Friday, August 17, 2012

Are we better off than we were 3 years ago? Damn right!

I had a giant "What the fuck?" response to a pathetic GOP talking point, done in both a Koch ad, and in a speech by a certain Koch whore.

First is the ad from Koch front group Americans for Prosperity, which invaded my Brewers broadcast last night, features 3 actors claiming they voted for Obama but that he hadn't delivered on making things better for the economy and the country. In fact, they say "Obama made it worse." And Koch front man Paul Ryan said the same line in Colorado this week.
When we take a look back four years ago, we had a very tough economy and without a doubt President Obama inherited a difficult situation. He’s the problem – he made it worse. We have seen a failure of leadership -- a failure of leadership -- to get the economy growing.
Yep, Purty Mouth Paulie implied that this country's economy is worse off than it was when Obama took over for Bush. Yes, he went there. Well, let's go to the numbers and see if he's got a point. And we're going to look for Summer 2009, which is after the "failed" stimulus was passed and after the banks had stabilized, so we get to see where we've been heading under the Obama policies, with the Bush years slowly fading away.

Given that we've had a number of economic headlines in the last few days, we also can use very up-to-date data to see hwere we stand. We'll start with consumer confidence, which just came out this morning.

Michigan consumer sentiment survey
Overall average, August 2009- 65.7
Overall average, August 2012- 73.6

Current conditions, Aug. 2009- 66.6
Current conditions, Aug. 2012- 87.6 (best since Jan. 2008)

Well, Americans certainly don't agree with Ryan's sentinment that things are worse than 3 years ago. But maybe they're just deluding themselves. Let's look at some other stats that just came out this week that measure the consumer- retail sales and housing.

Retail sales (last released Tuesday, Aug, 14)
July 2009- $340.600 million
July 2011- $387.932 million (+13.90% over 2 years)
July 2012- $403.929 million (+4.12% over 1 year, +18.59% over 3)

New Home permits (released Thurs, Aug. 16)
July 2009- 595,000
July 2012- 812,000 (most since Obama took office)

New housing starts
July 2009- 594,000
July 2012- 746,000

Looks a lot better off in 2012 to me. Well, let's try jobs. After all, the GOP's are always complaining about Obama's record on jobs. I'm sure they'll be proven correct here.

Ok, Ryan and the GOP are not correct. In fact, we're up more than 3 million total jobs in the last 36 months, and 3.68 million private sector jobs. And that slow-but-steady improvement also shows in the unemployment rate.

Unemployment rate, U.S.
Jul. 2009- 9.5% (UP 3.7% vs. 12 months prior)
Jul. 2012- 8.3% (DOWN 0.8% vs. 12 months prior)

These job numbers also illustrate how the stimulus and Obama/Dem policies worked to stop the bleeding caused by the disastrous Bush policies that Paul Ryan voted for.

Oh, I know! Paul Ryan being the Wall Street lackey he is, I bet it's that the socialist Obama screwed up Wall Street, and the market crashed because of this great redistribution of wealth.

S+P 500, 2009 vs. 2012
Aug. 17, 2009 close- 979.73
Aug. 17, 2012 close- 1418.06 (+44.74%)

Hmm, not so bad, actually. Oh, and today marked the end of a 6th straight week of gains, with the VIX "fear gauge" at its lowest level since 2007. So much for the "uncertainty" these lying sacks are constantly using as an excuse for why corporate America won't hire more.

Oh, I got it. Obama is a big spender and we'll spend decades paying back what we've had to borrow, which will be shown by rising interest rates. I mean, the 10-year yield has got to be spiking, given how we have to print even more money.

10-year yield U.S. Treasury Bond
Aug. 18, 2009- 3.53%
Aug. 18, 2012- 1.82% (DOWN 1.71%)

Oh. But at least there's the "spending like a drunken sailor" part, right?

The chart's courtesy of CBS Marketwatch's Rex Nutting, who adds
What people forget (or never knew) is that the first year of every presidential term starts with a budget approved by the previous administration and Congress. The president only begins to shape the budget in his second year. It takes time to develop a budget and steer it through Congress — especially in these days of congressional gridlock.

The 2009 fiscal year, which Republicans count as part of Obama’s legacy, began four months before Obama moved into the White House. The major spending decisions in the 2009 fiscal year were made by George W. Bush and the previous Congress.
And you know who signed off on TARP and most other Bush big-spending initiatives like Medicare Part D and the war in Iraq? Paul Ryan.

So when Paulie and his Koch puppet-masters claim that we are somehow worse off than we were 3 years ago, there's practically no evidence to support that as true. Ryan knows he has nothing if he's pressed on it, but like the con man he is, he's trying to pull one over on a public who doesn't have the day-to-day experience in following the economy. The cynicism of such a move is disgusting, and shows how little Republicans and the Kochs think of the average citizen. It also shows how empty trickle-down economics is at its core, because its proponents wouldn't have to lie about Obama's record (and their failed record) if it actually worked.

It's not been all candy and rainbows, but we are undoubtably better off at the end of Barack Obama's first term than we were at the start of it, and we are better positioned to continue in a good direction by staying oon our current path. So why the hell would any sensible person change gears now, especially when the change you'd make would GO BACK TO FAILURES OF THE PAST?

So don't, and don't fall for the Romney/Ryan con game.

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