Thursday, November 12, 2015

On the economy, GOP presidential candidates have their facts wrong ... by gimleteye

With the recent GOP presidential slugfest, the week's take-away is that nothing is settled. That's good for Jeb!, a candidate who has looked lost as a passenger stuck on a car roof in the middle of a flood, caught by TV cameras on the verge of being swept away.

The bad news, as Mike Grunwald details for Politico, is that when it comes to the economy and President Obama's record, the candidates are mostly wrong. In Politico, Grunwald offers a sober corrective on the "Everything is Bad Party". Here is an excerpt from "The ghosts of 2008"
he writes:
... the other reason Republicans don’t like to talk about the crisis is that it muddles their message about Obama-era malaise. “We’re not simply going through an economic downturn,” Rubio said last night. “We’re going through an economic transformation.” In fact, we’re not going through a downturn at all; we’ve had 68 consecutive months of private-sector employment growth, producing 13 million new jobs. The GOP wants to focus on modest wages and modest growth today. It doesn’t want to remind Americans that economy was shedding 800,000 jobs a month and contracting at an 8 percent annual rate in January 2009, and that the housing market, stock market and auto industry were all in the tank.

In an earlier piece on an earlier debate, Grunwald wrote about the "oddly imaginative" world of GOP candidates:
In fact, the federal deficit is shrinking. And both Washington Republicans and Obama administration can claim some credit. They’ve battled far more than they’ve conspired, but thanks to spending cuts demanded by congressional Republicans, the president’s tax hikes on the rich, and a growing economy that the candidates seem to think is collapsing, America’s fiscal position has improved dramatically since 2009. If deficits are really “endangering America’s future,” as Chris Christie warned last night, they’re endangering that future a lot less than they were six years ago.

The CNBC debate was hyped as an opportunity to hash out financial and economic issues, but it devolved into a kind of fiscal alternative reality where, as Rand Paul put it, “the right and left are spending us into oblivion.” In fact, the $3.5 trillion budget has grown at the slowest rate since the Eisenhower administration, a direct result of spending cuts engineered by the very GOP congressional leaders that Paul dismisses as drunken-sailor fake-conservatives. Paul actually complained that “we should use the debt ceiling to force budgetary reforms,” which—in case he missed it—is exactly what Capitol Hill Republicans already did when they forced the president to accept the “sequester” that reined in spending in the 2011 Budget Control Act.

Overall, the deficit has plunged nearly $1 trillion under Obama, from a catastrophic 9.8% of GDP when he took office to a manageable 2.5% of GDP today.
This is what one gets, when one tries to channel a party base's inchoate anger, stimulated by an extremist message machine, and a persuasive argument for the return of moderates to leadership of the Republican Party.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the echo chamber in which they live agrees with them and will never hold them accountable for their misstatements and/or policy failures (no Republican will ever admit that the economies of FL, LA, KS, WI and NJ among others are floundering due to the trickle down policies of their Governors). The economic collapses that occurred under two different Bush administrations are commonly referred to on right wing talk shows at the "Clinton Recession" and the "Obama Economy". They don't have to be right or truthful, just tell their base what they want to hear.