Posts Tagged ‘misjuded the economy’

Biden: ‘We Misread the Economy’ – And it’s all the Republicans’ Fault

July 8, 2009

Some distant day, many scientists believe, the earth will be devoid of human life due to some cosmic catastrophe or – ultimately – due to our depleted sun transforming into a red giant. The truly good news about such an otherwise bleak future is that the Obama administration will presumably no longer be able to blame Republicans for the economy that they “inherited.”

Biden: We ‘Misread the Economy’

July 05, 2009

Big admission from Vice President Joe Biden today.

“The truth is, we and everyone else misread the economy,” Biden told me during our exclusive “This Week” interview in Iraq.

Biden acknowledged administration officials were too optimistic earlier this year when they predicted the unemployment rate would peak at 8 percent as part of their effort to sell the stimulus package. The national unemployment rate has ballooned to 9.5 percent in June — the worst in 26 years.

“The truth is, there was a misreading of just how bad an economy we inherited,” said Biden, who is leading the administration’s effort to implement it’s $787 billion economic stimulus plan.

“Now, that doesn’t — I’m not — it’s now our responsibility. So the second question becomes, did the economic package we put in place, including the Recovery Act, is it the right package given the circumstances we’re in? And we believe it is the right package given the circumstances we’re in,” he told me.

The vice president argued more time is needed for the stimulus to work.

“We misread how bad the economy was, but we are now only about 120 days into the recovery package,” he said. “The truth of the matter was, no one anticipated, no one expected that that recovery package would in fact be in a position at this point of having to distribute the bulk of money.”

Biden didn’t rule out a second government stimulus package, but downplayed calls from Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman this week that a second stimulus will be needed.

I pressed the vice president, who is also leading the administration’s middle-class task force, on whether he’d rule out a second stimulus package.

“So, no second stimulus?” I asked.

“No, I didn’t say that,” Biden said, “I think it’s premature to make that judgment. This was set up to spend out over 18 months. There are going to be major programs that are going to take effect in September, $7.5 billion for broadband, new money for high-speed rail, the implementation of the grid — the new electric grid. And so this is just starting, the pace of the ball is now going to increase.”

Let’s not tell anyone that liberal Paul Krugman’s warning that we need a second stimulus is secret code for, “The first stimulus didn’t work worth squat, so let’s throw more money down the toilet.” And let’s for DAMN sure not tell anyone that unemployment benefits are going to be ending for workers starting in September and things will truly begin to increasingly suck after that as the unemployment rate grows like “the other ‘green shoot'” up and up and up.

Joe Biden says, “We and everyone else misjudged the economy.” No, Joe, it just aint so. Just you and your stupid liberal friends misjudged the economy. Don’t drag anyone else into your ignorance. Business professionals back in October predicted that Obama would literally bankrupt the country within three years if he was elected. Republicans (such as Paul Ryan) widely predicted the terribly flawed and terribly partisan pork-laden stimulus would fail – which is why only three out of 239 Republicans voted for it (and you can actually make that TWO out of 239, given that one of the three “Republicans” was RINO traitor-turned Democrat Arlen Specter).

Please don’t try to involve conservatives in your party’s stupidity, Joe. It aint right to lie.

The fact is, the porkulus is a complete failure that will cost the American people’s children’s children’s children $3.27 TRILLION and produce NOTHING.

And the fact is, when the Obama White House assured the American people that his stimulus would save the day, he assumed responsibility for the economy. It is HIS baby now, and he can’t keep racking up trillions and trillions and trillions of dollars in stupid and useless spending that will literally “bankrupt the country” and blame the fact that it isn’t working on Republicans.

It’s also rather funny that Vice President Biden would say “there was a misreading of just how bad an economy we inherited.” Please realize that for the last two years – and most definitely for the last eight or nine months – Barack Obama and Joe Biden have been comparing the present economy to the Great Depression. And now they are claiming they didn’t know how bad it was? What’s worse than the Great Depression? It is beyond ludicrous that these people can spend all this time demonizing the economy as the worst imaginable, and then argue they didn’t know that it was that bad.

Here are the opening two paragraphs from a February 13, 2009 Wall Street Journal piece that proves the lie of Biden’s remark:

President Barack Obama has turned fearmongering into an art form. He has repeatedly raised the specter of another Great Depression. First, he did so to win votes in the November election. He has done so again recently to sway congressional votes for his stimulus package.

In his remarks, every gloomy statistic on the economy becomes a harbinger of doom. As he tells it, today’s economy is the worst since the Great Depression. Without his Recovery and Reinvestment Act, he says, the economy will fall back into that abyss and may never recover.

How can Biden, Obama, or Democrats claim they didn’t realize how bad the economy really was after their previous constant fearmongering of the economy?

And the most famous and oft-used line, of course, is that Democrats keep claiming that they “inherited” the economy.

