Democracy Soup

Making sense out of the world of politics

Can GOP ever be to blame for bad economy?

with 13 comments

Let’s run through this once again …

The economy, which wasn’t that great under George W. Bush and the GOP Congress, got worse around the 2008 presidential election. Things were really, really bad and so Barack Obama was elected president.

The economy was really bad, so the Democratic Party — in charge of the White House and Congress — tried to fix the economy, and the Republican Party stood tooth and nail to stop them or halt them at every turn.

The economy was still bad, and the Dems were blamed, hence losing a significant number of seats in the House and Senate. And so the Republicans, especially in the House, were brought in to help the economy.

Since the GOP took over the House, the emphasis has shifted away from the economy and job growth. But the economy is still bad.

And so the news came out this week of only 54,000 new jobs in May, a horrendous number by any standard. The (official) unemployment rate went up to 9.1%, factory levels fell to the lowest level in 2 years, and home prices at their lowest level since 2002.

So who got the blame? President Obama. Why? Because you blame the president when economic numbers are bad. Though George W. Bush never had to worry about that when he played the role.

The Dems were blamed in 2010, right or wrong, for the economy, and they tried to help. The GOP — in almost 5 months in power — hasn’t done a thing yet to jumpstart the economy.

When the Dems were in charge of Congress, even though the GOP hurt the recovery, the Dems were to blame. When the GOP is in charge of the House, the Dems are to blame because nothing is being done.

The MSM has consistently come out this week saying the bad economic numbers spell bad news for President Obama. But let’s be honest: what is President Obama supposed to do?

One thing he could do is say that we are still in significant trouble and we need help. And Obama hasn’t done that.

Obama could suggest programs, ideas, concepts and put political pressure on the GOP to do something. And Obama hasn’t done that.

One could easily argue that even if Obama did those things, the GOP would stubbornly dig in and say “no,” as they did for the first 2 years of Obama’s presidency.

Judging what the American people want from a political standpoint has never been easy, but these days, even a psychic would be clueless.

President Obama has accountability but very little way to act. The GOP-led House has no accountability but can do anything it wants. Only from accountability can you produce action, provided you can act.

Unless the GOP is given accountability, there will be no action. And the GOP is finding that no action punishes their political opponent (Obama). So the GOP has no reason to do anything different unless an outside force holds them accountable.

The unemployed have no power. The MSM has power, but they have been drinking the GOP Kool-Aid even before the current Congress got sworn in.

The American people have a choice: do they want a better economy? The sooner the GOP gets held accountable, the sooner the recovery can get back on track.


Written by democracysoup

June 10, 2011 at 8:04 am

13 Responses

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  1. Remember, the Democrats had a super majority in the house and senate and did nothing about the economy. If the Nancy Peolsi had done her job and got the Dem majority to pass a budget last year this congress could be working on the up coming budget, instead they have to finish Nancy’s job for her.

    The President gets blamed because the party he aligns himself with had a majority in both houses and did nothing. He still has the majority in the senate and they have done nothing. Where is Harry’s budget proposal?

    I may not agree with Paul Ryan’s budget, but at least he has presented something. It’s easy to sit on the bench and criticizes the players on the field. If the Dems refuse to step up to the plate, then need to shut up and get out of the way of those that want to fix this mess.


    June 10, 2011 at 10:10 am

    • yes so true,if you never do anything, dems, you never can do anything wrong. when are people going to wake up and see all this spending is hurting them . if you tax the rich they will pass the increase on to everyone when they sell there product in any store. you get no interest on your money in the bank , if they raise the rate the countries debt. goes up . the President, Peolsi ,Reid did it all , spent and spent ,its all on them . they blame wall street for the housing market , who gave the banks the right to give these people the loans , the Dems, if you needed 20% down , no fanny and freddy ,this would have never happened . lets go on the TRUTH . Harry wants the debt. raised till after the election . so they dont have to do this again, they will never get elected , lets do what is right for the majority of the people. just one time .


      July 25, 2011 at 3:23 am

  2. Not quite sure what a super majority is, but the Dems didn’t have it, especially in the Senate. If we had a unicameral legislation, a lot more would have been done.

