Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: September 28, 2012


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?

~McQ

Twitter: McQandO

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Economic Statistics for 28 Sep 12

The following US economic statistics were announced today:

Personal income in August advanced 0.1%, while consumer spending increased 0.5%. Headline inflation rose 0.4%, while the core rate showed a 0.1% increase. On a year –over-year basis, incomes rose 3.5%, but spending rose 3.6%. The price index rose 1.5% overall, and the core rate rose 1.6%.

The Reuter’s/University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell to 78.3 from this month’s earlier reading of 79.2.

The Chicago PMI posted at 49.7 in September, down 3.3 points from the prior month. This report is often a preview of the national PMI, due out Monday. New orders fell a steep 7.4 points, and backlog orders also fell. The steep, sudden decline in Chicago business conditions took analysts by surprise.

~
Dale Franks
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Libertarians break for Romney

CATO has the news:

The Reason-Rupe September 2012 poll includes our favorite ideological questions to differentiate libertarians from liberals and conservatives. Using three questions, we can define libertarians as respondents who believe “the less government the better,” who prefer the “free market” to handle problems, and who want government to “favor no particular set of values.” These fiscally conservative, socially liberal voters represent 20% of the public in the Reason-Rupe poll, in line with previous estimates.

Among these likely libertarian voters, the presidential horserace currently stands:

Romney 77%
Obama 20%
Other 3%

Romney’s share of the libertarian vote represents a high water mark for Republican presidential candidates in recent elections.

I find it difficult to believe 20% of the “libertarian” vote would go to Obama, but whatever.

Bush pulled 70% of the libertarian vote in 2000. But that percentage dropped to 59 in 2004.

So what if Gary Johnson is included?

Romney 70%
Obama 13%
Johnson 14%
Other 3%

A pretty even split between libertarians voting for Romney and Obama (7% each).

This is all interesting for a number of reasons.  One is that many libertarians like to argue that “true” libertarians would never vote for any Republican or Democrat.  Yet when you look at the numbers, and unless you’re willing to exclude about 97% of self-identified libertarians, that’s just not at all the case.  In fact, in the last two presidential elections (2004 and 2008), third party candidates have pulled a whopping 3% of the libertarian vote.  Yeah big “L” libertarian party types, it’s not selling.    A lot of that has to do with “principles” which simply aren’t realistic (you know, like isolationism and open borders?  Both have been overcome by events in case you haven’t noticed.).  Once the Libertarian party begins dealing with the problems and realities of the here and now, and not how they’d like it to be, you may see those numbers change.

Until then, the lesser of two evils prevails.  The reason for the record break this year?  Probably because most libertarians understand that Obama and the Democrats pose the biggest internal danger to freedom and liberty this country has faced in quite some time.   Is Romney/Ryan the panacea?  Are you kidding?  But first you have to remove the danger.  Then you can work on repairing the damage.

And it won’t be quickly done as all of us know.  I look for many “ones step forward, two steps back” days even after Obama is sent into retirement.

But one thing is for sure – this nation cannot afford another 4 years of Barack Obama.

~McQ

Twitter: McQandO

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