For the record, the Dow Industrial Average was at 11,986.04 on November 3, 2006 when Republicans were last in control of Congress. The unemployment rate for October of 2006 was at 4.4% when Republicans last ran things. As I write this, the Dow is at 8163.60 (on July 7), and the unemployment rate is at 9.5%, respectively. Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid have been running the House and the Senate for the last two years, and a fine job of running the country into the ground they’ve done.

Just why is it that Democrats can have control over both the House and Senate while an economy goes from prosperity to impoverishment, and still bear no responsibility for such a result? But that’s the narrative, and both the Democratic Party and the mainstream media stuck to their scripts as though the lines had been written by Shakespeare himself. Do you see the great shining lie that you’ve been told, and told over and over again?

Since the Democrats have been in charge on both branches of Congress, the housing market has collapsed, the banks have collapsed, Fannie and Freddie have collapsed, the auto industry has collapsed, and things have generally turned to the fecal matter that Pelosi’s and Reid’s head are full of, generally.

But, hey, let’s keep blaming everything on Republicans, anyway. When you have an electorate so completely ignorant that 57.4% of voters weren’t even able to identify which party controlled Congress, such demagogic claims work.

The ONLY thing that Democrats actually “inherited” was moron genes, a talent for demagoguery and deceit, and Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid (please see “moron genes”).

Now, the OTHER thing that Democrats love to claim was that Republicans are to blame for the economic disaster because Republican George Bush was President when it happened. And we are all to conveniently forget the fact that such reasoning should likewise make Democrat Barack Obama – who is president RIGHT NOW – is thereby responsible for the current state of the disaster that he nonetheless keeps blaming on Bush.

On what possible grounds are we to blame Bush? What is it that Bush did or didn’t do that created our disaster, and which Democrats who controlled both the House and the Senate are somehow absolved from having done or failed to do? Bush, we have been repeatedly lectured, failed to regulate the housing finance industry. And that lack of regulation caused the financial industry to self-destruct. Because the government is far better able to run things than the private sector, as we all know.

Well, wrong, wrong, and wrong, respectively. But let’s stick with the Democrats’ chief script item and consider just who truly failed to regulate the housing finance industry when it actually would have done some good, and who was really in bed with the worst players who created the crisis in the first place.

First of all, Bush TRIED to regulate the housing finance industry. And the ONLY thing that kept him from succeeding was DEMOCRATS.

Let’s go back to September 11, 2003, to see what the New York Times had to say. The article begins:

The Bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.

Under the plan, disclosed at a Congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the Treasury Department to assume supervision of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-sponsored companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry.

The new agency would have the authority, which now rests with Congress, to set one of the two capital-reserve requirements for the companies. It would exercise authority over any new lines of business. And it would determine whether the two are adequately managing the risks of their ballooning portfolios.

And it ends:

Significant details must still be worked out before Congress can approve a bill. Among the groups denouncing the proposal today were the National Association of Home Builders and Congressional Democrats who fear that tighter regulation of the companies could sharply reduce their commitment to financing low-income and affordable housing.

”These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis,” said Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts, the ranking Democrat on the Financial Services Committee. ”The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”

Representative Melvin L. Watt, Democrat of North Carolina, agreed.

”I don’t see much other than a shell game going on here, moving something from one agency to another and in the process weakening the bargaining power of poorer families and their ability to get affordable housing,” Mr. Watt said.

Go back to the phrase at the beginning of the article: “the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.” That would refer to the Clinton Administration’s aggressive push to put even more future poison in the fangs of the terrible Community Reinvestment Act.

Democrats blocked the passage of the Bush attempt to regulate the housing finance industry. They were the ones who killed regulation, not Republicans. They said there wasn’t a problem. They said that everything was just peachy dandy.

Democrats essentially say that the American people should blame George Bush for not being able to stop Democrats from being stupid, incompetent, and depraved vermin. But how can anyone stop Democrats from being stupid, incompetent, and depraved vermin? It would be like trying to stop the wind from blowing.

Bush and Republicans tried again to REGULATE the housing finance industry in 2005. John McCain wrote a passionate letter warning of an impending collapse of the housing finance industry and urging passage of the bill (specifically, the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, S. 190). Butwithout a single Democrat vote, the bill was doomed if brought to the floor for the critical 60-vote cloture.” Housing finance reform died a death by Democrat.

As late as JUST BEFORE THE WHOLE HOUSING FINANCE INDUSTRY COMPLETELY COLLAPSED, Democrat Barney Frank is on the record saying:

REP. BARNEY FRANK, D-MASS.: I think this is a case where Fannie and Freddie are fundamentally sound, that they are not in danger of going under. They’re not the best investments these days from the long-term standpoint going back. I think they are in good shape going forward.

You can watch Democrats fiddling with the economy just before it burned here (Youtube).

