White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, the spokesman for the blame-free administration, suggested today the Republicans were at fault for the sudden CONTRACTION in GDP, asserting the the economy faces “headwinds” created by the GOP.
Let’s be clear. That GDP contracted by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012 reflects concern about the Fiscal Cliff and decreases in government spending, particularly on Defense. Both the fiscal cliff and government spending cuts exist because President Obama did nothing serious in his first four years to reduce overall government spending. He failed to take leadership on the dramatic cuts needed to entitlements, something that would have given markets and businesses confidence in the future of the economy.
And now some chickens are coming home to roost, as someone said, and cuts must be made – or if Obama gets his way, taxes raised – and it’s going to continue to harm the economy.
Carney today blamed Republicans for failures to strike a deal, failures past and present. This is not leadership. It’s standard petty political posturing. And many disagree that earlier failure to strike bargains were John Boehner’s fault.
The facts, as Carney likes to say, are that the economy has grown at an average of 2 percent over the past two years and unemployment is near 8 percent. That is really lousy, by any objective standard, especially emerging from a recession.
Obama – let me check – yes, Obama has been president that whole time. The White House can bring up some new unique cause every time they get more bad news, but the fact is there is always some factor that ain’t working. What happens in good economies is that other factors override it and create growth.
But that hasn’t happened. And the fault lies with the president, not Congress.