Newest New York Post piece: Canada's cold proof: Job growth without 'stimulus'

My piece at the New York Post starts this way:

President Obama insists that our sluggish recovery would've been even worse without his $830 billion "stimulus." Last Friday, the White House released a report purportedly showing that passage of the "stimulus" created up to 3.6 million jobs (even though the economy actually lost 1.8 million jobs since then).

But if Obama's program -- including a 28 percent hike in spending since 2008 and more than $4 trillion in deficits -- worked so well, why has our unemployment rate risen more since those policies were adopted than have the rates of the European Union, South America, Japan, Australia or New Zealand?

Just look north: The recession hit Canada hard. Because its economy and ours are connected, our unemployment rates moved similarly from July 2008 until the "stimulus" passed; both countries' rates were 6.1 percent in August 2008 and rose in lockstep through February 2009, to around 8 percent. . . .

Kal Penn, who served as a liaison to Asian- American groups in the Obama administration, makes the argument about how things would have been even worse without Obama's policies. Note that this doesn't deal with how Obama's promises about the economy didn't work out. Note that it doesn't explain all the broken promises. Note that it doesn't explain why the US has done so much worse than other countries, including Canada.

Obama's top campaign adviser says that unemployment won't be very important in the 2012 election.

“The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers,” Plouffe said, according to Bloomberg. “People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on: ‘How do I feel about my own situation? Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?’ ” . . .

Obama's Press Secretary, Jay Carney, expanded on this point:

JAKE TAPPER, ABC NEWS: "Lastly, comments by Senior Adviser David Plouffe were criticized today. Earlier this week, he said, quote, “The average American does not view the economy through the prism of GDP or unemployment rates or even monthly jobs numbers. People won’t vote based on the unemployment rate, they’re going to vote based on how do I feel about my own situation: Do I believe the president makes decisions based on me and my family?”
And Republican front runner Mitt Romney said that those comments were — he suggested they were out of touch, and he said that if Plouffe worked for him, he would fire him."

JAY CARNEY: "Well, I understand that we’re engaged in the – or rather, the Republicans are engaged in a primary campaign, trying to get some media attention. I don’t know where, you know, the voters that some other folks might be talking to — but — or — but most people do not sit around their kitchen table and analyze GDP and unemployment numbers. They talk about how they feel their own economic situation is. And they measure it by whether they have a job, whether they have job security; whether their house – whether they’re meeting their house payment, whether their mortgage is underwater; whether they have the money to pay for their children’s education or they don’t; whether they’re dealing with a sick parent and can afford that, or whether they can’t.
They do not sit around analyzing The Wall Street Journal or other — or Bloomberg to look at the — you know, analyze the numbers. Now, maybe some folks do, but not most Americans. I think that’s the point David Plouffe was making; that’s the point the president was making just moments ago in his statement in the Rose Garden."

A copy of Obama's remarks from today is available here. Can't Obama say something new once and a while? Meanwhile the Obama administration has "new talking points" and is blaming Congress for the slow recovery.

"This jobs report and the last one should be calls to action, let's stop with the bickering, let's do at least those things we can agree on," White House economic adviser Austan Goolsbee said on MSNBC.

When President Obama appeared in the Rose Garden Friday to address the latest jobs report, he was a little more circumspect and lighter on the blame.

To get serious on jobs, Obama said Congress should create an infrastructure bank, pass three trade agreements, pass patent reform and extend the payroll tax cut.

"I urge Congress not to wait," Obama said.

Goolsbee, sounding way more exasperated, echoed the same points on cable later but took it further, blaming "bickering" by "folks in Washington."

"My point is, if we get numbers like the ones we've seen, which reiterate how important it's going to be that we get the growth rate back up to what it was for the previous 15 months so we can add millions of jobs, we need to stop with the bickering," he said. . . .

Just take the trade agreements. Obama could get these passed by just forwarding them to Congress, but OBAMA HASN'T FORWARDED them. He wants to have a side piece of legislation that would give money to those who might lose their jobs from foreign competition. But Obama failed to mention his role in not getting this passed.

UPDATE: Note on the 14th Amendment discussion.

The Supreme Court decision in Perry v. United States (1935) states that any legally incurred debt must be paid.

The Fourteenth Amendment, in its fourth section, explicitly declares: "The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, . . . shall not be questioned." While this provision was undoubtedly inspired by the desire to put beyond question the obligations of the government issued during the Civil War, its language indicates a broader connotation. We regard it as confirmatory of a fundamental principle which applies as well to the government bonds in question, and to others duly authorized by the Congress, as to those issued before the Amendment was adopted. Nor can we perceive any reason for not considering the expression "the validity of the public debt" as embracing whatever concerns the integrity of the public obligations. . . .

UPDATE: My piece has an answer to this question.

In a recent post on his Washington Post blog, Chris Cillizza provided the likeliest answer Mr. Obama would give to the "Are you better off?" question. According to Mr. Cillizza, President Obama's argument on the economy will boil down to 10 words: "You should have seen how bad it would have been."

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