“No, gentlemen, we have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work…We have never made good on our promises…I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started…And an enormous debt to boot!”
The quote above sounds like it could have come from a number of politicians today. However, the quote actually comes from a transcript of a private meeting at the Treasury Department – in 1939! Democrat President FDR’s own Treasury Secretary Henry Morgenthau Jr. realized that after years of stimulus, excessive regulations, and price controls the government cannot spend its way out of a recession/depression. Oh how history repeats itself.
President Obama had two years of complete Democrat control (Democrats controlled Congress the two years prior as well) to do whatever he wanted to do to fix this economy. He tried (as did Bush during his final months) bailouts, stimulus, more bailouts, more stimulus, ObamaCare, financial reform laws, and more spending. What do we have to show for it all? As Morgenthau stated – nothing, “And an enormous debt to boot!”
Sadly, Obama is still wondering around aimlessly throwing out haphazard ideas hoping that they will resonate with voters. Who cares if the ideas have no substance or if they have repeatedly failed in the past. To Obama it’s a down payment on his re-election campaign. What liberal doesn’t like taxing the “evil” rich and funneling their money towards government projects.
Last week I picked up on a phrase that has been circulating the conservative wires. Some ask “Are you better off than you were 4 years ago?”, but a better question is “Are you better off than you were $4 trillion ago?” Herman Cain answered that question at the Voter Values Summit last week when he was addressing the OWS protestors:
“Wall Street didn’t spend a trillion dollars. Wall Street isn’t asking to spend another $450 billion. It didn’t work with a trillion. It’s not going to work with $400 billion.”
For those visual learners, perhaps this graph from Ezra Klein’s Washington Post piece is a bit more descriptive:
As Klein stated, the 9% unemployment rate without the stimulus plan was used to scare Congress into voting for the “Recovery Act.” Gee, if Americans could choose now they’d pick that choice hands down over the actual with the stimulus plan numbers. But, that was then and this is now. Jobs “saved or created” is the buzz phrase and Obama is planning on a hard sell to voters. While he may be barking at a Congress that has no desire to spend billions more in stimulus, including many Democrats, the Economy-Destroyer-In-Chief is going to pound his message into the hearts of his liberal base to energize them for what will be an uphill struggle for reelection. As far as his base is concerned this is a win/win situation for him. But it is going to take a little more than his base for Obama to dig himself out of the approval deficit he is in right now.