Jun 04 2009

Obama And Dems Have One Major Weakness – The Economy

Published by at 7:25 am under All General Discussions

It seems the ‘true conservatives’ just can’t get over some facts that have made him politically immune on a myriad of policy matters. In general, and going at the strength of the GOP, President Obama has basically continued the Bush national security policies, adding his own flair and style here and there:

  • He is staying the course in Iraq, he did not cut and run as predicted. This issue has been co-opted from the right, he gains credibility, while the predictors of doom lose credibility.
  • He is continuing to attack al Qaeda havens in Northern Pakistan, he is supporting Pakistan’s final putsch against their havens there and he is beefing up our forces in Afghanistan. All continuations of the Bush policies, all moves opposite of what the GOP hand wringers predicted he would do. Issue co-opted, credibility shifted.
  • President Obama is continuing the NSA-FISA reforms Bush put in place after 9-11 and which he fought for against the liberals in DC and the New York Times for years. Obama was predicted to eradicate these critical safe guards, but he did the opposite. His credibility goes up, those who predicted doom have their credibility lost, issue co-opted.
  • Allowing Iran nuclear powered energy while setting up safe guards to make sure they cannot make weapons grade material. This has been the corner stone of the international efforts all through the Bush years. No one believes it is possible and Iran continues to reject it, but it is the real last chance to avoid military intervention. Being a Bush era approved policy it has now been co-opted by President Obama

There is a trend here for anyone willing to stop screaming about Obama being the second coming of Hitler and simply look around. Obama is continuing Bush policies not as cover, but because he is beginning to realize how right President Bush was given what we as a nation were facing.

His birth certificate, his Muslim middle name, his Muslim father, his bowing, others bowing, the denial of right wing extremism, abortion – none of these issues will impact Obama. There is only one area where Obama and the Democrats are completely exposed – and it is an area normally a democrat strength in polls.

Apparently Karl Rove and I agree on what that issue is and why discussing any other minutiae is a waste of time and credibility for the opposition.

Tomorrow will likely bring more bad news for President Barack Obama on the number one issue for voters — the economy. The Labor Department’s monthly job report will almost certainly show unemployment topping 9%, with a couple hundred thousand more jobs lost in May.

It will get worse before jobs get better. Congressional Budget Director Douglas W. Elmendorf recently predicted that unemployment will continue rising into the second half of next year and peak above 10%.

Mr. Obama has an ingenious approach to job losses: He describes them as job gains. For example, last week the president claimed that 150,000 jobs had been created or saved because of his stimulus package. He boasted, “And that’s just the beginning.”

However, at the beginning of January, 134.3 million people were employed. At the start of May, 132.4 million Americans were working. How was Mr. Obama magically able to conjure this loss of 1.9 million jobs into an increase of 150,000 jobs?

This is the area which is not abstract or inside the beltway baseball. This is where the people are feeling the impact of a busted stimulus bill which has yet to spit out any appreciable new jobs. This is where the GOP should be touting the impact of the Bush tax cuts in stemming damage from the body blow to the economy on 9-11. Forget this echo chamber babble. Both sides are ignoring Main Street, yet that is where the political power actually resides.

Focus on the failed liberal experiment regarding the economy. Note how it was failed liberal experiments who got us into this mess with sub prime lending for social engineering. Note how liberal experiments assuming a nimble government could out maneuver tax cuts in the hands of Americans. Note the bold faced lies about the current state and the failed promises. Show a path forward (cut the deficit spending on wasted programs and go back to tried and true tax cuts). Catalogue the lost auto worker jobs, the dreams smashed.

Do something beside wail about how Brian Williams bowed to Obama (and Obama bowed back) as they said good-bye! Who the hell cares about that? What jobs will that bring back?

Addendum: Karl Rove also emphasizes something I have been saying for months:

Still, there are limits to Mr. Obama’s rhetorical tricks. Even he cannot turn job losses into real job gains. And he won’t be rescued by stimulus spending.

Former National Economic Council Director Keith Hennessey made a persuasive case on his blog that the stimulus will be ineffective because the additional economic growth it spurs will come six to nine months later than it could have.

This is partly because, as the Congressional Budget Office estimates, only $185 billion (23% of a $787 billion stimulus package) will be spent this fiscal year. The government will spend an additional $399 billion next fiscal year. The balance — $203 billion — will be spent between fiscal years 2011 and 2019 …

No stimulus. No job creation. Mythical “saved” jobs. There is enough Ef Ups here to win back Congress and position for President Palin (or someone like her) in 2012. If the conservatives had a clue what they were doing. Were are the centrist, strategic thinking, new leaders who can wrest the opposition from the screaming, emotional, easily distracted ‘true conservatives’ who are failing right now?

Update: Well I have the perfect example of how overheated and exaggerated rhetoric can destroy credibility on serious subjects. We know unemployment is at historically bad levels and climbing, I have posted on the ineptitude of liberal schemes relying on a nimble federal government to create new jobs (impossible, really). We have example after example of screwed up policies.

