New Fox News Op-ed: On Democrats Hyping the Economy

My newest piece starts this way:

What do you expect Americans to do when President Obama told us last week that we are in “an unprecedented economic crisis”? Is any one surprised when consumers cut back on buying? When companies stop spending money?

Unfortunately, Obama’s statements aren’t new – he made similar statements during the campaign last year. Democrat political consultants have been all over the media making the same claims about us being in “the most unprecedented economic crisis in history.” Of course, the media has been pounding away at this message also.

It isn’t just that the claim is false, absurdly false. But by frightening Americans and causing them to change their behavior, they are causing the economic chaos they claim to want to solve. . . . .

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Blogger John A said...

"Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) publicly released a letter he had written to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC) and Office of Thrift Supervision (OTS) questioning the IndyMac Bancorp chances of surviving."

Is that the one written but never sent after ex-President Bush tried (again) to get regulations througgh [the Democrat controlled] Congress?

1/26/2009 4:45 PM  
Blogger Nanfisch said...

Of course the dems know exactly what they are saying and what effect it will have on our citizens. Obama and company want to capitalize on the current economic problems to push the liberal agenda through under the guise of a "recovery" package without having to mess with due process of legislation. It is extremely frustrating to see our politicians not only destroying our government but also the citizens. Now that Obama has "won" the presidency, he has little reason to temper his arrogance and cockiness. As for his being a "uniter", it doesn't appear that he really cares much about opinions other than his own. Obama needs to get a clue, half of the country did not vote for him and many of the ones who did were not voting for a king. God help us all.

1/26/2009 4:54 PM  
Blogger Publius said...

I was really surprised how few people knew our congressional leaders...that is, until I followed the survey link. You're quoting data that is at LEAST 6 months old. Normally, that might not be a big deal, but after the whole housing crisis, I'd be shocked if those numbers haven't vastly changed. Boehner practically became a household name during the bailouts.

I'm normally a fan of your work, but the numbers seem a bit misleading this time.

1/26/2009 7:44 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow, are you serious? You actually think Dems are that vindictive? That column was pathetic. Try harder buddy. Your numbers are useless too, the fact that inflation is all the way down at 0.1% is a bad thing, BAD. 0.1% away from deflation is a really bad thing. I hope you're not fooling too many people, but my guess is you are.

1/26/2009 9:15 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Stephen:

I have seen other more recent surveys that find the same point from November, but I didn't have time to look for them and the other survey from last summer still seems quite relevant. The Democrats had controlled both houses of congress for a year-and-a-half at that point in time.

Dear Arden:

The point isn't that the "Dems" are vindictive. The point is that it is in their interest to make things worse for some period of time.

By the way, the ideal inflation rate is zero. Having deviations from zero either way cause problems in that people have a harder time determining whether changes in a particular products prices are due to overall changes in the price level or a change in supply and demand for that product. The variability in the overall price level tends to be related to how far you are from zero. Greater variability is bad.

1/27/2009 4:23 AM  
Blogger Publius said...

I'll take your word for it on the surveys. People really are shortsighted if they've forgotten their congressional leaders already. My apologies.

Still, it strikes me as cynical in the extreme (this coming from a cynic) to suggest that democrats are willing to make a conscious decision to do so much damage to this country. The world is not divided into good people and democrats. Isn't it more likely that they are doing what they think is best for the American people? That, coupled with a good share of human stupidity.

I may disagree with their idea of how to run a country and their philosophies in general, and I know a lot of dirty stuff goes on behind the scenes. But tell me, do you truly believe they (or not all, but a significant portion) are willing to destroy the country for personal gain?

If so, it seems the "Great Experiment" of American democracy has turned out no better than the cruel monarchy it once shunned.

1/27/2009 7:02 AM  
Blogger Wolfe2Dale said...

Dear Mr Lott,

I have read many of your published articles and opinion peices over the last year, but tis is the first time I have felt compelled to comment on one.

I would ask how exactly you managed to obtain a PhD in Economics when your observations, calculations, and basic logic appear to have originated in a a galaxy far far away. The world teeters on the brink of global recession and you write a comment like this:

"It isn’t just that the claim about the “unprecedented economic crisis” is false -- it is absurdly false."

To back this up you attempt to compare the cuurent economic climate with previous decades without taking into account that the economics has moved on quite a bit as the world has evolved.

I would suggest that rather than work from older and no longer applicable economic models, you instead take a look at the world today and rethink your figures.

Using your qualifications to make snide, (and false), attacks at a leader you do not like is an abuse of your intelligence, and to be quite frank, should be beneath you.

1/27/2009 7:46 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear John Lot,

Let's wait and see what happens, at least we are not starving to death, not here in Denmark where I live.

