FDR, JFK, BHO, WTF?

“We’ve tried it the Republican way, and it has failed”.

Ah, Proglodytes. They always manage to step up and make it easy. I now know why Al Franken wanted to expand government control of the web. Any doofus with a search engine can take the government’s argument apart in a matter of seconds. I mean, earlier this week a famous Constitutional Law professor actually forgot Marbury v. Madison! Ladies and Gentlemen, I am proud to be that doofus.  This week’s little gem came courtesy of the highest office in the land, inhabited by one of the lowest men to ever hold its title. I could not find the exact quote, since it was buried somewhere in the hackneyed rhetoric about taking health care away from weather balloons or some such stuff. (Stuff in this article, even if it is a hyperlink, is a euphemism for what Rick Santorum said the Mainstream Media is constantly guilty of. Yes liberals, congratulations, you found the coded language.)

But the passage, and message, that I want to focus on goes something like this, and stop me if you’ve heard it before: “We’ve tried it your way before, and it didn’t work.” I actually stopped myself in the middle of that phrase because The Baracken Record has said it many times. In fact, he is so good at loading the same speech on the teleprompter that RNC actually finally had the guts to call him on his “recycling”. But I digress. Here’s the President saying something very similar to what he said on Monday and Tuesday back in 2010:

And just to make sure we didn’t forget what he was trying to do, the Imperial Scribes at the L.A. Times actually wrote this on March 30th:

Framing the November election as a defining moment for the middle class, President Obama said voters would have a choice between his policies and Republicans’ “you’re-on-your-own economics” as he sought to energize his most devoted supporters after a deflating week.

In a pair of campaign speeches to supporters, Obama cast the Republican Party as controlled by its most conservative wing and described his own policies as driven by American values.

