guys.
And now Obama says he's not worried about a double-dip recession. Easy for him to say: For Americans not feeding at the government trough, the first recession never ended.
We are witnessing the total failure of academic Keynesian economics, with its heavy emphasis on high taxes and exorbitant government spending. Yet Obama sails blithely on, already in full campaign mode and still blaming George W. Bush and the Republicans (admittedly no models of fiscal restraint or responsibility) for everything.
Update #2, 6/10/11: Here's another chart, and the Keynesians aren't going to like it.
Again, I won’t pretend this proves anything, however, it does suggest to me that continued massive government spending is not going to turn around the job market.