Wednesday, September 07, 2011


Point and Counterpoint

Here is DNC chairman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz:

The Republicans who think the Recovery Act (stimulus) didn't work are simply wrong. The Recovery Act, as of the beginning of this year, created an additional 3.6 million jobs. We have -- the Recovery Act had a direct impact on making sure the teachers, firefighters, police officers were able to remain in their jobs. It begun -- it helped begin to turn the economy around. 50% of it was tax breaks to small businesses and to the middle class. So every economist you would talk to that is worth their salt acknowledges that without the Recovery Act we would not be continuing on the upswing. We would still be either stuck or spiraling downward.

Here is what really has happened
We have 2.5 fewer Americans working today than we did when Obama was inaugurated. We have an unemployment rate that sits at 9.1%, while it was 7.6% when Obama was inaugurated. The real unemployment rate, by the way, is an astounding 16.2%. The federal government has borrowed an additional $29,660 per household since Obama signed his precious “recovery” bill. There are 14 million more Americans on food stamps today than there was when Obama was inaugurated. Our national debt has increased $3.7 trillion since Obama took office. In August we had zero job growth, the first time since 1945. Barack Obama may be the first president since WWII to never see a quarter of economic growth above 4%. Our freaking credit rating has been downgraded. When Obama was inaugurated, 2.6 million Americans were considered “long-term unemployed.” Now that figure is 6.2 million Americans.

I just have one question for Ms. Wasserman-Schultz: What upswing?

By the way, the jobs created or saved figure is not based on any counting of jobs but merely is a result of multiplying a made up out of whole Keynesian cloth multiplier by the amount of stimulus money wasted spent. It's as real a number of jobs as the computer projections of what the average world temperature will be in 2100.

(h/t Neal Boortz)


What actually happened was that most of this stimulus--started by Bush of the deficit-warrior GOP by the way--went to essentially making good on bad bets, and did nothing to help put money back into the economy. QE and other bullshit schemes helped keep record profits on Wall Street, but again, really fucked over the working class, which has stagnated and shrinked. The other stimuli by Obama were poorly done and stupid.

But to say that austerity measures are the way out of this is extremely shortsighted and dumb. Any economist will tell you that, and looking at what's happening in Ireland, Greece, etc will confirm it. They're going to shrink GDP even further, making it even harder to pay off debts, in a self-reinforcing spiral. Don't kid yourself if you think things are gonna get better with a GOP douche who thinks that cutting birth control and NPR is the way out of this mess.
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