    And though we may disagree on a lot of political points, we can all agree (and I have on this blog) that the Dems need to be tougher and more unified, and spell out what they hope to do much better.

    But the Democrats passed a number of bills to help the economy. Stimulus package, even lame stuff like Cash for Clunkers. The Dems wanted a stronger stimulus, which would have helped. GOP said no, and forced useless tax cuts.

    The Dems passed a bill giving an extra $25 in unemployment checks. Small but better than nothing.

    The Paul Ryan budget addresses nothing about the economy and job growth. And as for the current budget, yes, the Dems should have passed a budget. And we agree that Harry Reid shouldn’t have been the Dem leader. You need to have a leader in a safe seat to be a stronger leader (as the GOP does).

    But I would welcome your thoughts on what the Paul Ryan budget does to increase jobs. And tax cuts for the rich don’t count. I would really like to know.


    June 11, 2011 at 7:43 am

  3. A Super Majority in the senate is when you have a filibuster proof majority, 60 members. Before Scott Brown took the MA seat to the GOP side of the aisle the DNC had 60 votes and could pass anything they wanted. Unfortunately for the progressive leadership of the DNC there where still some moderates Dems that kept them from doing too much harm.

    As for Stimulus, Cash for Clunkers or even HAMP as economic recovery or “jobs bills”, they have all failed:

    All the things the Dems do is try and create surface recovery that looks good in today’s headlines but sink the economy only a couple of months down the line. I have a friend that is a Realtor and he told me of all the deals he had in the works during the first time home buyer rebate program, but once the program ended it all dried up. All the sales he would have gotten for a year where forced in to a couple of months. It did nothing to increase his sales for a long period of time, in fact it did no good at all and in fact increase our national debt.

    The DNC needs to look at the big picture in order to repair the economy, all their plans have been surface touch up to buy votes. A budget like Ryan’s helps job growth and economic recovery by reducing the burden of government (deficit reduction) and stability for growth planning. Admittingly Ryan’s budget does not reduce the deficit enough and that is one of the reason I do not fully support it, but it is getting closer. If you want real economic recovery you need to eliminate the deficit and lock in current tax rates for at least 20 years so that job creators can plan out how to grow their businesses.

    I have contact with a CFO of a large company with over a billion in sales and he tells me that they are reluctant to hire additional employees, even though their sales could justify it, because they do not know how much it will cost them after a couple of year if the tax rates increase and Obamacare kicks in. It’s easier to do with what you have than hire employees you can not get rid of if you can’t afford them. He says that if he could show that there would be no increase in payroll taxes, corporate income tax or increase in healthcare coverage cost for the next 10-20 years he could justify to hire, he would like to hire over 1,000 people nationally if he could. But with all the uncertainty in Washington he just can’t justify it at this time.


    June 13, 2011 at 7:39 am

  4. The deficit has nothing to do with job growth. The “burden of government” has nothing to do with job growth. If this were true, George W. Bush would have had huge job numbers instead of the embarrassing numbers that happened. Remember, GOP changes in the early 21st century is a lot (not all) of why the economic crash came in 2008.

    The things we did during the depression that worked cost $ in the short-term. And the party that is responsible for running up the deficit now claims it wants to help reduce that deficit at a time when the money needs to be spent on people who are struggling.

    And the times when the economy has been good in the last 60 years, we invested in the people in this country. During Bush and the GOP in the early 21st century, they squandered the balanced budget to spend $ in Iraq, Afghanistan.

    Any businessperson who says they won’t hire someone for 2 years because of uncertainty shouldn’t own a business in the United States. None of us ever know what will happen, given the U.S. political structure.


    June 13, 2011 at 7:59 pm

  5. Sorry to tell you this, but… Keynes failed.

    Do yourself a favor and read:


    June 14, 2011 at 9:53 am

  6. Jimmy Carter had better job growth while president than George W. Bush. Bill Clinton blew Bush out of the wall for job growth. The policies that the U.S. had between the end of WWII and 1980 produced a lifestyle that hasn’t been seen since.

