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July 29, 2009

Democrats: You're Stupid, So We're Going to Blame Bush

With President Barack Obama's poll numbers falling to earth, he's decided to embark on a bold new initiative - blaming former President Bush for the country's woes.

Didn't see that coming. Democratic strategists are supporting the president in the only way they know how - engaging in mind-numbing spin:

"I'm not convinced that Obama and his supporters are bashing Bush as much as they are quite rightfully reminding people that our current economic mess and the wars were inherited from the Bush administration," said Democratic strategist Bud Jackson. "It's important to remind people of this because Republicans are now criticizing the Obama administration as if they had no role in how we got here."

Democratic Party strategist Liz Chadderdon said the strategy of blaming the previous team has been effective.

"I think Bush-bashing has been alive and well since '07 and, since it keeps working, why not use it?" she said. "Voters have short memories. The administration needs to remind people that things were way worse over the last four years than in the last six months."

Read that bold section again. You've got to wonder how much cranial fecal impaction it takes for someone to believe that statement. First off, she implies that all of you are idiots who can't remember what life was like three or four years ago. Second, her implication that the current economic conditions are worse than what we 'suffered' under George W. Hooverbush.

Let's look at the facts, shall we?

The unemployment rate went from 5.2% in January 2005 to 7.2% in December 2008. Overall, the average in that time was 5.03% President Obama signed the stimulus package in February of 2009 when the unemployment rate was still at 7.6% He promised the spending would keep the rate from going above 8%. It is now 9.5%, with no signs that it will improve in the near future. The state numbers are even worse.

2.6 million people lost their jobs in 2008. 2 million more have lost jobs since Jan 09.

Obama has repeatedly blamed the high deficits on the Bush administration, but his policies will only increase the nation's debt.

Average GDP
from Jan 05 to Dec 08 was 1.68% In the first quarter of Jan 09, it's -5.5. There has been some moderate growth from the last quarter of Dec 08, but still far below the level warranting the level of hyperbole used by Ms. Chadderdon.

The Obama administration says we have to 'spend money to keep from going bankrupt.' They're basing their faith in spending on the Keynsian multiplier effect, but even Keynes himself warned against combining recovery with economic reform:

...even wise and necessary Reform may, in some respects, impede and complicate Recovery. For it will upset the confidence of the business world and weaken their existing motives to action, before you have had time to put other motives in their place...
Full text of Keynes letter here. Obama's two signature proposals are cap-and-trade and healthcare reform. Neither will help the economy, and in fact, they may actually hurt it.

Had Ms. Chadderdon been less enamored with Bush-bashing and capable of more restraint in her speech, she could have said the first six months of the Obama administration have been better than the last six months of the Bush. Even that would have been something of a stretch, but it would have made her spin a bit more believable.

I say a bit because none of the spinners take into account what Obama's policies will necessitate: higher taxes on the middle class. Candidate Obama may have promised that your taxes wouldn't go up, but remember that every Obama promise comes with an expiration date.

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posted by Slublog at 10:07 AM

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