Even Bill Clinton – hardly a Republican source – blamed Democrats and NOT Republicans for refusing to regulate the housing finance industry:

Bill Clinton on Thursday told ABC’s Chris Cuomo that Democrats for years have been “resisting any efforts by Republicans in the Congress or by me when I was President to put some standards and tighten up a little on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

So the bottom line is this: Democrats blocked reform and regulation. They denied there was a problem. They continued to deny that there were any problems, and continued to block reform and regulation until right before the whole economy went down the drain.

And then they blamed the Republicans for the mess that they had created, refused to fix, and denied even existed in the first place.

What is utterly beautiful in its moronic perfection is that Barney Frank is now trying to do to the condominium market what he did to the housing market by forcing lenders to make risky loans all over again.

Okay, okay, so it was the Democrats who actually screwed up the universe, but you still have to admit that the Obama Administration inherited the problem. It clearly wasn’t in power when the fit hit the shan. Right?

Not quite so fast.

Technically, the Obama Administration is obviously not be to blame, having only began its hopefully very short life on January 20, 2009. But Barack Obama personally? You should probably know what a nasty piece of work your president was before he became your president.

Barack Obama as a Senator took more money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac than anybody except his fellow scumbag and fellow Democrat Chris Dodd (who had direct oversight as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee). Obama also took more money than disgraced and bankrupted Lehman Brothers than anyone but his fellow sleazeball and fellow Democrat Chris Dodd. Now, maybe you’re one of those people who believe that corrupt and soon-to-be-bankrupted organizations give buttloads of money to politicians just because they’re feeling generous. But people who actually live in the real world understand that Fannie, Freddie, and Lehman Brothers gave money to the politicians whom they believed would be best for their corporate asses and their corporate assets.

Barack Obama as candidate for president made Penny Pritzker – who was at the very EPICENTER of the subprime loan fiasco – his national finance chair. She paid a “fine” of $460 million dollars to basically buy her way out of prison for her part in the early beginnings of the collapse that would eventually extend to the entire economy. Penny Pritzker was to the stability of the housing finance industry on Wall Street what Freddie Krueger was to the dreams of teen agers on Elm Street; just what kind of Faustian deal do you believe the politician who took more money in less time from the worst players in the crisis than anyone bar none struck to have knife-gloved Penny Krueger open up her Rolodex full of demons?

Barack Obama as a private citizen was one of the ACORN lawyers who sued Citibank in 1994 and forced – FORCED – them to reduce their credit standards and make extremely housing mortgage loans to minorities who would subsequently prove unable to pay them. And the ACORN suit took advantage of the openings created by President Bill Clinton in the 1990s. The result of that lawsuit changed the housing finance industry forever afterward – and basically doomed it as soon as housing prices started to drop.

So as President Barack Obama may have “inherited” the crisis; but as a private citizen, as a Senator, and as a candidate for President, he was at the very center of the mess that created the crisis right up to his giant Dumbo ears.

And as Obama continues to blame his inability to handle the economy on what he “inherited,” let us not forget that it was Barack Obama who swore up and down that his Generational Theft Act of 2009 would fix the economy – NOT Republicans and NOT George Bush – and it was his economic plan that completely failed to produce the promised results.

It was Barack Obama who put his credibility behind a plan that his administration promised would hold unemployment down below 8% and it was Barack Obama who has presided over an unemployment rate that is now 9.5% and rising. The Congressional Budget Office predicted that unemployment would only have gone to 9% by 2010 had we done nothing at all. And nothing would have been a heckuva lot cheaper than $3.27 trillion. I, for one, assure you that I could have sent the economy crashing for a lot lower price tag that Barack Obama has charged you.

The unemployment rate in November – when Barack Obama was elected – was a Lilliputian (by comparison to the gigantic mess Obama has since made of the economy) 6.7%. It was 7.2% a few months later when his administration assured the American people that he could keep unemployment under 8% if his stimulus plan was passed. It is now, I should say again, at 9.5% – and it many experts expect it to be 11% by next summer.

Obama’s answer is still MORE colossal spending. The first stimulus – advertised as a $787 billion package but actually costing $3.27 trillion according to the Congressional Budget Office – is now said to have been too low. We need more porkulus, they tell us. A lot more. We need to borrow more massive debt and pile up more massive deficits that will crush our economy with staggering interest payments in the very near future and ultimately cause a complete collapse of our way of life. We need to nationalize our health care so it will be more like the $86 trillion-in-the-hole runaway freight train to destruction that Medicare is. And we need cap-and-trade legislation that will cap our productivity and trade our prosperity to ensure that our economy can never hope to be productive again.

Keep blaming Bush. Keep blaming Republicans. Keep blaming “failed conservative policies.” Blame ANYONE and ANYTHING but Barack Hussein Obama and the Democratic Party that is now in total control of everything.

Just let me shout in your face that by doing so you will help create an economy that will make the Great Depression look like prosperity when the policies that you so stupidly supported implode into staggering debt and even more staggering hyperinflation. And you and your children will starve shoeless in the cold while food riots and tax rebellions erupt all around you as your once great nation is reduced to banana republic status.