Tag Archives: economy

Economy gets in GOP’s way

Republicans have been hoping for an economic collapse to fuel their mantra that President Biden’s stewardship on our finances would lead them back to the White House.

Except that the news just keeps getting better.

This week the Labor Department announced the economy added 353,000 jobs to the workforce. The unemployment remains at 3.7%. Inflation is under control. Wages and salaries are outdistancing the inflation rate. Mortgage interest rates are sliding down.

What the heck? The GOP presidential frontrunner can’t make the case that Joe Biden’s policies aren’t working. Instead, he’s left to look for other issues with which to bludgeon the president.

Politico reports: And though far from certain, it’s now possible that the nation’s economic health could become an electoral asset for Biden in an unexpected way.

“I think that is the question of the day,” said Stephen Moore, a senior fellow at The Heritage Foundation and an economist with FreedomWorks who is close to the Trump campaign. “You can’t blame the president when policies go wrong, and then say he’s not responsible if things are going right.”

Biden’s economy keeps messing up Trump’s message – POLITICO

Moore touches on a singular political reality, which is that presidents too often take blame they don’t deserve while being denied any credit they might earn. That is true for presidents of either party. So often matters out of their control dictate downward economic spirals.

The inflation rate is an example. Americans who endured the COVID-19 pandemic were denied opportunities to purchase big-ticket items. Then the pandemic broke and Americans released all that pent-up demand, which contributed to skyrocketing inflation at almost every level.

Who took the blame? Joe Biden!

Then the president pitched what he called the Inflation Reduction Act. Congress enacted it. The IRA intent was to target the supply chain, seeking to loosen it sufficiently. It worked. Inflation is under control.

Has the POTUS gained much from the impact of the IRA? Not yet!

The economy is fading as a talking point that Republicans can use against Joe Biden. The president’s campaign team now must devise a message that drives the point home that, yes, we are better off than we were four years ago.

Down the stretch they go!

By JOHN KANELIS / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

As long as the media keep reporting on the “horse race” aspect of the 2020 presidential campaign, I suppose it’s fitting now to note that Joe Biden and Donald Trump are heading down the stretch.

Did anything change substantively from their second and final joint appearance? It appears, um … no!

Biden’s lead remains steady if not overwhelming. Trump is trying to find a new path to the 270 electoral votes he needs to win re-election. Biden is taking his talking points this week — get this — to Georgia! Biden thinks he has a chance to capture that Deep South bastion of Republican politics. Who knew?

I remain hopeful — but I am leery — that Biden can pull this off, that he can banish Trump from the White House and that he can restore our national “soul,” which was his initial campaign message when he jumped into this contest.

My hope cannot wipe away the memory of what happened in 2016. Hillary Clinton led Trump down the stretch, too. Then she — and the rest of us — got the surprise of our political lives when Trump cobbled together an electoral majority to win!

He ran four years ago as an outsider vowing to shake things up. Well, he has shaken things up, all right. Now he is the ultimate insider.

Oh, and we have that pandemic that he ignored and the economic revival he inherited has collapsed as a result.

Stay busy, Joe Biden. Your work ain’t done yet.

White House not believable … at any level!

MSN.com posted a question today as part of its ongoing rolling random online “polls” relating to issues of the day. This one dealt with the economy.

Do you tend to believe economic forecasts from the White House or outside experts?

Hmm. Let me ponder that one. Actually, this was one of the easier questions to answer.

I’ll start by saying that I do not trust the White House to tell me the truth about anything at all. Not a damn thing! Not as long as Donald Trump is the Man of the White House, the guy in charge of the executive branch of government.

Who do I believe? The outsiders.

The question, though, cuts to the heart of what I perceive to be the No. 1 issue facing this White House: its trustworthiness.

To state it briefly, I don’t trust the White House. I don’t trust the spokespeople, the senior aides, the Cabinet, the (acting) chief of staff, the vice president or the president himself.

They all take their cue from the man who won the election in 2016. Donald Trump is fundamentally a liar. He cannot tell the truth even when it suits his interests to do so. He lies when he has no reason to lie. Remember when he said his father was “born in Germany”? He wasn’t. Fred Trump was born in New York City. Why does the president lie? He cannot help himself! He cannot stop lying.

Some of Trump’s closer political allies once called him out on his lying. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who ran against Trump for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination, once called him an “amoral” individual who couldn’t tell the truth if his life depended on it. He also threw in “sniveling coward” for good measure. Well, he’s changed his tune, as has U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another former Trump foe in 2016. I am not in public life, so I am free to stay the course.

Trump is a lying, conniving, self-serving con man who has set the tone for the White House he runs.

How in the world can anyone believe anything from this administration, given its record of lying.

Someone once said “The fish rots from the head down.” So do presidential administrations.

Bill Maher is a not-too-funny comic, not a member of the media

I posited a notion in an earlier blog post today that Donald Trump’s assertion that the media are trying to destroy the economy is a typically absurd effort to avoid taking any responsibility for the economic woe his own policies might bring to American.

Then a post from a couple of days ago came to my attention. It’s of Bill Maher saying he wishes the economy tanks so that Donald Trump is denied re-election next year.

Is there a parallel here? I don’t see it.

Maher is a comic and sometime-political commentator who’s got a talk show that I never watch, although I’ve heard Maher’s shtick over the years. I don’t think he’s very funny. His “comedy” occasionally crosses a line or two of good taste and decorum.

I am perplexed enough to ask: Is this guy a member of the media? I suppose one could suggest so, given that he at times appears on left-leaning cable commentary shows to offer his world view on this or that issue. However, his media role is at best something that occurs on its fringe.

If you’re interested, you can see how The Hill reported Maher’s rantings here.

I’ll stand by my earlier post that the president is wrong to blame the media for conspiring to tank the economy. He is trying to divert attention from his policies that threaten to undermine the “greatest economy” in human history.

Plus, the media are for-profit businesses that would suffer mightily with the loss of ad revenue if the economy heads straight into the crapper.

Do the media intend to cut their own throats by seeking to destroy the only thing that Donald Trump could say has earned him a second term in office? I don’t believe so.

How about sharing credit, POTUSes 44 and 45?

Barack H. Obama and Donald J. Trump are arguing over who deserves the credit for the nation’s booming economy.

Trump keeps hogging all the credit. Obama is reminding us that Trump inherited an economy on the upswing.

Trump says the tax cut has spurred job growth. On his watch, the unemployment rate is at historic lows, job growth is booming, as is the stock market.

Oh, but Obama says the nation’s economic stimulus package approved not long after he took office has spurred much of the growth. The nation has been on an upward climb since 2011.

I know this won’t happen. Ever! How about the men sharing the credit?

Why won’t it happen? Obama and Trump are politicians of different political parties. They obviously detest each other. Trump fomented the Big Lie for years about Obama’s place of birth. Obama has recently taken the gloves off with Trump, calling him out by name in his attempt to help Democrats get elected to Congress in the 2018 midterm election.

I am inclined to side with President Obama. I know: no surprise there. It’s just that Donald Trump has continued to speak untruthfully about the nature of the economic recovery and about the base line he inherited. He calls the economy a “disaster,” which it clearly wasn’t when he took office.

My hope is a futile one. Still, it’s good to remember that when our Special Forces took out Osama bin Laden in May 2011, the then-president — Barack Obama — made sure to spread the credit to where it was due. He praised the anti-terror work done for many years across two administrations, Republican and Democrat.

Is there that kind of sharing to be expressed these days with a relatively robust economy? Hah! Hardly.

‘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?