Free Markets, Free People

Down the memory hole – Obama’s promises

You remember this or at least have read or seen it on a video:

Bob Schieffer: “The fact is, unemployment is up. It is higher than when [President Obama] came to office, the economy is still in the dump. Some people say that is reason enough to make a change.”

Bill Clinton:”It is if you believe that we could have been fully healed in four years. I don’t know a single serious economist who believes that as much damage as we had could have been healed.”

CBS’s “Face the Nation,” September 23, 2012

That’s exactly the meme the Democrats have been trying to establish for some time.  First it was “but imagine how much worse it would have been if we hadn’t have acted”.  That foundered on the rocks of 8.2% unemployment.

The new meme is to claim – and that’s all it is – that no one expected the economy to be healed in 4 years, no one.  And certainly not any “serious economist(s)”.

But as the Wall Street Journal points out, plenty of serious people, or at least people who’d like to have you take them seriously, not to mention a couple of “serious economists” promised exactly that – we’d be healed in 4 years.  The list?

There’s Joe Biden, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Christina Romer, Jared Bernstein, Mark Zandi, and, most importantly, President Obama himself.

Yup, that’s the case, whether or not the spin- meister, Bill Clinton wants to believe it or not.  So how did that work?

Mr. Obama told Americans in 2009 that if he did not turn around the economy in three years his Presidency would be “a one-term proposition.” Joe Biden said three years ago that the $830 billion economic stimulus was working beyond his “wildest dreams” and he famously promised several months after the Obama stimulus was enacted that Americans would enjoy a “summer of recovery.” That was more than three years ago.

In early 2009 soon-to-be White House economists Ms. Romer and Mr. Bernstein promised Congress that the stimulus would hold the unemployment rate below 7% and that by now it would be 5.6%. Instead the rate is 8.1%. The latest Census Bureau report says there are nearly seven million fewer full-time, year-round workers today than in 2007. The labor participation rate is the lowest since 1981.

You don’t say.  So, in fact, plenty of serious people and at least two serious economists make Bill Clinton a liar.  Yeah, I know, that’s harsh considering most people don’t consider political spin a “lie” per se.  I’m just not one of those people.

There have been other excuses tried by the administration and its apologists as well:

The Administration and its acolytes claim that the nature of the 2008 financial collapse was different from past recessions, and that it can take up to a decade to restore growth after such a financial crisis. Economist Michael Bordo rebuts that claim with historical economic evidence nearby.

In reality, the biggest difference between this recovery and others hasn’t been the nature of the crisis, but the nature of the policy prescriptions. Mr. Obama’s chief anti-recession idea was a near trillion-dollar leap of faith in the Keynesian “multiplier” effect of government spending. It was the same approach that didn’t work in the 1930s, didn’t work in the 1970s, didn’t work in 2008, and didn’t work in such other nations as Japan. It didn’t work again in 2009.

The fact remains that there were plenty of promises made by plenty of serious people to include “serious economists” saying they had a plan that would heal us in 4 years.

They have utterly failed.

Tell me again why they should get another 4 years to prolong the failure?


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32 Responses to Down the memory hole – Obama’s promises

  • There’s a belief among policy makers that serious recessions associated with financial crises are necessarily followed by slow recoveries—like the one we’ve experienced since mid-2009. But this widespread belief is mistaken. To the contrary, U.S. business cycles going back more than a century show that deep recessions accompanied by financial crises are almost always followed by rapid recoveries.
    Prof. Bordo seems like a “serious economist”.
    But, as we know, Bill Clinton is a liar.  And he was brought in to prop up the failures of the lying Obama.

  • Mr. Obama’s chief anti-recession idea was a near trillion-dollar leap of faith in the Keynesian “multiplier” effect of government spending.

    I can’t recall where, but I scanned a piece a few days back that stated the multiplier effect of the Obama stimulus was NEGATIVE 3.

    • Even Keynes said stimulus was to be a “kick start”, is was NOT supposed to flood the engine.
      Notice no stimulus for Defense; of Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen spending beau-coup bucks, nor revitalizing our worn out (even before Gulf War One and Iran/Afghanistan) military equipment (Like B-52 as old as the parents of the pilots, or F-15’s that a pilot’s father flew (yup, it happened in 1978 and a couple years ago…same plane, same serial #).