But can people discuss these concerns rationally? Hell no, they have to cry about the pending socialist takeover of the world! And they get busted for it (click image to go to original post):

When someone looks at these facts and compare them to the doom and gloom, sky is falling BS coming out of the ‘true conservatives’ one can only laugh. No wonder Obama is still flying high – the opposition is a bunch of bumbling fools.

16 responses so far

16 Responses to “Obama And Dems Have One Major Weakness – The Economy”

  1. JDavis says:

    What concerns me is the rush to nationalize health care, taking over another huge part of our economy. (Not to mention losing more and more of our personal freedom.) Taxing health care benefits from employers will only lead to one thing, drawing people into the universal coverage. (That of course is the objective.)

    My other concern is the ultimate rationing of energy. We are not building the structures that we need for the future and if Cap and Trade laws are enacted, it will be the end of a thriving country and a leader in the world.

    I am glad I’m older, maybe I won’t live long enough to see America become a third world country.

  2. WWS says:

    One request at the outset – please think about the math involved here before you react emotionally.

    This is difficult – so much of your post I agree with heartily. But the update and the graph you posted are simply awful. I think the graph is very misleading, and completely mistates the issue. Your graph implies that 99.79% of assets are not
    held by the government – of course, the fine print stipulates “business assets”, thus using a nice bit of circular logic to subtract all parts of the economy controlled by the government from the equation. One of the big tricks of a misleading visual demonstration is to imply a result which is actually contradicted by the associated fine print. In this analysis, if it’s owned by the government, it’s not business – and voila! We have just eliminated 27% of the economic activity in the country this year from consideration. Is it anyone’s contention that 27% of the economy is an insignificant amount? Allow me to point out that pre-crisis, in 2007, the Federal Outlay as percentage of GDP was 20.0%. The average over the last half century was 20.2%.

    In 2009, Federal Outlays as a percentage of total GDP will be *at least* 27.2%, since that’s from Obama’s budget. If tax receipts continue to fall as rapidly as they have so far this spring, that number could go past 30%.

    Total asset value is meaningless as a basis for comparison unless you make allowance for the value of federal holdings, including most of the land in several western states. Since this is almost impossible to do realistically, the only honest comparison must be done on an expenditure basis. An honest graph would show that federal outlays now are responsible for more than 1/4 of the economic activity in this country, and may be heading towards 1/3. .

    If we hit 1/2, there will be no recovery from the situation. We will, by any conceivable measure, be a socialist state. When national health care is added to the current rate of federal growth, that seems to be where we’re headed.

  3. Alert1201 says:

    The thing that infuriates me about Obama’s national security is that while adopting Bush’s polices he is slamming the former president for the very policies he is adopting.

    I can applaud him for doing what is right but he would have a lot more credit in my eyes if he simply said he was wrong. That during the campaign his views were overly simplistic and now that he is longer a back seat driver he sees that his predecessor was correct.

    Instead he begins every national security speech with a caveat about the mistakes, thoughtlessness, hasty decisions and lack of concern for the constitution and world opinion that Bush had.

    However, I do agree with AJ, except for a major terrorist attack – God forbid – the economy is the only thing that matters and it is the weak underbelly of the Democrats right now.

  4. AJStrata says:


    I know math – don’t go there. You can’t include government programs as government ownership. Trust me, I am not owned by the government and they are quite aware of the fact, even though I make my living on government contracts working for them. My job is to help them get it right, do better than they would on their own.

    The government does not “control” or “own” the part economy it uses to perform its work. That is so naive it is laughable. In fact, most new tech companies start off on government programs and then take the technology into the commercial market to make a name.

    Know anything about a thing called the Internet? Does the government own all the companies on the Internet?


  5. Mark says:

    In most cases moderation is an admirable quality and to make a rational decision putting aside moderation and passive acceptance of the imposition of governmental might and will is called for when men feel the collar being fitted around their necks.
    Our nation was created and cherished by such men, who would have watched the domestic actions of this president with alarm at best.
    While it is true that Obama has maintained most of the international policies that Bush put in place (and for good reason), by his words and his actions he has implemented a brand of “Chicago style thug politics” rarely seen, nor wanted on the national stage.
    He has led the charge of the federal government into the private sector of the United States at alarming speed and every proudly independent American has cause for worry whether or not they are enjoying the benefit of that imposition today or not. If it is big enough to take it away from someone else today, it is big enough to take it away from you later.
    So, moderation in the face of a growing cancer is not wise, not called for.

  6. AJStrata says:


    You’re too funny. passive acceptance?

    LOL! Like I passively accept the nut jobs left or right. Want passive – you chose the wrong place.

    We are called “moderates” because we are still sane, not because we are spineless and feckled.

    The egos on the fringes are truly funny – especially since we all know the fringes are not wearing any mental clothes! Lots of arrogance, nothing to back it up.

    When I call the left and right nut jobs the real cancer, I don’t see that as being passive or fearful. And, the best part is the center is easily winning this argument because the fringes are easily out gunned – intellectually and morally.

  7. conman says:


    While I agree that Obama has continued many of the national security policies that Bush had in place when he left office, I believe that it is Bush who changed his policies and co-opted policies that Obama had been campaigning on for a long time.

