President Obama achieves Republican agenda ahead of schedule

Posted: December 26, 2014 by watsonthethird in Conservative Hypocrisy, Current Events, Economics, Health Care, Politics
Tags: , , , ,

As 2014 comes to an end, Republicans around the country should be rejoicing in the amazing track record of President Obama, who has accomplished the 2012 Republican presidential candidates’ agendas far faster than they themselves promised they would have!

From Steven Benen:

* The Romney Standard: Mitt Romney said during the 2012 campaign that if Americans elect him, he’d get the unemployment rate down to 6% by 2016. Obama won anyway and the unemployment rate dropped below 6% two years faster.

* The Gingrich Standard: Newt Gingrich said during the 2012 campaign that if Americans re-elected the president, gas prices would reach $10 per gallon, while Gingrich would push gas down to $2.50 a gallon. As of this morning, the national average at the pump is a little under $2.38.

* The Pawlenty Standard: Tim Pawlenty said trillions of dollars in tax breaks would boost economic growth to 5% GDP. Obama actually raised taxes on the wealthy and GDP growth reached 5% anyway.

Fantastic job, Mr. President!

Of course, sadly for Republicans, their own agenda was achieved via some, er, um, unorthodox methods (at least to them). I mean, President Obama and Congress allowed most of the Bush tax cuts to expire, and taxes even increased for the very richest among us.

Republican members of Congress spent much of the beginning of 1993 warning that raising taxes on the rich would destroy the economy.

“It will kill jobs, kill businesses, and yes, kill even the higher tax revenues that these suicidal tax increasers hope to gain,” Rep. Christopher Cox said.

And cut to the best job growth of the century — over 22 million jobs — and the first budget surplus in generations.

Of course, the nineties were an anomaly, with the end of the Cold War and the government’s decades-long investment in the internet suddenly paying off exponential returns. You can’t expect those kinds of returns again.

Cut to 2013, when President Obama’s re-election allowed most of the Bush tax breaks to expire with Republicans making similar warnings.

The result? Well, it wasn’t the best job creation of the century – yet. The 2,331,000 jobs created in 2013 was shy of 2005’s 2,506,000, which was fueled by the tens of billions of dollars the Bush Administrations flushed into defense and Homeland Security. I’d argue that 2013’s job growth could have beaten 2005 if not for Congress allowing a payroll tax to expire as the sequester went into effect. And don’t forget the how the GOP shut down the government for no discernible purpose.

In 2014, taxes again went up on those in the top percentiles to fund the Affordable Care Act. And with that money we were able to help 10 million Americans gain health insurance.

The result? According to the Labor Department, 2014 has already surpassed 2005 as the best year of job growth this century with 2,650,000 jobs projected to have been created through November.

Democratic policies that ask the rich to invest in our economy is the only way we ever created middle class jobs and it pays off for the rich.

“The U.S. economy not only grows faster, according to real GDP and other measures, during Democratic versus Republican presidencies, it also produces more jobs, lowers the unemployment rate, generates higher corporate profits and investment, and turns in higher stock market returns,” Princeton University professors Mark W. Watson and Alan Blinder have found. “Indeed, it outperforms under almost all standard macroeconomic metrics.”

Then there’s the terrible reality that the economy is growing despite the fact that millions of Americans are obtaining health care for the first time. In fact, I have conservative relatives who hate ObamaCare so much that they complain about the bureaucratic hoops they had to jump through to obtain the subsidies that allowed them to actually afford health care. The horror!

And let’s not even get started with all those “job killing” regulations that Americans are swimming in. Yes, we would all have been better off letting the Republican president slow things down in the name of ideology.

UPDATE

And let’s not forget the stock market. The Dow passed 18,000 a few days ago, which brings to mind the words of former George W. Bush adviser Michael Boskin, who on Mar. 6, 2009 penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled “Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Dow.” As Matt O’Brian writes in the Washington Post:

Boskin, though, didn’t think that this once-in-three-generations financial crisis was to blame for the market meltdown. Instead, he blamed it on Obama for … talking about raising taxes? “It’s hard not to see the continued sell-off on Wall Street and the growing fear on Main Street,” Boskin philosophized, “as a product, at least in part, of the realization that our new president’s policies are designed to radically re-engineer the market-based U.S. economy.” What followed was the usual conservative jeremiad against higher taxes on the rich, lower taxes on the poor, and deficit spending. Obama’s trying to turn us into Europe, and that’s why markets are pricing in the possibility of a Great Depression—not the dying economy he inherited.

