Tag Archives: economy

‘Mess’? Mr. President, you inherited a ‘mess’?

Barack Hussein Obama doesn’t need me to defend him.

Aww, what the heck. I’ll do so anyway.

His successor as president of the United States told us Tuesday night once again that he inherited a “mess” when he took office a little more than a month ago.

Donald J. Trump’s assertion came during his speech to a joint session of Congress. He talked about 94 million Americans no longer looking for work and about how the economic recovery is the slowest in 60-plus years.

He blamed President Obama’s economic policies.

Ayyye!

I’ll stipulate up front that the economic recovery isn’t as robust as most of us would like.

But …

The economy isn’t a “mess,” as Trump said it is. You want a “mess”? Consider what Obama inherited when he took office in 2009: Employers were shucking jobs at 700,000 per month; the stock market plummeted, costing trillions of dollars in wealth; the auto industry was failing; banks were failing; the economy was heading straight into the crapper, man!

Eight years later, where do we stand? The Dow Jones Industrial Average virtually tripled in wealth; the jobless rate has been cut in half; we’ve had 80 consecutive months of job growth; the auto industry has been revived; bank closures have all but stopped.

Oh, the 94 million figure Trump cited about those who are no longer seeking employment? That number includes retirees and students. It’s a phony statistic.

The debt? Sure, it’s high. I wish it were less than it is, too. Why did we accrue such debt? Because the economic stimulus package Congress approved shortly after Obama took office required the infusion of public money to shore up an economy on the verge of total collapse.

I’ll add — for the umpteenth time — this point as well: The annual federal budget deficit has been cut by nearly two-thirds during the past eight years.

A mess, Mr. President? No, sir. You did not “inherit a mess.” Stop repeating that outright lie!

Economy now off the table for 2016 campaign?

Let’s allow this declaration: Barring an unexpected collapse that could occur at any moment, the state of the nation’s economy will not be an issue in the 2016 campaign for president of the United States.

The Labor Department released more job numbers today. They’re good.

The economy added 252,000 jobs in December; unemployment fell from 5.8 percent to 5.6 percent.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/10/business/economy/jobs-unemployment-figures-december.html?_r=0

Is it a perfect score? No. Wages took a slight dip in December, compared to the substantial growth they showed the previous month.

Republican contenders for the White House, though, are going to have to look beyond our borders for issues to toss against Democrats — namely against Hillary Rodham Clinton. Those opportunities aren’t going to be that easy to exploit against the former secretary of state, former U.S. senator, former first lady and prohibitive frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination.

The economy? Well, I’ve noted before how the Obama administration took bold steps early on to stop the free fall it inherited when Barack Obama took the presidential oath on Jan. 20, 2009.

The economy is picking up considerable steam now.

The war on terror? It’s still going on. Yes, the president said the “war on terror is over.” He misspoke. The nation continues to hunt down killers, who continue to strike at innocent victims, such as those most recently in Paris.

Let’s face this cold, harsh fact: The war on terror is unlike any war we’ve ever fought. There will be no way to declare victory. The 9/11 attacks brought forward what intelligence analysts and deep-cover agents have known all along, that terrorists are out there plotting against us.

That fight will go on, and on, and on.

At home, though, the economy has recovered.

How about sharing the credit?

Grover Norquist just cracks me up.

The anti-tax Republican activist wants the GOP to seize the credit for the nation’s economic recovery from those pesky Democrats, led by President Barack Obama.

It’s Republican policies, not Democratic policies, that have ignited the nation’s recovery from near-disaster, Norquist told The Huffington Post.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/30/grover-norquist-economy_n_6396682.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000013

Hey, here’s an idea, Mr. Tax Cutter: How about sharing it?

In a way, Norquist does make a salient point — more or less — about Republicans’ insistence that the economy still stinks. He says they should shut their trap about that and take credit for the good news we’re hearing.

According to The Huffington Post: “‘There were outside voices advising Republicans on what to do. They missed both calls,’ Norquist said in an interview with The Huffington Post. ‘I object as much as some of the guys on the right who are never satisfied in the moment. I’m never satisfied over time. But they go, ‘This was a disaster.’ No it wasn’t. We played our hand as well as you could and better than we had any reason to expect we would be able to.'”

If my own memory remains intact, I do believe the president gave in to Republican demands to keep the tax cuts enacted during the Bush administration. He could have dug in his heels and demanded repeal of the “Bush tax cuts” for business and big income earners, but he didn’t.

As some have noted as well, the oil boom has driven the nation’s economic revival. Nothing else. It’s just oil, they say. Presidential policies have nothing to do with that.

If that’s the case, then do Republican congressional policies play a role here? I’m thinking, well, maybe not.

Whatever the case, the nation’s economic health is far better than it was when Barack Obama took the presidential oath in January 2009. He pushed through a bold stimulus package with the help of a Democratic-controlled Congress. The auto industry bounced back, thanks to that stimulus — and then repaid the federal Treasury in full.

The labor market has been restored to where it was prior to the crash of late 2008.

Who deserves credit? I’ve been glad to give the president some of the credit. I’ll give credit as well to that other co-equal branch of government, Congress.

The only problem with Norquist’s call for less belly-aching and more bragging is that the GOP will have to concede that its Democratic “friends” had a hand in it as well.

Didn’t they?

 

Economy becomes Democratic trump card

Who’da thunk this could happen?

The economy is looming as the Democrats trump card as they fight to retain control of the U.S. Senate and try to prevent Republicans from grabbing even tighter control of the House of Representatives.

http://thehill.com/opinion/juan-williams/219140-juan-williams-economy-could-tip-election-to-dems

That’s the view, at least, of Juan Williams — one of Fox News’s token liberals.

Williams noted in an essay that President Obama is now using President Reagan’s legendary line from his 1980 campaign when he asked: Are you better off than you were four years ago?

Obama is turning that question on its ear for the GOP.

Are we better off today than we were four years ago, or six years ago, or even one year ago?

The answer unquestionably is a resounding “yes!”

The economic reality, though, hasn’t yet registered with Americans, according to RealClearPolitics.com, Williams reports. “RealClearPolitics has 55 percent of Americans disapproving of the president’s handling of the economy, to only 40 percent approving.” Why is that? My guess is that the GOP has done a better job of bad-mouthing the economy than Democrats have done talking it up.

The data tell a different story. This past month, we added 142,000 jobs to the economy, but that was seen as a “disappointment.” The previous several months registered more than 200,000 jobs monthly. The unemployment rate is now at 6.1 percent. Manufacturing is up. Exports are up, knocking down the trade deficit.

Will any of this work in Democrats’ favor when the mid-term elections are decided? That remains to be seen.

Still, it boggles my mind that the economy — which seemed to be in such a shambles just three years ago — now has become Barack Obama’s major bragging point.

Who knew?