President Barack Obama's supporters, incredulous at their candidate's defeat in last night's debate, and worried about the September jobs report, are reaching for phony economic arguments across the networks and social media today. Some are familiar arguments from Obama's own talking points in 2008 and again in 2012, and it would seem Obama himself actually believes them. There is only one problem: they are completely false.
John Merline of Investors Business Daily tackles the top five--and, with a bit of paraphrasing, here they are:
5. The Bush tax cuts caused the recession/deficit. This is what Obama means when he warns voters about the "policies of the past." But the recession was triggered by the subprime mortgage crisis, in which Democrat policies going back to Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were major factors. In fact, after 2005, during the height of the Bush expansion (2002-6), tax revenues were up from their pre-tax levels. And after 2003, deficits declined until the recession--and the return of Democrats, and their high-spending ways, to positions of power.
4. Obama stopped a second Great Depression. The worst was over when Obama took office, and the rebound was under way--until Obama stopped it with the heavy hand of Obamacare and other interventions. The stimulus failed, the auto bailout was a wash, "green" jobs sputtered, and Obama's enormous debts created new economic threats. Those sectors of the economy that are performing best--such as the booming shale natural gas and domestic oil industries are those in which Obama has been unable to intrude very far. (Yet.)
3. A slow recovery was inevitable. Well, yes, if you consider that we elected a left-wing Democrat who wanted to "spread the wealth around" rather than focusing on jobs and economic growth. But the jury is still out on whether financial collapses are followed by slow recoveries. And one thing is clear: the Obama administration predicted rapid economic growth, including an unemployment rate that would not rise above 8% with Obama's policies. The Obama campaign only adopted its new line once its record of failure had become clear.
2. Obama's policies are working. The only one President Obama dares mention is the auto bailout--which is working so well that General Motors is laying off thousands of workers and the government refuses to sell its shares lest it absorb a massive loss. Meanwhile, the non-union workers who were cheated out of their pensions while Obama gave the unions a big piece of the pie before sending the company to bankruptcy court may beg to differ. Household incomes have dropped, joblessness is alarming, dependence on government is increasing.
1. Nobody could have done better. This is the line that Clinton--who certainly did better--is being wheeled out to promote, though he knows the truth. No recovery from a deep recession has even been this weak, or this slow. In fact, nearly everyone has done better than Obama since the Second World War. With all the positive spin on bad economic data he could possibly have hoped for, with a (now disbanded) dream team of economic advisers, Obama still could not make the right choices. The truth is that no one could have done worse.