Obama's bitter sore spot: The Trump economy
Back on center stage and partisan as ever, President Obama leaped back into politics Friday with a stemwinder stump speech on behalf of his fellow Democrats, declaring Democrats the fount of all progress, bringing up his favorite hobbyhorses, and, most notably, blasting Trump for his economy...before saying the economy was all his.
I think we know what Obama's sore spot is now.
His whole speech shows he has no idea how economies work. According to the Daily Caller citing the speech:
Obama mentioned the financial crisis at the beginning of his term saying "When I came into office in 2009 we were losing 800,000 jobs a month."
"Millions of people were losing their homes. Many were worried we were entering into a second Great Depression. So we worked hard to end that crisis but also to break some of these longer-term trends," Obama said, "And initiated the longest streak of job creation on record. We covered another 20 million Americans with health insurance and we cut our deficits by more than half, partly by making sure people like me who have been given such amazing opportunities by this country, pay our fair share of taxes, to help folks coming up behind us."
"I mention all this just so when you hear how great the economy is doing right now, let's just remember when this recovery started," Obama then said, "I'm glad it's continued but when you hear about this economic miracle that's been going on, when the job numbers come out, monthly job numbers, suddenly Republicans are saying 'It's a miracle.' I have to remind them, actually, those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015 and 2016."
According to The Hill:
The former president tore into Trump and the Republicans for offering tax cuts to wealthy Americans, while neglecting the impact that the reduced duties would have on the nation's deficit.
"With Republicans in control of Congress and the White House, without any checks or balances whatsoever, they've provided another $1.5 trillion in tax cuts to people like me, who I promise don't need it, and don't even pretend to pay for them," Obama said.
"It's supposed to be the party supposedly of fiscal conservatism," he continued. "Suddenly deficits do not matter."
Obama also suggested Trump gets too much credit for the soaring economy and that not enough credit is given to his administration by Republicans.
What makes this whole thing pathetic is that Trump really is governing differently compared with how Obama governed.
Trump gave us tax cuts, deregulation, and an equalization of international trade terms. Net result: Jobs are up, and black employment is reaching record highs, as is youth, Hispanic, and female employment. Those 3% unemployment numbers are good news for everyone.
Instead of admitting that and promising to go Trump one better the next time around, Obama described this tired scenario going on, as if it were still 2008:
For those with unique skills or access to technology and capital, a global market has meant unprecedented wealth. For those not so lucky, for the factory worker, for the office worker, or even middle managers, those same forces may have wiped out your job, or at least put you in no position to ask for a raise. As wages slowed and inequality accelerated, those at the top of the economic pyramid have been able to influence government to skew things even more in their direction: cutting taxes on the wealthiest Americans, unwinding regulations and weakening worker protections, shrinking the safety net. So you have come of age during a time of growing inequality, of fracturing of economic opportunity.
Poor fella. He still lives in the past.
Likely that's because, on some level, he can't reconcile what is happening now with his own sorry, sorry economic record.
Obama failed to consider the economy important at all during his two terms, and as for jobs, well, all we heard was that some politically connected cronies were getting "green jobs." As for industrial private-sector jobs, "those jobs aren't coming back." He was so neglectful of the economy during his eight long years in office that the only logical conclusion one can deduce from it was that he didn't want a good economy.
Instead of any serious moves on the economy – he didn't even bust the fast-buck bankers who triggered the 2008 meltdown – he focused on a trillion-dollar stimulus, driving up the massive U.S. debt load, which only ended up bailing out failing city government pensions. His economic plan focused on welfare-shoveling for "poverty alleviation," as if redistributed money actually creates wealth. He focused on centrally planned "green jobs" and subsidized unsustainable green energy schemes, leaving the landscape littered with bird Cuisinarts when the cash ran out. He favored bailouts of failing industries such as the auto industry yet also imposed impossible-to-fulfill green mandates on fuel efficiency on these same automakers. He had some cold spots for the coal and oil industries, drawing a rebuke from a federal judge for his illegal ban on drilling (while promising to buy oil instead from Brazil) and only late and desperately claiming credit for the fracking revolution, which came despite, not because of, his administration. He was also all in for imposing occasional aimless punitive tariffs to please Big Labor, and he delayed critical strategic free trade pacts with allies such as Colombia and South Korea. All industries where people work with their hands – whether farms, fisheries, timber, or mines – were his targets. He damaged the workforce by allowing millions of unchecked, unvetted illegal immigrants into the country to drive down wages and bring in opiates, which had a devastating impact on the heartland. As for jobs, the jobs Obama created were government bureaucrat jobs, siccing the regulators onto the producers and padding up the welfare bureaucrats to extend handouts to the non-producers. On his watch, the Washington, D.C. suburbs grew fat and wealthy, while the rest of the country, grotesquely taxed and regulated, as well as demonized as "the rich," fell into shambles.
Obama during his terms repeatedly dismissed tax cuts, which a Republican Congress put in front of him and he refused to so much as consider. He's still spouting the line that tax cuts all go to the rich, and he claims there is no connection among the Trump tax cuts, the falling black, Hispanic, youth, and female employment rates. And that 4.2% GDP boom, coming up in the second year of President Trump's administration? He says that's his.
It's such garbage.
Note also that he still believes the same tired leftist canard that if you cut taxes, you will run deficits because taxpayer behavior never responds to incentives. Investor's Business Daily, which is the expert on these matters, notes that tax receipts went up 9% for the government as the U.S. economy boomed. That's bad news for Obama's beliefs, but hasn't stopped his lies.
Here's the hard reality: Obama could have had Trump's economy if he had signed on to tax cuts. One wonders if it eats at him that he didn't. Like any Democrat, he thinks tax cuts are a "scam" because he thinks allowing people to control their own money is a bad thing, and all of their moneys are his. Yet the economy is an "it" – it's not a partisan thing. It behaves exactly the same way whether a Republican cuts the taxes or a Democrat cuts the taxes. It simply goes up. Want an economy to improve, cut taxes. This isn't complicated.
He failed. And President Trump's amazing success, that success that may well propel a red wave come November if voters want to keep things like this has got to eat at him as he feebly insists that the economy is all his.
This is wretched. What a nasty, bitter little man, trying to take credit for an economy he never understood. What we are seeing here is a big reason why Republican voters must go to the polls in November. Obama's sorry record and miserable self-justification is providing the reason.
Image credit: YouTube screenshot.