Stocks bottomed on March 9, three days after the op-ed, as the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying and the Treasury’s stress tests restored confidence in the financial system. Then the stimulus started to kick in, putting enough of a floor under the economy that it began growing again that summer. It’s been a nasty, brutish, and long recovery, but unemployment is finally back under 6 percent and the economy is now growing at its fastest pace in over a decade.

Add it all up, and Obama’s radicalism has killed the Dow to the tune of a 171 percent return since Boskin’s op-ed.

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Comments
  1. rustybrown2012 says:

    Whoops, think that didn’t post because of the two links:

    Great post Watson. We must be on a mind meld, because I was recently thinking along the same lines. Can I throw in a couple cents? For whatever shortcomings Obama has, it’s increasingly hard to argue against his successes. I’ve said this before but who in their right mind is going to look back to 2009, a date following a period of pretty solid Republican rule under a two term conservative President,…and wax nostalgic? Our country was in tatters, and you’d have to be a fool to not recognize the admirable job Obama has done in steering us from those rocky shoals. Ahem. Enter Cluster.

    His latest post is a masterpiece of lies, gullibility and stupidity, even for Cluster. He begins by bemoaning the decline of labor participation while failing to recognize the primary reason: boomers are getting older and dropping out of the workforce:

    http://qz.com/286213/the-chart-obama-haters-love-most-and-the-truth-behind-it/

    He dismisses the gains in the DOW and implores us to “Listen closely to the next time you hear the word “tapering”, because if and when you do, you will subsequently see a 400-500 point one day drop in the Dow”, which is curious considering that tapering ended in October and the stock market continues to scream along under this administration. He’s correct in his mundane observation that the stock market is somewhat of a shell game, but that’s always been true – it’s just that Democrats are much better at managing it to the befit of American investors than Republicans are.

    Cluster then repeats the bogus claim that “5 mil lost insurance” with the ACA and whines that the millions of newly insured Americans is not enough. Yeah, like Republicans were doing so much better! This, of course, is complete bullshit as the ACA is proving to be a tremendous success.

    Finally, he bizarrely complains about low gas prices. Oooooohkaaayyyy.

    So, in conclusion, Cluster is just wrong about everything, as usual. But lets consider just how retarded his arguments are: “Sure jobs are growing and unemployment figures are improving, but people are getting old and retiring! Yeah, the stock market is a ridiculous success under Obama, but just you wait, it’s going to crash one day! Fine, so Obama has reversed a decades-long trend and insured millions of Americans while cutting costs, but it’s not enough! And things will go sideways any day now! Yes gas prices are plummeting but, but, but… What a loon.

  2. tiredoflibbs: “In response to Cluster, the drones cite an opinion piece and try to pass it off as fact concerning the success of obamacare and the affect it would have on full time employees. ”

    Um, no. I quoted from a report published at healthaffairs.org, “Health Affairs is the leading journal of health policy thought and research. The peer-reviewed journal was founded in 1981 under the aegis of Project HOPE, a nonprofit international health education organization. Health Affairs explores health policy issues of current concern in domestic and international spheres. Its mission is to serve as a high-level, nonpartisan forum to promote analysis and discussion on improving health and health care, and to address such issues as cost, quality, and access.”

    You’re a big boy. You can look up the report yourself. Oh, and here’s the quote, citing, you know, facts. (Can you even tell the difference between opinion and facts? Apparently, in your mind opinion is anything a non-conservative says, and facts are anything conservatives say. What a partisan hack.)

    Critics frequently characterize the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a threat to the survival of employer-sponsored insurance. The Medicaid expansion and Marketplace subsidies could adversely affect employers’ incentives to offer health insurance and workers’ incentives to take up such offers. This article takes advantage of timely data from the Health Reform Monitoring Survey for June 2013 through September 2014 to examine, from the perspective of workers, early changes in offer, take-up, and coverage rates for employer-sponsored insurance under the ACA. We found no evidence that any of these rates have declined under the ACA. They have, in fact, remained constant: around 82 percent, 86 percent, and 71 percent, respectively, for all workers and around 63 percent, 71 percent, and 45 percent, respectively, for low-income workers. To date, the ACA has had no effect on employer coverage. Economic incentives for workers to obtain coverage from employers remain strong.

