The go to talking point on the campaign trail for Republicans is to blame President Obama for the state of the economy as if the President is the only person who had a chance to deal with the broken economy he got when he took office in 2009. What Republicans don’t do is point out their party was the party of NO! blocking many of the President’s initiatives to better the economy. If the economy is not doing as well as it should be, the fault rests with the Republicans in Congress.
Here is what was seen in a recent Romney Super PAC ad:
[NARRATOR:] The debate this fall: Who can turn around America’s economy? Mitt Romney spent his life in the private sector, creating thousands of jobs. Barack Obama wasted $800 billion on a failed stimulus, and the jobless rate went up. Romney cut spending and balanced budgets without raising taxes. Obama has added $5 trillion in debt. Proven leadership to fix the economy. Mitt Romney. Restore Our Future is responsible for the content of this message. [Restore Our Future via YouTube.com, 8/20/12]
Or on the campaign trail as a GOP talking point:
“For two years he had complete, unadulterated control of the federal government, a 60-seat majority in the Senate, an 80-plus seat majority in the House. He got every — literally every piece of legislation he wanted, to try and, quote, turn around the economy….” — U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Peoria, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” 6/12/12
The Romney Super Pac is a lie. The “failed stimulus” helped rescue the economy from the Bush recession, kept the unemployment rate from going higher than it was when Obama took office, and gave tax cuts to the people who needed them – the middle class and poor. Obama also inherited a projected deficit above $1 trillion, driven by Bush policies and the recession. A majority of the deficit is from the Bush Tax cuts passed in 2001 and the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Concerning the Congressman’s talking points, history tells a different story:
Congressional records reflect that the Senate was in session for 72 days during the four months and one week (of the nearly 41 months that Obama’s been in office so far) that the Democrats actually had a filibuster-proof majority — not a particularly long time in the deliberately poky upper chamber.
But even in this window Obama’s “control” of the Senate was incomplete and highly adulterated due to the balkiness of the so-called blue dog conservative and moderate Democratic Senators such as Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Evan Bayh of Indiana and Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas.
The claim, that Obama ruled like a monarch over Congress for two years -– endlessly intoned as a talking-point by Republicans — is more than just a misremembering of recent history or excited overstatement. It’s a lie.
What it comes down to is the economy would have turned out better than it has, had the Republicans not obstructed the President at every turn.
Consider the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act now credited with saving up to three millions jobs and preventing what McCain economic adviser Mark Zandi called “Depression 2.0.” Obama’s margins in the passage of the final $787 billion conference bill were almost unchanged from the earlier versions produced by the House and Senate. Despite then Minority Whip Eric Cantor’s earlier claim that Obama’s bipartisan outreach was a “very efficient process,” the President was shut out again by Republicans in the House. In the Senate, the stimulus actually lost ground, as Ted Kennedy’s absence and the no-vote of aborted Commerce Secretary Judd Gregg made the final tally 60-38. So much for Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s January 2009 statement that the Obama stimulus proposal “could well have broad Republican appeal.”
Sadly, President Obama’s obsession with bipartisan consensus only served to produce more political masochism when it came to his health care initiative. In the House, exactly one Republican voted for a health care reform bill which first passed by a 220-215 margin. Contrary to John McCain’s mythology that in the Senate, there had been “no effort that I know of — of serious across the table negotiations,” Obama repeatedly reached out to GOP Senators like Olympia Snowe and left the writing of the Senate health bill to the bipartisan “Gang of Six.” For that, President Obama only got what Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) called a “holy war” – and zero Republican votes.
Then there is this graphic detailing other obstructionism from the Party of NO as the GOP is now known as. It includes voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act 33 TIMES!
The Party of NO! wants the American public to forget their part in delaying the economic recovery – like some lame ass Jedi mind trick.