Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Don't believe Obama's protests of ignorance

Obama has been defending his performance on the economy by resorting to that excuse that failed politicians always give when their policies are unpopular. They say that their real failure is not the policies but their ability to explain them to those darn people who are too dumb to understand how wonderful those actions have been. President Obama has added a new fillip to this common excuse. In Obama's eyes, the problem was that he and his crew didn't know just how bad the economy was when he took office in January 2009 so he didn't explain sufficiently to the public the dire situation we were in.
“I think we understood that it was bad but we didn’t know how bad it was.” He added: “I think I could have prepared the American people for how bad this was going to be had we had a sense of that.”
Stephen Hayes remembers that Google is our friend and so revisits the warnings that not only Obama but every media outlet were making back in the Fall of 2008.
So was Barack Obama surprised by the seriousness of the economic problems in 2008, as he now claims?

In a word: No.

On September 28, 2008, in the first head-to-head debate with John McCain, Obama said: “We are going through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.” He called it “a defining moment in our history.”

A post on the Obama administration’s transition page said that the United States “faces its most serious economic crisis since the great depression.”
Obama had every reason to badmouth the economy before the 2008 election. The media backed him up.
If Obama was exaggerating, others believed him. The depth of the recession was widely reported when Obama was elected. On November 5, one day after the election, Agence France Presse reported that “Obama faces the biggest global crisis since the 1930s Great Depression and a host of domestic economic ills, including rising unemployment, falling home values and deeply shaken confidence when he takes office on January 20.” An analysis by the Associated Press sounded a similar note, arguing “the president-elect must immediately confront the worst economic conditions since the 1930s Great Depression.” The Boston Globe called it “the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.” A memo from the Obama-friendly Center for American Progress called the situation “perhaps the most daunting economic challenge faced by a new president since the Great Depression.”
I remember back in 1993 when Bill Clinton claimed that the reason he couldn't pass the tax cut he'd campaigned on was because he hadn't realized how bad the economic situation was in until he got into office. It wasn't believable then and it isn't believable now.

What Obama was truly ignorant was of how his stimulus policy was going to fail to stimulate and, coupled with his health care bill and his regulatory policies, would prevent the economy from rebounding. And now his only defense is that his oratorical skills and knowledge of the economy were insufficient to warn the people about how long it was going to take for the economy to recover. That is, instead of his administration's projections about how the stimulus was going to lower unemployment and jumpstart the economy. He overpromised and now he's facing the results. His only defense is to blame his ignorance and lack of persuasive powers. Sure.


tfhr said...

"What Obama was truly ignorant was of how his stimulus policy was going to fail to stimulate and, coupled with his health care bill and his regulatory policies, would prevent the economy from rebounding."

I don't think for a second that Obama believed that his "stimulus" package was designed primarily for economic benefit. That incredible waste of money was done for the benefit of Obama's cronies and campaign contributors.

Instead of creating conditions that might have been helpful, the Obama administration has worked hard to create more burdensome regulation. He had two years to use his party's uncontested control of Congress to pass any measure designed to help businesses create jobs but instead he chose to push his failed and harmful ObamaCare plan. Instead of reducing corporate tax to a level that allows us to compete internationally, we've got a tax rate more than double that of Canada's. Rather than doing everything possible to lower energy costs, we have a President dedicated to raising energy costs while refusing to approve Keystone.

It's not a matter of what Obama claims to have not known or what he still has not learned after nearly four years. It is about his priorities and there is only one: Maintain his political base long enough to make it through the next election.

jdeloatch64 said...

Honestly, I'm not sure that anybody truly understood how bad the economy was--and I think people still don't understand. It's one thing to say that this is the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression--it's another to know what it means. Note that Ron Paul is the only 2012 presidential candidate who was alive back then. The only perspective anybody had was the history books, and it seemed like the obvious solution was a stimulus in the style of FDR. It was impossible to know ahead of time that the stimulus wouldn't work as well as expected (though what it probably did was provide a higher floor for the economy to hit). It's just like how you can hear that a test is going to be hard, but you can never know just how hard it is until you try to answer the questions.

Betsy Newmark said...

Except that many commentators and economists predicted that the stimulus would fail before the bill was even passed.

jdeloatch64 said...

On the other hand, many commentators and economists predicted that the stimulus would succeed before the bill was passed. And, while it didn't meet the lofty expectations set for it, it did help provide a safety net for the economy.

tfhr said...


The problem with that net is that it was placed ON TOP of the economy rather than beneath it. Bigger government retards economic growth and in any case Obama's "stimulus" was nothing more than payback for his political allies.

Betsy Newmark said...

If you think the stimulus was so carefully planned, read this.