Obama on economy — not my fault, just bad luck
If unsupported claims were currency, Barack Obama would be a rich man. Let’s take apart a recent Obama bus tour statement:
"We had reversed the recession, avoided a depression, gotten the economy moving again," Obama told a crowd in Decorah, Iowa. "But over the last six months we’ve had a run of bad luck." Obama listed three events overseas — the Arab Spring uprisings, the tsunami in Japan, and the European debt crises — which set the economy back.
"All those things have been headwinds for our economy," Obama said. "Now, those are things that we can’t completely control. The question is, how do we manage these challenging times and do the right things when it comes to those things that we can control?"
"The problem," Obama continued, "is that we’ve got the kind of partisan brinksmanship that is willing to put party ahead of country, that is more interested in seeing their political opponents lose than seeing the country win. Nowhere was that more evident than in this recent debt ceiling debacle."
Actually the record doesn’t show anything of the sort. Officially, the recession was pretty much over when he took office. He’s added almost 4 trillion to the debt anyway with no discernable effect except to see unemployment – the one thing he promised would stay below 8% if he was allowed to spend – rocket to a high of 10%.
As usual, Obama tries to lay off the poor economic performance on other events. For instance the Arab spring. As it turns out it had very little effect on oil prices or supplies. Even though the administration tried to make something out of it (remember the desire to release oil from the National Petroleum Reserve?), it was, in reality, a non-factor. And for the most part, at least in terms of the performance of the US economy, so were the other two problems he’s listed.
The not-so hidden premise, of course, is had those things not happened, the economy would be humming like a fine tuned engine. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. And it hasn’t been “partisan brinkmanship” that has brought us to the economic precipice. It has been a result uncontrolled spending. That drag has translated into a necessity for the economy to produce more growth in GDP just to see the what we considered average growth in previous decades. The new 3% is no probably 4% growth. And this economy, at least now, is just not in the shape to do that.
So in reality, Mr. Obama is spinning like a top when he says things like he says above. What we’ve suffered here is a result of out-of-control spending and excruciatingly poor economic policy. And Obama has been at the forefront of both the spending and the policy decisions. Don’t let him fool you with his usual attempts to blame shift. This mess is all his.