    As for quoting from Forbes, ironically your little buddy Cluster quoted from Forbes himself about the ACA just a couple of days ago. See this comment thread.

    • tiredoflibbs says:

      Watty, your reading comprehension is as dismal as ever. Hint: look at the post on this blog that referenced an opinion piece from Forbes. Since you can’t connect the dots, I have ZERO confidence that you will get it.

      Pathetic as usual.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        Tired,

        And what exactly is wrong with citing a well-sourced opinion piece? Can you be specific? Only a stupid asshole would condemn a source without explaining what’s wrong with it. Hint: there’s nothing inherently wrong or insubstantial about an “opinion”, particularly one as well referenced as the one I’ve provided.

        For chrissakes, haven’t you learned anything after trolling these blogs for years?

      • Rusty, it’s because Rick Unger writes “from the left on politics and policy.” It’s really that simple. In wing nut world, someone writing “from the left” cannot possibly have a grasp of facts or a valid point.

        As for your quip about my reading comprehension, tired, I understood perfectly well what you were referring to. It was my pleasure to point out that you simply ignored the non-partisan study that was cited here because you don’t actually care about facts. Both the Health Affairs study and the Forbes piece by Rick Unger do present facts. The latter you dismiss simply because the author states that he “writes from the left,” and the former you ignore because you don’t want to accept any findings that would conflict with your ideology. You’d rather bury your head in the sand. You’re very transparent in your small-minded ways.

      • tiredoflibbs says:

        Hey watty, i am just following the standard set. Y you hypocritical assholes. You dismiss sources that are “from the right” all the time. You. can look at many of the responses here.

        And i will use a favorite response you guys use all the time to dismiss your other questions: “Those statements are pure projection”. You dumb fucks set the standards and in typical fashion you losers are dumb founded when your tactics are thrown back at you.

      • meursault1942 says:

        I admit that I dismiss sources that lie a lot. And unfortunately for you, lots of right-wing sources lie a whole lot. Hell, for some of them, that’s their entire reason for being (hi, Heritage Foundation!). Current right-wing beliefs are based almost entirely on lies (go ahead and show me one that isn’t–if you can), and these blogs and publications spring up merely to support those lies.

        But this is grown-up stuff, and you’re just a teenager who thinks he understands the world but doesn’t. As teenagers tend to be. So this is kind of above your head.

        Also, you’re clearly frustrated that Obama’s hit all these benchmarks Republicans swore they’d hit. You keep predicting failure for Obama, and it’s just not panning out that way. This on the heels of the Bush administration, which we were promised was going to have a towering stack of great achievements and only ended up being a calamitous failure. You guys just can’t seem to get anything right, but that’s a natural consequence of your angry withdrawal from reality.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        Tired, you’re missing a crucial point. There’s a huge difference between dismissing a source out of hand and dismissing it’s content. You dismissed a source without criticizing a single word of it’s content, which is an intellectual no-no.

        And speaking of hypocrisy, since you’ve been participating at a lunatic blog that regularly introduces pure horseshit opinion pieces from the most extreme and odious right wing sources for about a a decade, I’m sure you can point us to the many times there where you’ve spoken out about your aversion to citing opinions. Because we all know you’re all about the heard facts; spreadsheets, raw data, statistical analytics and the like.

        Alternately, try to find an example of me dismissing a source without giving a solid reason for doing so. Go ahead, give it a whirl. Hypocrite.

      • rustybrown2012 says:

        That’s “hard facts”

  3. tiredoflibbs says:

    Watty, your OPINION piece is full of lies.
    http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/12/30/health-law-impact/21067751/

    (A non-conservative source)
    Let’s see:
    Loss of full time positions
    Cutting wages
    Increased health care costs,

    to name a few have, according to you and the dumbed down talking points you so readily consume, no affect on full time employees – so much for your “well sourced opinion piece”.

    Again, you and your ilk are full of shit.

    • tired, notice how the article you cited offers little in the way of statistics regarding employer-sponsored health insurance? It says things like, “Businesses with fewer than 100 employees also already have felt some impact from the health law, says a new survey by the National Federation of Independent Business, a small-business trade group.” What does that mean? Where is the source for this? Or, “many restaurants are being more cautious about boosting the workweek of part-timers to 30 hours or more, doling out such increases to reward top performers.” Many? How many? How cautious? In terms of actual affects on employees, how uch effect?