“You know, if you’re out of work, can’t find a job, tough luck; you’re on your own. If you don’t have healthcare, that’s your problem; you’re on your own. If you’re born into poverty, lift yourself up out of your own — with your own bootstraps, even if you don’t have boots; you’re on your own,” Obama said in remarks before a cheering crowd in Burlington, Vt. “Hey, they believe that’s how America has advanced. That’s the cramped, narrow conception they have of liberty.”
If I weren’t so offended, I’d be amused. So the theme he’s going to run on is the idea that America has tried it the conservative, liberty-driven, free market way, and it failed miserably? Let me decode this for you, as if you couldn’t for yourself, if you’ll permit me. Barack Obama’s re-election message is going to be that it was all George W. Bush’s fault, and Mitt Romney is just another George W. Bush. It’s bigger than that, of course. But to his base, and to the media, (but I repeat myself) the marching orders are out. Already, the comparisons are beginning to trickle down (tee hee), and this one comes from Zbigniew Brzezinksi, a man whom I am convinced was named by Klingons.
But there are two major problems with President Obama’s assertions, and they are not only major, they are 180 degrees out-of-phase with history. First, there were many things George W. Bush did that conservatives didn’t like, such as Medicare part D, No Child Left Behind, signing McCain-Feingold, a pseudo-amnesty proposal, going to war without a declaration, and running up massive debts and deficits. But worse than that is President Obama’s perpetuation of many of these very same policies. Don’t bash Bush when you are a Super Dubya, and far worse on character and love of country. The second is the fallacy outright lie that we have tried free markets and deregulation. This is so disgusting on so many levels, my brain actually struggles to contain it all. Please pardon the following run on sentence: It isn’t just the false idea that we are under regulated, it is also the truth that the increases in the governemnt deficit spending under this man’s administration are such that the real inflation rate is 8% and the printing of fiat currency is driving down consumer spending power so rapidly that pretty soon the entire middle class will be so safely concealed below the poverty line, the President won’t have to worry about who believes his stuff.
The Super Dubya explanation is pretty easy. Well, a more accurate description would be Bizarro Dubya. (Please note, I have plenty of respect for President Bush, I am using Dubya to mock the left, not to demean the man). All the powers of President Bush, but twisted and evil. Afghanistan? Don’t worry, after surging the troops, President Obama calmed down the post Koran-burning situation with his words. A recurring theme of this administration is, “it could have been worse”, but that’s a subject for another post. Iraq? Not done there yet, but let’s make sure not to invite George W. Bush to the victory celebration. Medicare? I see your Medicare, and I raise you Obamacare! Amnesty? He’ll do that through the DOJ, no problem. War without a declaration? Illegal, unless his campaign is looking for the Qadaffi bump. Deficits? Hello? Anybody? Bueller?
But next we have the coup de grace. The campaign message is going to be that we’ve tried it Bush’s way, and it failed. Remember, for their purposes, Republicans = Bush = Rush Limbaugh = Racists = Rich White People. This one is a whopper. First of all, let’s get something out of the way. The definition of a free market (from investorwords.com, an online investment glossary) is as follows:
1. Business  governed by the laws of supply  and demand, not restrained by government  interference, regulation or subsidy.
2. A foreign  exchange market that is not controlled by the government.
3. A security with  sufficient liquidity that its price is not  significantly affected by availability.
Let’s look at that first one. Can you think of a single industry that truly fits that bill? Even the internet benefited from subsidies! That’s why Al Gore took credit for it, and that’s why Franken wants control over it. They think its theirs, plain and simple. Oil companies get subsidies. Money flows into our health care markets at a geometric rate, not to pay doctors, but to pay administrators. And while we cannot put a specific date on man’s first idea to let government penetrate the market, and penetrate is a fantastic word, we can point out a very specific timeframe when this behavior became so codified and second nature: The New Deal.  So with that in mind, I would like to direct you to a list, located here. The list is from a website called FDR heritage, so you know it is unbiased. Did you notice anything about that list? Did you notice how closely the list parallels the achievements of this President, this administration, and the stimulus? Here are some of the more glaring examples: FDR created the FDIC and the SEC, President Obama says they are not enough and creates the CFPB and signs Dodd-Frank. FDR creates The Civil Works Administration (CWA), Public Works Administration (PWA), Works Progress Administration (WPA), Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), and National Industrial Recovery Act (NIRA). How many times did we hear “shovel-ready”, “infrastructure jobs”, “job retraining”, and “investing in green energy”?  I mean, even FDR’s own website has to admit in the margins that some of these programs were failures! And the others? Well, FDR created a homeowners loan assistance program, which nobody has ever proposed again. He also created the NLRB, which has done great things for the people of South Carolina and America. He also created Social Security, and as was intended, died before he could collect any benefits. Oh, that’s not what it was meant to do? Then how the hell were they supposed to keep it solvent? Since sharper minds than mine have done great research on these exact failures, I now defer to my favorite economist of all time, not once, but thrice.
Pretty amazing, huh? Wait, it gets better.


Wow. Just. Wow.

Amazing. The period in which man enjoyed the most freedom was the latter part of the 19th, and earlier part of the 20th century. You know, the Old Deal. Mr. President, your argument is invalid. You said when you got elected that we had tried it the Republicans way for eight years, and it failed. Stuff.

The truth is, we’ve tried it your way for the past 80 years, and it has failed us all, collectively.

Joseph Kurt is an individual, and is damn certain of his societal responsibilities.

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Remission, Not Recovery

I am often surprised that the Democratic Party is so openly hostile toward conservatives about their faith, since their beliefs require so much. This week’s bully pulpit (but not bull market) sermon comes courtesy of TIME magazine, specifically from Deacon Bill Saporito and Sister Rana Foroohar. (The 97-lb. Recovery, April 2, 2012) Foroohar’s normal column is printed under the title of The Curious Capitalist, which is snarky liberalism at its best and worst. To say she is a Keynesian is to say Glenn Beck is passionate and faithful, and Keith Olbermann is overbearing and arrogant.

In the very first paragraph of the article, the party line manages to slip out, and it is as follows: You are too stupid to notice there is a recovery going on around you. The exact quote is, “Given that…unemployment is still above 8%, you’d be forgiven for not noticing that there’s been a rebound-until, maybe, now”. That’s genius with a capital D. And they cite fantastic evidence to support their claims, such as the stock market hitting new highs, out-of-work claims at four year lows, and consumer-confidence figures ticking up. We’re back, baby, and badder than ever! The only thing missing now is a Joe Biden economic gaffe.


