by Ryan Streeter on January 6, 2012. Follow Ryan on Twitter.
It is critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the recession that began at the end of 2007.
Wow. These words recommend one question and one observation:
Question: WHICH economic policies? I’m not sure that any of us has ever heard Obama articulate actual economic policy. We’ve watched him argue for higher taxes on rich people. We’ve seen him support disorganized and ineffectual stimulus spending. We’ve seen him promote a financial markets reform bill that creates more problems than it solves. If there is one thing the Obama’s administration has not done, it is tell the country what its economic worldview is. The second thing the administration has not done is tell the country which policies flow from that worldview.
Observation: When you say “recession that began at the end of 2007,” it is so insufferably obvious that you are trying to pin the current economic malaise on your predecessor that even your friends have to think you look sort of silly. For whatever reason, we have a President who seems convinced that – three years later – he can continue to say, “I had NOTHING to do with this!” For all his virtues, Barack Obama seems congenitally incapable of understanding that people actually gain respect for you when you share their pain and admit that not everything you’ve done has worked out as planned. I’m pretty sure psychiatrists have a fancy-sounding word for this kind of denial.
The next line in the White House’s statement on the unemployment numbers goes like this:
Most importantly, we need to extend the payroll tax cut and continue to provide emergency unemployment benefits through the end of this year, and take other steps the President has proposed in the American Jobs Act.
Most importantly? The reference to his jobs act, which has wowed virtually no one, seems like a throwaway – as in: the Obama Press Release Writer Person says, “oh yeah, we need to mention that jobs act the President gave a speech about.” The “most importantly” qualifier seems to apply to the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits – which, however important they may be, are not putting anyone back to work. But they are all Barack Obama’s got, so his staff is it touting them come hell or high water!
The Obama team has gotten so used to itself (which, speaking from experience, can happen in the White House) that it fails to see how silly it makes itself look at times like this.