      The study I cited–and it is a study–says in its abstract: “We found no evidence that any of these rates have declined under the ACA. They [offer, take-up, and coverage rates for employer-sponsored insurance under the ACA] have, in fact, remained constant: around 82 percent, 86 percent, and 71 percent, respectively, for all workers and around 63 percent, 71 percent, and 45 percent, respectively, for low-income workers. To date, the ACA has had no effect on employer coverage. Economic incentives for workers to obtain coverage from employers remain strong.”

      See those percentages? They actually measured it. They’re not hiding behind vague language. I guess you can claim that their measuring techniques were biased, but at least they presented actual numbers in a peer-reviewed publication. Your source does nothing of the sort.

      The USA Today article does say, “Forty-two percent of the 900 firms surveyed say their health plan costs have risen at least 10% this year. As a result, 37% are delaying or postponing investment, and 26% are freezing or reducing wages.” That doesn’t refute the Health Affairs study at all. And perhaps you could do some research of your own and tell us how much health care costs have been rising for employers over, say, the last 20 years, just so we have some perspective, which is lacking in this quote from USA Today.

      Anyway, you’ve had your say. I’ve had mine. I look forward to you correcting your co-authors at B4V about the vile nature of their Michael Brown smear, in which they claim a video to be him that is in reality someone else–solely to advance their personal ideology and agenda.

  4. tiredoflibbs says:

    Watty, you and the study are ASSuming that obamacare has been fully implemented. When are you going to get it through your thick skull, it has not. The employer mandate for corporations has not been implemented. The study’s “measurements” were made before the implementation. So their conclusion is erroneous. The survey shows that full time positions have been reduced and wages cut as a result of obamacare. No matter how you slice it, those reductions are a direct result of obamacare with more to come when it is fully implemented. To measue statistics before full implementation is equivalent to lying. But i would expect nothing less from the left who claimed that obame did not lie when he said “under my plan you can keep your insurance (and your doctor) PERIOD”. As Gruber said, the left relied on the stupidity of the Amercan voter. Those who knew better were called racist for opposing obame’s personal agenda. Those who believed the bullshit the pResident pedaled are among the stupid voters. Proudly count yourself among them.

    • Tired, no I did not make that assumption, nor did the study. The study is very clear about that, saying, “To date, the ACA has had no effect on employer coverage.” It also says, “This article takes advantage of timely data from the Health Reform Monitoring Survey for June 2013 through September 2014 to examine, from the perspective of workers, early changes in offer, take-up, and coverage rates for employer-sponsored insurance under the ACA.”

      No where does it imply that there will be no further changes due to the ACA. It is talking about the effects that have occurred so far related to the offering of employer-sponsered health care. This is relevant because I was commenting to Cluster, who has repeatedly claimed that my employer would cancel my insurance. His claim is based on… pretty much nothing. But he has insisted on making the claim repeatedly. I pointed out that as we end 2014, this has not happened, nor (based on this study) has it happened at all in the overall employment market. What Cluster apparently fails to understand is that employer-sponsored health care is a benefit used to retain employees, at least in my line of work. It would be suicidal for my company to drop health care benefits because there is a lot of competition of its employees. Furthermore, it hasn’t even drop benefits for those of us working 20 hours a week. Why? The company wants to retain its employees.

      So I would say that you made assumptions. A reasonable response might have been to say that, while the data indicates that there has been no drop off in employer-sponsored health care so far, we need to wait until after all provisions of the ACA have been implemented in order to draw conclusions about employer-sponsored health care. Instead you accused me of lying and quoting partisan sources, etc.

      • tiredoflibbs says:

        “Furthermore, it hasn’t even drop benefits for those of us working 20 hours a week.”

        Tell that to the 30,000 Wal-mart employees who lost their health benefits because of obame-care.

      • 02casper says:

        “Tell that to the 30,000 Wal-mart employees who lost their health benefits because of obame-care.”

        That could end up being a good thing for the employees. BTW, Walmart could easily provide health insurance and better wages for all of their employees. They are using Obamacare as an excuse to piss on their workers.

        http://www.vox.com/2014/10/7/6939057/walmart-drops-insurance-good-news

      • “Tell that to the 30,000 Wal-mart employees who lost their health benefits because of obame-care.”

        There is no doubt that the competition for my skills is much greater than that of the typical Wal-Mart employee. But looking at the employment picture as a whole, as the Health Affairs study does, it shows no drop in employer-sponsored health care. That’s one reason for citing the study–to get past a particular instance that makes headlines at Fox News and instead look at the broader picture.