Yup.

But there are just a few problems with the logic. Now I understand there are more than a few problems with Keynesian logic, but I’m just talking about those statements and assertions she cites as evidence of a recovery. The first is the assessment of consumer confidence. As of this writing, which is the exact same date on the cover of the magazine, the Consumer Confidence Index is down by 1.4 points from February to March of this year. This reminds of two things: The first is the idea of liberal elitism and observation bias, and the second is the gravity the political left places on what “plays well” from President Obama’s speeches on the economy. Chuck Todd recently stated that media liberals suffer from a geographical, not ideological, bias. (You can read that here) Combined with the observations by your Keynesian Clergy, the implication is they think we’re stupid for not seeing the recovery. And they were smart enough to live in areas such as D.C. or New York that never saw the recession in the first place. Also, the notion of what “plays well” is absolutely critical to leftist ideology. This is an election year, and we have a professional campaigner as an incumbent, so everything is viewed through the prism of whether it helps or hinders that effort, and one of the “unbiased” media observations regarding the dip in President Obama’s polling numbers was the idea that telling Americans the economy had recovered was a no-no. (Article here) See, they still have buy gas and groceries, so it rings a little hollow to cheer your efforts in light of that inconvenient truth. So now, the administration has to convince Americans that we are in a soft recovery, or a jobless recovery, or that the recession has bottomed out, without sounding too optimistic. We’re a little back, Mr. President, but don’t tell us we’re back. Remember the caricature of Bush as the eternal optimist in spite of the truth? I’m no Hindu, but the concept of karma is really starting to make inroads into my beliefs.

As for the other numbers, jobless claims and the stock market, they are deceptive, at best. The administration’s tinkering with the unemployment figures is well-documented, but often left out of the conversation is this: Employment grows and declines in spurts, not in a straight line. It makes sense from a macro perspective. Good news for the national economic outlook is not compartmentalized into sectors of the economy, as the TIME piece suggests, and so growth occurs in short bursts. Without getting too wonkish, here’s what that means: One month’s data, or even a cluster of data, does not always a trend indicate. (You can read the source for that here) But there is TIME magazine, carrying the economic water for the administration in its half-full bucket of pure optimism. And as far as the stock market goes, wasn’t there a President who said we can’t look to the stock market’s gyrations as an indicator of economic health? And wasn’t he, like, really smart?

The piece is designed to ease America’s fears that the economy might actually have established a “new normal” of 8% unemployment and GDP propped up by government spending, rather than investment, trade, and consumption. But the idea and message, like the people who wrote it, have no basis in reality. The average American has seen a 9% drop in their spending power during the Obama administration, and that is real to them. The stock market is not. They have seen real inflation (factoring in food and gas prices) at 8%, even though Paul Krugman swears this is not happening. The political left is going to have to face reality, which is something they hate. They are going to have to admit to themselves that they are the only ones trying to force good news down the throat of a terminally ill patient. This is a sad analogy, I understand, but I did not put them in this situation. They built this house of cards themselves. Since Obamacare is on the political horizon these days, let’s look at it like this: We have not yet fully recovered from this malignant recession, and it is too soon to declare victory over it. At best, we are showing signs of remission, but here’s the problem: We have not stopped the behavior that gave us the tumor in the first place, and we are actually increasing its frequency and scale. The most bitter irony in all of this is that we are being forced to continue this fatal behavior by elected politicians (Obama, Reid) and unelected bureaucrats alike (Bernanke, Geithner). I guess those “death panels” aren’t just for healthcare anymore. -JK

Joseph Kurt is the Unceremonious Master of Ceremonies. He would first like to apologize for the inabililty to indent paragraphs in WordPress. He is the host of The Joseph Kurt Show on NewsRadio 94.3WSC on Saturdays at 6pm in the Holy City of Charleston, S.C. He is also the host of the Charleston Tea Party Podcast. He actually managed to scare himself while writing this.