The Four Lies About the Economy That Obama Needs Voters to Believe

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President Barack Obama’s re-election turns on his ability to convince voters that 1) Obama inherited a “Great Recession,” 2) every “independent” economist supported the “stimulus,” 3) “bipartisan” economists agree that Obama’s stimulus worked, and 4) as actor Morgan Freeman puts it, racist Republicans say, “Screw the country … we’re going to do whatever we can to get this black man outta here” — nothing to do with deeply held policy differences.

That’s a lot of merchandise to push.

1) Take this “Great Recession” business.

Remember the “misery index”? The term, popularized by former President Jimmy Carter, used to mean inflation plus unemployment. Unfortunately for John Kerry, by the time he ran for president in 2004, the misery index stood at 7.4 midway into the election year, the same as when George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000. What to do? Change the definition. Kerry invented a new misery index, one that included only high-rising costs like college tuition, health care and gas prices.

Similarly, “bad economic times” used to mean, above all, high unemployment. Within a year of Obama’s presidency, unemployment climbed to 10.2 percent. Within three years of Reagan’s presidency, unemployment reached 10.8 percent. Under Obama, inflation has been — at least so far — rather modest. Early in Reagan’s presidency, inflation reached 13.5 percent. Rather than describe this era as the “Great-Recession-turned-around-by-Reagan’s-pro-growth-policies,” many pundits and scribes dismiss this period of extraordinary growth as the “me decade” or the “decade of greed.”

2) “There is no disagreement,” said then-President-elect Barack Obama, “that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jump-start the economy.”

What?! More than 200 economists, including several Nobel laureates, signed on to a full-page ad placed in major newspapers by the libertarian Cato Institute. Eventually, over 130 more economists became signatories to the ad.

It read: “With all due respect, Mr. President, that is not true. Notwithstanding reports that all economists are now Keynesians and that we all support a big increase in the burden of government, we the undersigned do not believe that more government spending is a way to improve economic performance.

“More government spending by Hoover and Roosevelt did not pull the United States economy out of the Great Depression in the 1930s. More government spending did not solve Japan’s ‘lost decade’ in the 1990s. As such, it is a triumph of hope over experience to believe that more government spending will help the U.S. today.

“To improve the economy, policymakers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.”

These 350 or so notable economists notwithstanding, Obama later doubled down: “This is what independent economists have said — not politicians, not just people in my administration. Independent experts who do this for a living have said this jobs bill will have a significant effect for our economy and for middle-class families all across America. And what these independent experts have also said is that if we don’t act, the opposite will be true. There will be fewer jobs; there will be weaker growth.”

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  • kong.ming

    Myth: "Obama inherited a “Great Recession”

    Fact: The roots of the Great Recession start in the early 90s with fraud of Govt. Sponsored Entities who reported lower exposure to subprime credit mortgages, mainly due to Senate Democrats who put their lovers in executive positions like Barney Frank and Herb Moses, or received favorable treatment from mortgage companies like Chris Dodd and Angelo Mozillo.

    Fact: Obama voted present on the Republican bill to reform government sponsored entities in 2005. He gets a pass from the media for writing a letter advocating more ACORN funding for lending regulation which is interpreted by the press as great foresight.

    Fact: Since 2004 Obama was a US Senate Democrat, the people for years attacked anyone trying to reform Fannie Mae as racists trying to kick poor people out of their homes.

    Fact: As president Obama has shown absolutely no awareness concerning insolvency which drives the recession. He has repeatedly submitted jokes of a budget to Congress advocating more debt, more taxes, more money printing and more inflation.

    Fact: Obama's stimulus ended up as a debt changing scheme between local, state and federal governments except for his cronies who grafted the spending which were losses and failures.

    • dennis x

      bush inherited a surplus but by the end of his term the monthly job loss was over 700,000 per month. Now the private sector is adding ax. 69,000 jobs a month. Job loss now is in the public sector due to government cut backs. Why is it that big business is making historical profits ( ie exxon etc.) but not hiring?

      • dos

        1. Bush didn't inherit a surplus, Clinton had a blue in his budget (apparently Clinton had more economy common sense instead of ideology than Obama has) but the overall debt is still in the trillions.
        2. If Obama were so good in your opinion, he for sure will revive the economy the first year he was president when both congress and house were controlled by Democrats ( I was going to say his party, but apparently his party is the New Party, not the Democrat Party )
        3. Lying is permitted and encouraged in the Quran in order to accomplish whatever Allah's goal is? Islam world domination? 7th century economy? Sharia law enforcement?

      • kong.ming

        The 2008 job loss was due solely to the rampant fraud in the GSE's for over 20 years. Democrats supported this houses for votes scheme and attacked anyone who tried to expose the fraud as racists. Obama had a chance for real leadership to stop the crisis but voted present. In many ways Obama inherited the fruits of his 2004 Senate term and 2006 Democratic majority.

        Natural gas and energy companies, who Obama wants to crucify, are much more responsible for the current job growth, that and the boom in logistic infrastructure due to high inflation.

        If the big government lobby really wanted jobs, they would first pass tort reform, even before medicare billing reform or tax code simplification. They won't because they are the front men in Congress for the lawyers who re-enact in front of juries babies being delivered in the womb so they can rack up millions of dollars in fees and build 26,000 square foot homes in North Carolina while cheating on their dying wives.

  • deanakim

    If you could not find a job for a long time it is time to change your career guys.. The time is now. Be on your way to earning an accredited degree. Check out High Speed Universities and they sure find suitable career based on your interests.

  • Dennis Metz

    here is the problem with race relations , blacks blame everything on race, as a huge college basketball fan I have seen the same issues, my school hired a black coach, he sucked bad and did not win despite having good recruits. people started to complain and it got louder every year. supporters of the coach claimed we wanted a new coach and this one out simply because he was black, nothing to do with his losing(not winning) teams and lack of player development. point here is when you hire a black even if they do not work out like obummer then you are stuck with them because if you dont like them it is because you are a racist