      • Defesne spending has a very high multiplier, if you believe in such things, because it doesn’t leak to China.

  • And how convenient to forget that they promised if we granted the Stimulost cash to them, by the end of Big-Ear’s first term unemployment would be at 5.3%.   I think that infers a moving, decent economy, and certainly not one stuck in the ‘ditch’ like we seem to be

    There’s no spinning THAT promise out from under where it leads.  Unless Clinton wants to pretend he was dumb enough to believe our unemployment rate would be at 5.6% and we’d still be circling the bowl.  If THAT was what they meant when they said the stimulus would make it better than WTF (why) would we have let them have the stimulus money in the first place?
    No, it’s clear they meant they could right the ship at or before the end of Obama’s first term in office.

    • Come on, give us a do-over. This time we really will spend it all on crumbling infrastructure.

      • the bridges to nowhere, or the highways in the spares districts of Robert Byrd and various other statist clowns?

        • CATO checked out the crumbling claim, and we actually rate our bridges and such, and the ratings have been going up over the years not down. (for federal an state infrastructure.)
          So, its just another lib meme out there – keep in mind they also didn’t build Yucca Mountain, and Gov. Brown just made sure we spend 6 years on environmental impact reports for high speed rail.
          I truly think they are living in some version of the 1950’s…a mental model of the economy instead of the real thing.

          • Some bridge in Portland, a city bridge, had the lowest rating by the way.
            I guess they prioritize bike paths there.

    • NBC has a Polifact a-hole on this morning describing this exact 5.3% unemployment promise as an example of the many distortions of the campaign.

  • If I remember correctly investment and net exports also have multipliers, and consumption by the private sector has a higher multiplier than gov’t. spending.

    I also find it disgusting that Slick Willy is still a respected public figure. He is a proven liar, pervert, and draft dodger. I judge people partially by the company they keep, because knowing what behavior people will accept tells something about those people.

    • Shucks…Clinton?  I’m still trying to figure out how the hell Big-Ears has the level of support he has!   What IS he going to have to do to get people NOT to vote for him?

    • Not to mention, Bill’s biggest success was the “balanced” budgets he fought against. The same lefties who cheared as Bubba fought Newt’s budgets now claim that Bubba balanced the budget.

      Bill’s budget was to spend 100% of tax revenue, 100% SS revenue and $200B in addition.

      Newt’s plan was to spend 100% of tax revenue, part of SS revenue and call unspent SS revenue the “surplus”.

      There was never a real surplus, closest we got was in 2000 with an $18M deficit.

  • Not just any old economist…Christina Romer actually studied stimulus attempts – that is her field. That alone should give you pause when the expert cannot predict what will happen. I suspect she argued fore more tax cuts, because her research said those work best, but let herself lose for ideological reasons, probably hoping the stimulus would be well run…LOL.

    • IIRC, Romer later admitted that her 1.5 multiplier was wishful thinking, not based on any real empirical research.

      • Again, they hired the best person to calculate the multiplier and then fired her.
        I brought this up to a lib and they said “I don’t care what pundits say”
        They had no idea she was Obama’s choice and she did the math…not a pundit.

    Nice lil’ chart showing the point I made above, in my first comment.
    Since we insist on experimenting with an entire economy, why don’t we try this experiment; DO NOTHING via government in response to a recession.  Then….”watch and learn”…

  • Either they are lying now or they were lying when they said that they needed the stimulus to reduce unemployment below 6% by July 2012.

  • If only the evil rethuglicans, fox news, big corporations and reality did not conspire against them they could have done it!

  • Grim milestone- Obama killed 2000 troops in Afghanistan.

  • It was all Obama’s fault and Republicans in the House and Senate who decided on a strategy of saying “no” to everything had nothing to do it. This is disappointing tripe in my search for a rational conservative site.

  • Why should a Romney/Ryan puppet-government be give a chance to ruin this government even further.

    • You are just phoning the MORON in these days.  No need.  Really.  Feel free to give it up.

    • What? You don’t believe in Hope and Change?

    • Puppet government of?   Bill Ayers?  George Soros?  Valerie Jarrett/Karl Marx?…oh, wait that’s the one we HAVE.

  • Yo Tad.  Your Mom is calling and the school bus is out front waiting for you!!!  Don’t forget your lunch!!!