    For years Bush said that we cannot agree to an artificial withdrawal date because it had to be based on conditions on the ground. Bush was forced by the Iraqis to cave on this point as part of the Security Agreement and agreed to a specific date for withdrawl. Obama consistently said that he would pull all combat troops out of Iraq within 16 months of taking office. Obama adjusted it to 19 months as part of his acceptance of the terms of the Security Agreeemnt with Iraq. It sounds to me like Bush came around to Obama’s position on this issue before leaving office.

    For years Bush said the central front on the GWOT as in Iraq, which is where he diverted most of our military resources. Even though our military leaders publically called for more troops in Afghanistan since 2007, Bush never provided the additional troops. Obama consistently campaigned on the need to focus on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and actually order more troops and resources into the region. Finally the Pakistan government is taking the threat seriously.

    Obama voted for the NSA-FISA reform, so I’m not sure why conservatives assumed he would abandon it. Bush initially elected to ignore FISA statutes and do whatever he thought was necessary, and only later after public pressure agreed to
    get the FISA reforms adopted by Congress.

    For years Bush said we will not talk directly with our enemies, including Iran. It was not until the end of Bush’s presidency that he agreed to any talks with Iran (albiet indirect talks). Obama consistently campaigned on the need to use diplomacy in all cases, including those involving our enemies.

    Bush’s national security policies evolved considerably over his presidency after Cheney’s influence waned. To his credit, Bush eventually realized that we couldn’t stay in Iraq forever, Afghanistan/Pakistan has always been and is still the central front in the GWOT, it is better for the President to work with Congress to amend those congressional laws that are outdated or ineffective rather than simply ignore them, and sometimes you have to negotiate with your enemies because war is not the solution to every foreign policy problem. Who knows, maybe Bush learned some of this listening to Obama on the campaign trail.

  8. Terrye says:


    I greatly respected Bush, I thought he was ill treated by both sides. I think the fact that Obama would attack him on an almost daily basis while at the same time adopting many of his policies tells what a vain pompous little man Obama really is. I don’t think he is Hitler, I think he is Carter. He really does not care about foreign affairs that much, he would just as soon continue what Bush was doing in some respects at least.

    Although I do think the Iranians will play him.

    But…. his domestic policies will bankrupt this country.

  9. Terrye says:

    And AJ, they don’t have to own companies, the government can control them with taxation and regulation. Everyone knows that.

  10. Terrye says:

    And AJ, I don’t think anyone denied there was such a thing as right wing extremism, you are putting words in people’s mouths. The point is not mention huge segments of the population as potential crazies. Veterans, people who oppose abortion, etc. That includes tens of millions of decent Americans who have never broken a law.

    I know you want to be all middle of the road and moderate and stay away from extremes, but sometimes you become a little extreme yourself in the process.

  11. Terrye says:

    BTW, 99% of Alaska is controlled or owned by the Federal Government. Ask Palin what she thinks about a far reaching federal government.

  12. Mark says:

    I am pretty sure that moderates do not have a franchise on sanity, and I have met few passionate moderates. Passion is required.
    Watching the maneuverings of this president and his administration, their duplicity from day one upon assuming the office, allegiance to an economic philosophy and model proven by history to be doomed to failure (and taking our entire country down the tubes with this massive exercise) takes us formerly moderate persons to the passionate “fringe” possibly? This president talks moderation, and acts in a way that makes Hugo Chavez blush with pride and envy.
    Conservatives can’t afford to coast on moderation…..any more than the founders of our country could afford to wait until the British monarchy began to treat them fairly. To quote one of your terms, there are many “drama queens” on both ends of the political spectrum. Had they lost the Revolutionary fight many of the people we revere today for founding our country would be looked at as the vanquished “drama queens” of their day.
    The Left will never accept logic or rational evidence interfering with their ambitions (witness “Global Warming” or “Climate Change”…..new focus group names to come in the future). Conservatism may be forced to turn up the volume long enough to be heard; long enough to ensure we turn this country over to our children and grand children better than we found it rather than a disaster to be rebuilt. If that is “Non-Moderate”…..well I cheerfully accept the label!

  13. Terrye says:

    Tony Blakely has an interesting article. I hope he is wrong.

  14. WWS says:

    Tony Blakely has hit the nail on the head.

    “The Roman historian Livy famously described the terminal plight of the late Roman Republic: “Nec vitia nostra nec remedia pati possumus” (“We can bear neither our shortcomings nor the remedies for them”). “

  15. […] deficit spending bankrupting the nation and we see nothing in return. This is issue number 1 – as Karl Rove noted yesterday. And he was quite clear on the lack of stimulus coming forth as promised by the Democrats: Still, […]

  16. alanocu says:

    About the pie chart: that’s still .21% too much. That’s still 0.21% more than it was before he came into office.

    To be accurate and relevant, the chart should should show the percentage of American assets owned by the government (federal, state, and local), and the percentage of assets owned privately.

    It’s not socialism, it’s economic fascism.