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Hello Kos Community! I have been following the community for about a year now, and some of you may have seen my occasional comments in various threads. This is my first diary (of hopefully many), and unfortunately it must be brief. I have noticed both a trend in comments on various news sites, Facebook statuses, and in the mainstream media framing that Obama's biggest weakness is the economy and we are now dealing with "Obama's economy."

Now, I understand that in politics, perception is reality and voters often attribute the economy to the sitting president, which is certainly a problem for President Obama in his re-election efforts. Anyway, this is the narrative oft repeated by political analysts and journalists in mainstream outlets, and the majority of the public seems to internalize it (of course, FDR was elected four times in the Great Depression, but pay that no mind). We can, however, push back against this perception that this economy is Obama's economy. In fact, I have seen many diaries and comments on DK recently that explore the need for us to push back against common misinformation and to publicly engage with those spreading it.

All of this brings me to my point. I saw on a news article about Mitt Romney's face-plant abroad this comment:

Quite the contrary. We have a President whose running for a second term raising the issues of:
In 1980's Romney took his dog in a dog carrier.
The American Public needs to see Romney's 1999 tax return to prove he headed up the Olympics and wasn't running Bain.

While Romney's campaign isn't perfect it is more focused on the Problems of America and the solutions to get us moving forward.

Only a democratic partisan would be yelling "4 more years of 8% unemployment!! Obama!! 4 more years of trillion dollar deficits!! Obama!! Nothing Changes!!!

I wrote a response, but realize the comments section required you to log in through Facebook. Since I do not have a Facebook, I unfortunately could not post my response. Below the squiggly is my response.


You seem to be suffering from severe amnesia (an apparent modern prerequisite to remaining a Republican in light of the last decade), so let me remind you of the early 2000's. Facts:

1. Clinton leaves office with a budgetary surplus.

2. Bush enters office and promptly turns the surplus into a deficit for tax cuts that disproportionately benefited the wealthiest Americans, who, by virtue of their success, were already benefitting .

3. Bush passes Medicare Part D, a large expansion of Medicare coverage (a good thing), but included a large doughnut hole in the coverage (a bad thing) and included no new revenues to pay for it, adding a significant amount of money to the deficit (also a bad thing). (Compare that to ACA, which is paid for, a prerequisite for responsible implementation of longitudinal policy changes, and closes the Part D doughnut hole.)

4. Bush began two wars overseas, neither of which was paid for, adding SUBSTANTIALLY to the deficit.

5. Deregulation of financial markets and banks that began in the Republican congress under Clinton created legal protections for the creation of derivatives and securities based on sub-prime loans, creating a bubble that brought the entire economy to its knees. Your response: "Yes, but Democrats did it too." To that I say: You're right. And there is such a thing as CONSERVATIVE Democrats that give bad conservative ideas more legitimacy than they deserve and provide a way for Republicans to deflect what's really to blame: CONSERVATIVE ideological deregulation and the under-funding and political undermining of regulatory agencies and their missions. The collapse of the economy lays ENTIRELY at the feet of CONSERVATIVES, most of them Republicans, and no one else.

6. Alan Greenspan, godfather of supply-side economics and the conservative deregulation movement, admits in a Congressional hearing that some of the economic assumptions, upon which deregulation was based, were flawed.

7. Obama enters office with the economy in free-fall, bleeding massive numbers of private sector jobs for two years consecutively, financial institutions collapsing, and the auto-industry collapsing.

8. Obama passes an $800 billion stimulus, NEARLY HALF OF WHICH WAS TAX CUTS IN AN ATTEMPT AT BIPARTISANSHIP, and while it saved MILLIONS OF JOBS, the hole Bush left in our $16 trillion per year economy was too big for less than $500 billion of direct spending to fill (or 3% of our annual output). In other words, the tax cuts were an ineffective waste, further undermining the idea that conservatives have anything meaningful to contribute to national policy-making or responsible governance.

9. 80% of the deficit is attributable to Bush and his Republican congress. The 20% attributable to Obama policies is mostly stimulus measures taken in response to BUSH'S economic devastation. In other words, it was Democrats cleaning up after an 8 year Republican frat party.

