Lets start at the beginning, does anyone know what GOP stands for? I used to work for a global newspaper that stopped using the term since so few people knew what it meant. It stands for Grand Old Party; thats a name from way back. Lets go back to fall of 2008 when everything was collapsing; Lehman Bros, Bear Stearns. Merrill Lynch disappeared over a weekend, when it became a unit of Bank of America. George W. Bush authorized TAARP to bail out the other banks so our entire financial industry would not completely collapse. He also bailed out the auto sector. At the time we thought the economy was shrinking at 6%, which was a staggering figure. We didn’t learn until later that the economy was shrinking at an astonishing 9%. The monthly Jobs Report showed a loss of 839,000 jobs in January 2009 when Barack Obama was sworn in as President. He and his team were working immediately to think of ways to heal the economy; if you remember between the election and inauguration it seemed like he was already POTUS. But he wasn’t. Its important to note that economic activity is something that gets stated, then revised many times. The initial report can be as much as 30% incorrect; hence what we thought was a 6% drop in GDP was really a 9% drop. Before Obama was President his team did some internal economic analysis based on the 6% GDP figure and they calculated that a stimulus would keep the unemployment rate under 8%. This was not something they promised the country it was an internal memo. GOP lying point #1 says Obama promised the stimulus would keep unemployment lower than 8%. That is an out and out lie, not even a distortion.
What was the GOP doing at this time? Planning their return to power. The first time Obama presented his stimulus package the GOP held a press conference saying they were against the plan, before Obama even showed it to them. This was the start of the obstructionism from the GOP that has kept our economy in a Depression, for 5 years now. GOP lying point #2: The Dems had a super majority in Congress. They did not. If you will recall many ‘Blue Dog’ Democrats were new to Congress and they were pretty much as conservative as the Republicans, so at no point did Obama have a Congress with a super majority. Also this is the time Teddy Kennedy was dying which made them lose the so called super majority. The stimulus of about $800B was approved by Congress; with about 1/3 being tax cuts and 2/3 being spending. Most economists will tell you that amount was too small to make a dent in the economy. We have a $15 Trillion economy, adding $800B wasn’t ever going to do all that much for all that long. But that was the most Obama could get so thats what he worked with. GOP lying point #3: The stimulus was a failure and created no new jobs. The non partisan CBO, Congressional Budget Office, estimates that without that stimulus unemployment would have hit 15% or higher; and also that the stimulus was directly responsible for creating 4.2m new jobs. So, in fact, the stimulus was extremely helpful, but the GOP will have you believe Obama wasted all that money when that is another out and out lie.
Each and every bill, idea, program Obama wanted to created the GOP blocked; their goal was to return to power not to help the American public. This is outrageous behavior from our elected officials. The health care bill Obama came up with, which was basically the plan the GOP created in 1993 to kill ‘HillaryCare’ they completely rejected it. They were yelling and screaming about how an individual mandate was unconstitutional; when a few years earlier they were saying that everyone should pay their own way. The entire health care bill was a complete debacle; no one really knows whats in it besides the 2 or 3 talking points from POTUS so the GOP is taking the ball and running with it painting it to be the most evil thing that Government has ever done. Currently there is a jobs bill in Congress that the GOP is also blocking. The CBO estimates that this bill would create 1 – 3 m new jobs. But the GOP doesn’t care about that, they want to return to power.
In 2010 when all of the Tea Party zealots were elected they were even more destructive to our economy and country. They turned the word ‘compromise’ into an unacceptable action. They believed the lies of the GOP that Obama was spending too much and the country wasn’t gaining anything from it. The debt of this country is a problem and needs to be addressed. Fixing the economy is a much bigger issue, the economy has to be on stronger footing before you can think about debt reduction. In other words you need to spend now and come up with a long term plan to reduce the debt. But the Tea Party in the House rejected a $4T savings plan because $1T of that was in new taxes. Even worse was the fiasco the Tea Party and GOP made with the raising the debt ceiling, they were completely responsible for the country’s credit rating to be lowered in the first time in out history. One of the reasons we were down graded was because of the dysfunction of the US Congress i.e. the GOP. GOP lying point #4 Obama has made the economy worse: when in fact the GOP is completely responsible for the state of the economy by blocking each and every measure to make the economy better, its 100% on their shoulders.
The fact that President Obama can’t fight back, have an articulate message about his accomplishments, explain health care is astonishing. He is letting the GOP walk all over him. The GOP is taking the economy down, and America with it, and Obama can’t get his message out. As I have mentioned on this blog many times, Obama needs a new staff for messaging, PR, everything. Mitt Romney, an empty suit with no conviction has an excellent chance of winning this election. Why hasn’t Obama had Oval Office addresses, talking about the economy, talking about how much better he is doing in the war on terror, why isn’t he a fixture in our lives and living rooms? He should have been doing this from day one. Killing bin Laden and having a 2 minute statement at 11PM? W. would have had a media black out, all TV channels carrying an Oval Office address. Its infuriating to watch, since Obama is so clearly a better president that Romney ever would be.
A few other facts: Ronald Reagan believed in compromise, raised taxes 17 times, and worked with Democrats; Barbara Bush recently stated that ‘compromise is not a dirty word’ her words are directed at the Tea Party. The Tea Party is correct about lowering long term debt, but they don’t understand how to do it. Austerity in the EU has pushed them back into a double dip recession. The tax code should be redone, the more you make the higher your bracket should be. If anyone reading this knows Barack or Michele please have them contact me, what they are doing isn’t working.