      • tiredoflibbs says:

        Watty, there is no doubt that the study is a propaganda piece touting obame-care. I have shown where people have lost their employer provided benefits. You continue to regurgitate the cherry-picked data (it has to be in order to show no losses of benefits). You brag that you haven’t lost benefits due to obame-care, but the most important point is that the part that will affect your employer provided benefits has not been implemented. As you said, you have to take obame-care as a whole and not the affects of it “so far” and “to date”.

        Stay in denial and in your own little reality it will make you feel better during your miserable life.

      • Stay in denial and in your own little reality

        An apt description of yourself, tired. But I do so appreciate that you and cluster are looking out for my welfare.

      • 02casper says:

        “I have shown where people have lost their employer provided benefits.”

        And I have shown that the same people will be able to get the same or better health insurance because of Obamacare.

        http://www.vox.com/2014/10/7/6939057/walmart-drops-insurance-good-news

        I would also like to point out that Walmart is dropping health insurance for part time employees because they are assholes, not because they can’t afford it.

      • tiredoflibbs says:

        Cappy, as usual, you can’t keep up. Watty’s talking point is that no one has lost employer provided health care. You contradict the party line. Did you not read his source? Obviously not.

        Walmart provided insurance to their part time employees. Obame-care made that benefit (I am sure they liked their plan, but they could not keep it) too expensive to provide for part time employees. Deal with it. Your pathetic straw man – “they used obame-care as an excuse” is an unsubstantiated accusation. As usual, you are full of shit.

      • 02casper says:

        “Cappy, as usual, you can’t keep up. Watty’s talking point is that no one has lost employer provided health care. You contradict the party line. Did you not read his source? Obviously not.”

        Watson didn’t use a talking point. He made a point and provided a source to back it up. He never said that no one has lost employer provided health care.

      • tiredoflibbs says:

        “He never said no one has lost employer provided health care.”

        Cappy, again you are pathetically slow on the uptake.

        ” A reasonable response might have been to say that, while the data indicates that there has been no drop off in employer-sponsored health care.”

        It’s really embarrassing that you miss the obvious.

      • Casper, you must remember that everything tired comes up with is a talking point. He listens to Rush in order to know what to say, and probably subscribes to the Glenn Beck newsletter. So for him to accuse others of using talking points makes perfect sense; it’s all he knows.

        As for the study, the results are self-explanatory. Data is data. tired refuses to acknowledge it, and dismisses it has partisan propaganda because, again, it’s all he knows. I did find it amusing that he is now using the defense I suggested for him. You’re welcome, tired. Anyway, I’m done with this particular topic because we’re just going in circles.

        And by the way, tired, we’re still waiting for you to correct your colleagues regarding their vile lie about Michael Brown. And also the satellite data measuring Arctic sea ice.

  5. 02casper says:

    Watson,
    If nothing else, it looks like we got tired to at least read some articles before commenting on them. That’s a big step for the B4Vers.

  6. Speaking of Wal-Mart, I wonder of tired approves of the fact that Wal-Mart’s full-time employees getting paid so low that they require government assistance to live on?

    Wal-Mart’s low wages have led to full-time employees seeking public assistance. These are not the 47 percent, lazy, unmotivated bums. Rather, these are people working physical, often difficult jobs. They receive $2.66 billion in government help each year (including $1 billion in healthcare assistance). That works out to about $5,815 per worker. And about $420,000 per store. But the federal and state aid varies widely; in Wisconsin, a study found that it was at least $904,542 a year per store.

    http://www.bloombergview.com/articles/2013-12-18/always-low-wages-wal-mart-s-other-choices

    As of the end of 2013, Wal-Mart’s annual profits were $17.2 billion. So in effect they are allowing the US taxpayers to subsidize their profits. That Walton family is so full of heart. As a taxpayer, I think I’d rather increase the minimum wage than subsidize the Walton family’s fortune. But that’s just me. What do you say, tired?

    • meursault1942 says:

      “As of the end of 2013, Wal-Mart’s annual profits were $17.2 billion. So in effect they are allowing the US taxpayers to subsidize their profits.”

      They’re not just “allowing taxpayers to subsidize their profits,” they’ve made that a core part of their entire business model. One of the many things I like about Costco is how it’s a direct refutation of that business model.

  7. 02casper says:

    The Waltons are some of the most despicable people on the planet.

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