Blame Obama!

The American public is a stubborn and difficult group, they insist on silly things like jobs that pay the bills and an economy that gives them hope. When things aren’t going well, they punish the elected officials they feel responsible. For the American economy, things started to not go well in the 3rd quarter of 2007. The beginning of what has become known in some quarters as The Great Recession, the winter of 2007 and 2008 was the period when America’s economy stopped growing. But the shrinkage of our economy was not felt in unemployment terms until the summer of 2008.

The heart of our current bout of he-said-she-said that passes for political debate these days, the unemployment rate and the suffering it hints at, is the must widely misunderstood and politically misused statistic around. Americans are ready to punish the guilty party for the sorry state of economic affairs, and neither Republicans nor Democrats want to fit that guilty description. Democrats, led by President Obama, have been quick to remind voters that this economy is in the “ditch the Republicans drove us into”. Republicans, led by radio and TV pundits, as well as the minority leadership of Congress, have begun to find their election legs. They have jumped on the theme that Mr. Obama and his party are passing the buck, and that Americans are tired of Democrats using George W. Bush as an excuse.

The message? Blame Obama! There are just three problems with this campaign:

  1. It isn’t new. Led by Sean Hannity and Fox News, the Republicans have been blaming Mr. Obama for the economy since before he was inaugurated! The tired conservative cliche that business and industry changes their patterns because of the election of Democrats is the biggest pile of steaming fairy tale in our democracy.
  2. It isn’t consistent. Conservatives are prepared to pile sweeping indictments against President Obama’s agenda, an agenda that has had more success in comparable time-frames than either George W. Bush or Ronald Reagan. More on that later.
  3. It isn’t supportable. Conservatives can’t point to relevant Democratic policies that caused this current crisis; in fact they can’t point to anything Mr. Obama was a party to that is even related to this crisis.

Not consistent or supportable; that is the conservative’s entire agenda in a nutshell. It is also completely dependent on voters who take as gospel what they hear from conservative politicians and pundits. We live in an age when all of their B.S. can be de-certified by the average Joe in just a few mouse-clicks. If only more would start clicking, we might have a chance to avert the coming policy bomb. For example, it took just a few minutes for me to get original source information proving that the Ronald Reagan myth is the anchor around the Blame Obama game’s neck.

Conservatives knighted Saint Ronny The Gipper years ago, and they are trying to make George W. Bush look respectable in muddy hindsight. But here is the rub: the unemployment rate in January of 1981 was 7.5%; the unemployment rate 18 months later, 9.8%. In fact, Saint Ronny’s rate continued to climb until its peak of 10.4% in both January and February of 1983. The rate didn’t cross his inaugural number until May of 1984 when it reached 7.4%.

That last number is significant friends, because while George W. Bush was handed 4.2% unemployment at the beginning of 2001 by Bill Clinton, the rate that greeted President Obama was, you guessed it, 7.4%. That seems to be a favorite number for Republicans because, 12 years after Carter was swept out of office with promises of economic prosperity, Clinton took office with George H.W. Bush’s 7.3% looking him in the face. In the end, the Reagan Revolution shaved two-tenths off of America’s unemployment rate…I guess the national holiday is off. President Obama came into office in the midst of economic turmoil so great that, just months earlier, Republicans pushed for and passed the $700 billion bank bailout. Unemployment under Mr. Obama peaked just 10 months into office at 10.1%; 15 months earlier than the peak under President Reagan. President Obama has shown a 0.6% reduction in the unemployment rate during the same time-frame that Mr. Reagan managed a 2.3% increase.

The complaints against the Democrats cannot be supported because there are no policies that Republicans can draw a line to that assigns culpability to liberals. We can see the immense waste of the Iraq War; we can contrast the building of a nearly $1 billion embassy in Baghdad, with the failure to quickly rebuild New Orleans. We can see the steady degradation of our children’s education, we are palpably aware of our crumbling infrastructure. We see the failing of America, and we see a party wholly committed to fighting for more tax cuts for millionaires.

