Skip to main content

(Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)
Eighty-five or so percent of the population doesn't pay attention to the antics of presidential candidates until the primaries come to town. Seventy or so percent doesn't focus on them until the general election is hard at hand. We political junkies get to watch as the debunked themes repeatedly disappear and then surface again whenever a candidate thinks they'll do the most good.

Thus do we have Mitt Romney spouting once again last week that Barack Obama inherited a recession but "made it worse." He's been saying this since at least last June, when he told a crowd in New Hampshire that Obama “did not cause this recession, but he made it worse."

Okay. Let's say a guy has steered a car off the road and is speeding down a steep embankment 90 mph, headed for a precipice. Let's say the guy opens the door, leaps out and rolls away from the car toward a memoirs publisher standing nearby. Just as that happens, another guy manages to leap into the driver's seat and immediately starts trying to turn the car away from the precipice. The car begins to slow and its trajectory shifts, but it's still headed downward, and for quite a while it's all the new driver can do to keep it on the ledge below which lies a very big crack-up.

Meanwhile, some radio-amplified bystanders are shouting, "Over the cliff! Over the cliff! Hope he doesn't make it!" because they don't approve of the way the new driver got into the car in the first place or the route they have surmised he plans to take. They call upon other bystanders to do whatever they can to block the new route from being picked. And those bystanders start shouting: "Get your foot off the brake! Let go of the steering wheel. The car will turn by itself!" And they roll rocks in the way of a change in direction.

Despite this, the driver begins to make headway and the car works its way off the ledge and starts back up the hill. At which point Mitt Romney shouts from the rooftop counting room of one of his nearby vacation homes that the new driver has failed to stop the car in its tracks and get it back on the road as quickly as an expert like he would have done. He claims the driver is still not steering the way a real driver would, that, in fact, the car would have not been in danger at all if he himself had leaped into the driver's seat instead of the guy who did.


Here's what Alan S. Blinder and Mark Zandi at Moody's Analytics had to say about that in their 2010 report in July 2010:

In this paper, we use the Moody’s Analytics model of the U.S. economy—adjusted to accommodate some recent financial-market policies—to simulate the macroeconomic effects of the government’s total policy response. We find that its effects on real GDP, jobs, and inflation are huge, and probably averted what could have been called Great Depression 2.0. For example, we estimate that, without the government’s response, GDP in 2010 would be about 11.5% lower, payroll employment would be less by some 8½ million jobs, and the nation would now be experiencing deflation.

And there is the November assessment of the third quarter of 2011 by the Congressional Budget Office:

• Inflation-adjusted gross domestic product up by between 0.3 percent and 1.9 percent

•  The unemployment rate down by between  0.2 percentage points and 1.3 percentage points

• The number of people employed up by between 0.4 million and 2.4 million

• The number of full-time-equivalent jobs up by 0.5 million to 3.3 million.

Many left and center-left critics also had some advice for Obama after he leaped into the driver's seat. In short, that advice was: Do more of what you're already doing. What those critics were saying and what Mitt Romney and Rush Limbaugh and a host of the "made it worse" crowd were and are saying reflects the stark difference between those who openly hoped for a crash and those who ultimately wanted to steer us away from the path that got us headed down that embankment in the first place but knew we had to keep from going over the cliff before that could happen.

Originally posted to Meteor Blades on Mon Feb 06, 2012 at 01:39 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Bob Johnson, JekyllnHyde, Alumbrados, Joe Bob, Sylv, DeminNewJ, CJB, Trix, hester, teacherken, Avila, Emerson, Shockwave, eeff, willyr, Spider Jerusalem, MarkInSanFran, Doctor Who, Mr Teem, Wee Mama, shanikka, itsmitch, jbeach, bwren, Bill Roberts, splashy, navajo, Chrisfs, Texknight, psnyder, MrSandman, pat bunny, virginislandsguy, Lawrence, wdrath, NYFM, rlharry, kalmoth, zerelda, KellyB, mungley, randallt, lonespark, tomjones, Albanius, Sybil Liberty, pat208, Julie Gulden, rapala, ExStr8, Bluesee, NoMoreLies, Tonedevil, sc kitty, KnotIookin, DocGonzo, ZappoDave, Brooke In Seattle, YucatanMan, Laurence Lewis, Gary Norton, reflectionsv37, LNK, science geek, Little Lulu, deep, Pluto, begone, Reality Bites Back, forbodyandmind, Knucklehead, hlee1169, althea in il, BalanceSeeker, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, edwardssl, BlueInARedState, Russgirl, smokeymonkey, KenBee, kck, bubbanomics, uniqity, RussTC3, middleagedhousewife, profh, doingbusinessas, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, frankzappatista, Statusquomustgo, ms badger, AllanTBG, timewarp, Cronesense, Debs2, offgrid, david mizner, bobswern, millwood, gchaucer2, OIL GUY, pioneer111, Rumarhazzit, uciguy30, journeyman, TDDVandy, JML9999, cloudbustingkid, Counselor730, TomP, gizmo59, 123man, rogerdaddy, bythesea, elwior, skohayes, jamess, Greasy Grant, tofumagoo, smartdemmg, Missys Brother, CitizenJoe, JamieG from Md, fayea, JBL55, maggiejean, litoralis, ceebee7, Mislead, MKSinSA, hyper, Denise Oliver Velez, sfarkash, jfromga, mahakali overdrive, Dragon5616, Lefty Ladig, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, smileycreek, rb137, icemilkcoffee, estreya, gramofsam1, boriquasi, ATFILLINOIS, JoanMar, anonevent, DeanObama, DiegoUK, sharonsz, Texnance, ericlewis0, Oh Mary Oh, wwjjd, no way lack of brain, kerflooey, I love OCD, kamrom, Bob Duck, sostos, vahana, OhioNatureMom, molunkusmol, marleycat, BarackStarObama, tardis10, zapus, MikeBoyScout, Huginn and Muninn, SouthernLiberalinMD, Auriandra, ParkRanger, Mathazar, demongo, angry marmot, Mindful Nature, Eric Nelson, S F Hippie, AnnieR, Joieau, a2nite, Deep Texan, FloridaSNMOM, carolanne, belinda ridgewood, Forest Deva, nerve, doroma, qannabbos, jennyp, Vote4Obamain2012, arizonablue, bigrivergal, raina, Glen The Plumber, databob, mumtaznepal, Windowpane, nomandates, Logical1, Dancun74, glorificus, Setsuna Mudo, CarolinaCatbird, doraphasia

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site