Steffen Lund

1/27/2009 8:48 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Thanks for the info John! You know, I remember telling my husband that during the election the Democrats would start hyping how horrible our economy was and blame Bush and the Republicans, which would lead people to panic and think they had to elect a Dem to office. Looks like my prediction was true.

This whole thing is psychological. Yes, there have been issues with the housing market, the banks, layoffs, etc. But that's part of any economy - you can't keep this stuff at bay forever. Too bad the Dems made it so much worse with their Chicken Little mentality.

1/27/2009 9:50 AM  
Blogger MOLTOMARCO said...

Not surprising that the dems are taking advantage of the situation, but I'm very surprised no republicans are standing against this grab. Also have you noticed that the Obama "campaign" (including Bush bashing)continues almost three months after the election. It would seem that the campaign season has been lengthened to four years from the previous record of two. We conservatives need to get a strong candidate into the campaign - soon.

1/27/2009 10:12 AM  
Blogger Hoosierbrad said...

John, for the life of me I can't realize why the Democrats would be blaming the Republicans for this economic mess! LMAO!

1/28/2009 4:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The dems continue to get a free ride on the economy despite controlling Congress the last 2years. They stay on message. Blame Bush. Blame greedy Wall Street. Greatest economic crisis since the depression. Must act quickly. Massive spending to creat jobs.

The Republican minority in Congress drafted a plan that provides relief to the folks who actually pay taxes. It provides incentives to business so entrepreneurs, not government officials, can create jobs. And it calls for modest reductions in non-defense discretionary spending. I doubt any of these ideas will be included in the actual stimulus plan. The dems just want a massive expansion of government and are looking to payback all their special interest groups.

1/28/2009 9:41 PM  
Blogger lexi said...

Bush's TRICKLE down economics ran
dry a long time ago. He drove our
economy into the ground and you
blame Obama? Bush had to come out
in September and confess the economy was in shambles. Oh, but
that's right... McCain and the
rest of you think it's "fundamentally fine" LOL!

1/29/2009 12:37 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I agree that the economy will correct itself over time and that the Democrat's will get the credit. As they should, a large portion of this problem was the GOP deregulation and corporate greed. They were lazy and slow to react. We were in a recession for a year and a half before they admitted it. I believe the democrats seen the light and learned the lesson taught by the GOP that no action is as bad as the potentially wrong action. Given the two choices i take action as there is opportunity for positive results. Hopefully partisan politics will prolong this economy.

1/29/2009 9:01 PM  
Blogger John Lott said...

Dear Chad:

The notion that deregulation had anything to do with the current problems is bizarre -- government regulation has really messed things up. If you are interested, here are a few pieces that you might find helpful. See here, here, and here.

1/30/2009 2:06 AM  
Blogger JHBrown said...

I find it absolutely absurd myself that the democrats have largely placed blame on Bush. President Clinton (who I believe was a good president) is the one who allowed the housing bubble to happen in the first place by allowing people those who were not in the right place financially to purchase homes.
Too many greedy people attempting to keep up with the Jones's defaulted. It caused a small housing crisis years later when too many people took advantage of a oversight of what was intended to be a good thing. Democrats were able to place the blame on Bush and blow it up even more with the help of the media as the pushed their agenda down the throats of the masses who don't follow the real events as closely as others have.
To place blame on what has essentially been a lame duck presidency since the democrats put Pelosi in place. I was speaking with my father-in-law as we watched her take her new position of authority as she stated, in no small amount of words, that President Bush was going to have to "pay for his policies." I said then that it was the start of the Bush bashing that was going to end the republican hold on the presidency.
I trust that if the government just let the people do their thing, the economy would bounce back. People are still going to buy their flat screens on credit. When the Playstation 4 comes out, people will buy that. Nothing really ever changed, just the way blame for something that is cyclical can be cast.
January 15, 2001 marked the worst recession the country had seen for a decade, and Bush took office five days later. Was that published in all the media outlets? No. Just stories on how the republicans "stole" an election.
Media has become the puppet of a fraction of people with enough power and money to sway them. Ratings have only increased the tendencies of this greedy, biased media monster. It has become what the forefather's stated they didn't want: an UNfreedom of press, which was used by despot tyrants.
But enough of the logic which will undoubtedly be bashed by the ensuing namecalling to begin shortly after posting this comment.
Far be it for a Texas born veteran to know anything or even be able to form complex, original thought.

2/02/2009 11:27 AM  
Blogger Timspin said...

I seem to remember Bush started this tone of 'serious economic crisis' and needing to pass his stimulus package before its to late, the words used by Bush to describe this are in the same tone as Obamas, so why try to blame Obama.
Anyone with a brain can tell you dont like the guy. You opinions dont sound like an economists opinions, you sound like a republican politician. Its a shame you cant be professional without being embrolied in the stupidity which is politics.

2/05/2009 10:16 AM  

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