The Lefty response to Friday’s Obamanomics Graph of the Day has been pathetic, even considering the sources.
Here is that graph, as a reminder (from Michael’s Comments; HT BizzyBlog commenter dscott):
The Left’s retort to the Obama administration’s utter failure to predict what has really happened thus far in response to their centerpiece “stimulus” is, in essence, “Well, the Bush team also blew their predictions in early 2008.”
Even if they’re right, it’s an immature, crybaby excuse (“Mommy, Billy was bad and he wasn’t punished. So I can be bad too, and you can’t punish me. Wahhhhh!”), but let’s go with it anyway.
Let’s admit it. The Left is correct on this one. The Bush team blew it. There’s no point in denying it.
Bush’s econ guys and gals utterly failed to consider the effect of all the factors that might influence the economy, such as these I cited in April. What follows rephrases, updates, and adds to them for current effect.
First, the Bush team failed to consider that starting in June 2008 and all the way through to Election Day, Nancy Pelosi, Barack Obama, and Harry Reid, the founders of the POR (Pelosi-Obama-Reid) Economy, would repeatedly tell the country that they were ready, willing, and would soon be able to starve the country of the conventional sources of energy it needs to keep its economic engines running, regardless of the consequences, bowing before what may be the greatest hoax in human history. They failed to foresee that enough high producers to make a difference would believe them, and that these high producers would abandon their previous guarded optimism.
Second, they failed to consider that starting in June and all the way through to Election Day, Pelosi, Obama, and Reid – but especially presidential nominee Obama — would tell the country that they were ready, willing, and would soon be able to punitively tax the 5% of the nation’s most productive, increasing their marginal tax rates by up to 17% (12.4% Social Security plus 4.6% federal income tax), so they could redistribute money to everyone else. Even in the fall, when it was clear that the economy was struggling, the POR Economy’s architects continued to bitterly cling to their tax-increase promises. Bush’s team failed to foresee that enough high producers to make a difference would believe them, and that these high producers would abandon their previous guarded optimism.
Third, they failed to anticipate that in September, the decades-in-the-making, Democratic Party-driven housing and mortgage-lending mess would come to a head at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and that Washington would then allow itself to be blackmailed into a series of financial sector bailouts. They didn’t foresee that the bailouts would expand to other industries, and that this money, often forced on recipients with a (figurative) gun to their heads, would contain shackles designed to prevent repayment and ensure government control of corporate decision-making, and in some cases control of the corporations themselves. They failed to foresee that enough high producers to make a difference would head for the lifeboats and stay there, abandoning what little optimism remained.
In sum, they failed to anticipate that enough high producers to make a difference would abandon their spring optimism, not because of then-current economic conditions, which were at worst mediocre, but because of their assessments of what economic conditions would be in the not too distant future, based on the perilous pronouncements of Pelosi, Obama, and Reid. They didn’t foresee that many of those who didn’t catch on during the summer would do so after observing the reckless September-October actions of the Washington establishment.
As a result, they failed to anticipate that businesspeople, entrepreneurs and investors would take steps they ordinarily take when a serious recession takes hold — not hiring, not expanding, letting people go and not replacing them, making worn-out equipment last longer instead of buying new, and others — before the serious recession took hold. The failed to foresee the deliberate downsizing that would take place in response to stated promises by powerful government officials Pelosi, Obama, and Reid to penalize and punish them, and the economy as a whole, if and when they gained power.
Finally, they failed to anticipate that at crunch time, with a serious recession staring them in the face, Pelosi, Obama, and Reid would ignore options that could have worked and historically have worked with near-immediate positive effect (tax cuts, opening up domestic drilling, etc.), in favor of an inherently time-delayed, ineffective “stimulus” plan that, like its historical predecessors in 1930s America and 1990s Japan, hasn’t stimulated anything.
How could the Bushies be so stupid? (/sarc)
The Bush Administration’s intrepid economic prognosticators didn’t anticipate that for the first time in American history a political party would take positions and actions destined to take down the economy in the name of electoral victory. The only question that remains is whether the named Democrats and their party did so out of ignorance, or did so deliberately. I lean strongly towards the latter.