The Democrats had majorities in both houses in 2006. That much is a fact; but I challenge any Republican to find me a liberal bill that came from those houses and was signed into law by Mr. Bush. The majorities combined with Mr. Obama was just enough, after much hand-wrenching and the gnashing of teeth, to pass health care reform, financial reform, a stimulus bill, and a law designed to give women equal pay for equal work. Precious few Republican votes were had for any of those measures. Many went back to work or kept their jobs because of the stimulus bill, and many more had unemployment benefits during this crisis due to extensions. Republicans fought every one of those packages tooth and nail.

There can be no question of blame when it comes to the economy, and little question of support when it comes to which party gives a damn. I for one, will continue to remind Republicans how much they screwed up our country, no matter how much they whine. This November, voters should realize that it took 8 full years to get us into this mess, a mess driven by ill-targeted tax cuts and greed…it will take more than 18 months to get us out. Until Republican candidates and pundits back away from their “tax cuts are the secret password platform”, they are still the same as W.

Reader Feedback

6 Responses to “Blame Obama!”

  • Liam says:

    You guys are blinded by your ignorance u fail to have and open mind the insults are very childish while it’s true that some of Obama’s benefits have escalated the national debt. They’ve helped the regular american public. Obama has done a better job than what any republican candidate of this age could have done. He’s done everything he said he would do. To what Hank said you are assuming that the debt will steadily increase but the stmulus package a major factor to the debt has helped unemployment, the bail outs have helped unemployment even if it’s only 0.6% so it is not steadily increasing so there will be less need for these huge expenses in the future if as these numbers indicated the economy picks up. Obama has done a better job than what any republican candidate of this age could have done.The Republicans are saying more tax breaks for the rich but if there were no taxes to the rich how would the money ever circulate back to the poor, because in this capitalist society that we live in the rich get richer and the poor get poorer the rich accumulate mass amounts of money and put it away taxes a socialist system takes money from the rich and into the government where it then can be distributed back into the economy. If the rich aren’t taxed the economy fails and unemployment sky rockets then who will there be to tax.

  • John says:

    Mike R. Chase.
    you are stupid. haha…
    not even worth this comment.

  • Oscarphone says:

    I’m sure as hell blaming Obama now!

    He’s incompetent.

  • Hank says:

    Okay. So I understand you to be saying that the runaway National Debt, the unsure and shaky financial future of the United States has nothing to do with the uncertainties surrounding new employment opportunities, manufacturing retrenchment or credit availability? Interesting thought, but I’m not certain I could agree with you on that one. I think the economic uncertainty is driving many of the concerns that are contributing to a slow recovery, if in fact we are actually recovering at all.

    And you’re a numbers guy. Bush – 5 trillion in 8 years. (I’m not excusing or approving.) And Obama, 2 trillion in 18 months. You know that works out to around 11 trillion over 8 years? Right?? Or around 5.4 trillion over his hopefully single term?

  • Michael Chase says:

    The Stimulus Law and President Obama’s first budget Hank, have contributed about $2 trillion to our national debt (President Bush added over $5 trillion, by the by). National debt, by the way, that has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with unemployment, manufacturing retrenchment, or credit availability. Debt brings with it the risk of inflation, but as we are now in danger of entering a deflationary cycle, that threat is far removed from the priority list.

    Thanks for your comments (as always)….I do expect a rebuttal Hank!

  • Hank says:

    Hey Mike. I did a couple of mouse clicks and came up with this.

    So, are you saying President Obama’s policies and initiatives have nothing to do with our accelerated and mounting National Debt?

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Episode 2: Occupy Wall Street

Episode 3: 999! The Cain Train to Prosperity

Episode 4: Small Government

Episode 5: Newt is Forgiven

Episode 6: A Candidate with Big Balls

Episode 7: Why We Must Elect Rick!

Episode 8: Don't Make Me Use the "S" Word!

Episode 9: Santorum & Obamaville

Episode 10: Settle for Mitt!

Episode 12: Austerity and Obama's Debt!

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