10. Obama has overseen two consecutive years of job creation in the private sector despite headwinds from Japan’s tsunami, state and local government shedding of public employees, House Republican refusal to pass anything related to jobs (instead opting for 33 ACA repeal votes), and headwinds from Europe and a brief spike in oil prices. The growth would be larger if public sector lay-offs weren't happening around the country thanks to conservative intransigence on providing aid to states or taking more stimulus measures. In fact, excluding 2009, (you know, the year in which Obama inherited the crumbling economy from Republicans) Obama has overseen a net 400,000 private sector job creation (more than in Bush's EIGHT years). Indeed, even including the first year in office (2009), Obama is net 75,000 private sector jobs.

In short, Republicans crashed the economy through irresponsible governance, created a massive annual deficit, added to the debt in staggering numbers, and started wars overseas that cost American lives and further strained our relations with the rest of the world and still managed to not catch the terrorist that attacked us in the first place. If Republicans can’t responsibly manage the economy, can’t responsibly manage the government’s budget, and can’t responsibly manage the armed forces, what exactly can they do as leaders? We’ve seen what you’re selling, and, well, thanks but no thanks.

I believe this to be a pretty comprehensive, thorough, yet relatively succinct way to combat these weak, groundless assertions about Obama and the economy, re-frame the debate over the economy in a way that opens the door for progressive solutions, and debunks and takes away the most common Republican talking points. Please, DK, take this response and post it far and wide. Copy and paste it every time you see a similar claim made in the comments on a news site. Copy and paste it every time you see a Facebook status with similar contents. It's not just for the person you are debating either, as they may be unreachable. It's for the rest of the audience that the two of you have. Feel free to add or subtract from the list as needed, and thank you in advance. I will get to comments later in the day. Thanks for reading.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Obama's economy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCalSal, steveholt

    The notion that the state of the economy should translate into defeat for President Obama in November is complete media nonsense. This political media narrative requires voters to erase all memory of the policies of the previous administration and to forget where the country and the economy was on January 20, 2009. It also requires voters to ignore the fact that we have a Republican Congress that has adopted the cynical political strategy of obstruction and the purposeful destruction of the economy designed around the sinister notion of making a democratically elected president of the United States a one-term president.

  •  Republican Obstructionism Weakens America (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NYmama, efrenzy, steveholt

    Republican Gridlock Weakens America

    Notice: This Comment © 2012 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Wed Aug 01, 2012 at 07:04:37 AM PDT

  •  nice synopsis (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It's helpful to have these overviews; because we all too easily forget.  There is too much to remember; and we need to shorten the message.  You have done a nice job of that.  Placing responsibility squarely and fairly where it belongs.

    Great first diary.

    •  Exactly. (0+ / 0-)

      In the daily minutiae of campaigning and campaign related stories, it's sometimes easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. I think it's important for us as a community to constantly remind both ourselves and those we know of lessons learned in recent history.

      Thank you.

  •  That's worked for 3 1/2 years (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Don't know how much juice that plan still has.

    •  I see your point, but disagree (0+ / 0-)

      Essentially, what you are saying is similar to Fox pundits saying, "He can't blame Bush forever." To that I say: why not? Facts are facts, and reminding people of the facts is a big part of campaigning.

      Also, in my response, I was sure to include the specific actions Obama has taken as president, the results of those actions, and the context of those actions. The point isn't just, "He got a bad shake coming into office." It's "Here are the causes of that bad shake, here are actions taken, here are results, we need more."

      Finally, most polls still show a plurality (though a shrinking plurality) of voters agree that Bush deserves more blame than Obama for the economy. Reminding voters of the facts surrounding the recession is not only important for re-electing President Obama, but reminding voters of the ideological underpinnings of the policies that brought about the recession and taking away the framework of false-equivalencies that really hurts progressive Democrats.

  •  I'd just reverse the order- summary first, details (0+ / 0-)

    if you're challenged in a conversation or debate. Keep it snappy and defeat short attention spans!

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