    Having so few people have so much money is unhealthy for the economy long-term — proven in the 1920s. Giving more money back to the rich so that it might trickle down was summed up well as “voodoo economics” by George H.W. Bush. This was one of the few times he was right.


    June 14, 2011 at 10:59 pm

    • If the Democrats plan is to follow FDR and how he got us out of the great depression we are in trouble. Lets see, over 400k Americans killed in combat and 600k injured would really open up the job market and reduce unemployment. Maybe that is why Obama is getting us involved in so many world conflicts.

      Of course we could look at the Depression of 1920, watch this video to learn more about that:

      Don’t forget to read that free book that shows you how badly Keynes failed.


      June 15, 2011 at 7:23 am

      • The lesson isn’t World War II. Try 1936-1937. The Republicans got some gains, and we went backwards.

        It’s difficult in this circumstances to trust the Republicans when they put political pressure to reduce the impact of the Obama stimulus, and then complained when it didn’t work. It didn’t work because it wasn’t big enough.

        Then again, we have Michele Bachmann, presidential candidate, lying that Canada didn’t have a stimulus program (it did). Not to mention that the Conservatives in Canada only did the stimulus because the other parties threatened a no confidence vote. And Canada bounced back far better than the U.S. (also because their banking system was stronger, no thanks to Phil Gramm, et al.)


        June 21, 2011 at 11:54 pm

      • Did you watch the video I linked?

        “It didn’t work because it wasn’t big enough.” Do you understand what a bigger stimulus would have done to your purchasing power? Besides, this is an erroneous claim. The Democrats got the stimulus that they asked for because they had a super majority in both houses, the Republicans had no way to restrain the Democrats spending spree.


        June 22, 2011 at 8:43 am

  7. Did the Democrats in the House get the stimulus they wanted? Did the people on the left get the stimulus we wanted? Heck, no to both groups. The stimulus was filled with 1/3 unneeded tax cuts. Was this smart politics on the Democratic side? No. People who vote Democratic aren’t always thrilled with what Democrats in Congress do (e.g., Harry Reid).

    The Dems in the Senate were less enthusiastic, and I fully put the blame on them.

    It would be wonderful if “both sides” can agree to invest in the infrastructure of the United States. Not to be isolationist, but the U.S. has invested way more in tearing down Iraq and Afghanistan and building them up. How ’bout some love in the U.S.?

    Those work programs used by FDR in the 1930s could have served 2 purposes: rebuilding this country and employing people. Win-win.


    June 23, 2011 at 2:40 am

    • The Democrats in congress got everything they wanted because the GOP could not stop them, until Scott Brown was elected and Harry Reid loss his 60 vote super majority. I understand that they may not have did what you wanted them to do, but they had the power to pass what ever they wanted and they did.

      I agree with you that the tax cuts in the stimulus plan where mostly unneeded and where directed mainly at those businesses that supported the president’s campaign and not toward those industries that could help grow the economy. But this is the fault of the Democrats and the political games they played.

      “It would be wonderful if “both sides” can agree to invest in the infrastructure of the United States. Not to be isolationist, but the U.S. has invested way more in tearing down Iraq and Afghanistan and building them up. How ’bout some love in the U.S.?” I agree, we need to bring home our troops and stop wasting money building infrastructure abroad and do it here, but we can not afford to do both.

      Ask why President Obama is going to take another 3 years to pull out of Afghanistan when we have already been there nearly 10 years.

      As for FDRs work programs, on paper they where a good idea, they even benefited some people. Research has shown that the majority of the infrastructure developed by those programs where so poorly done that they needed to be redone and where a waste of money. Read “New Deal or Raw Deal” (link below), I know most liberals will reject the book because it goes against their preconceptions of FDR, but get it from your library and read it before you dismiss what it has to say. You can even watch the BookTV presentation (linked below).

      You and I are not that far apart in what we think needs to be accomplished. I think we fall on opposite sides because I realize that our federal government wastes more money than it uses effectively and because of that I do not see the need to give it more money to waste. I would be all for higher taxes to cover the budget deficit if all the waste was cut out first. When I was in debt I looked at where I could cut waste out of my budget before I started looking for extra income, the federal government needs to do the same.

      Americans need to stop waiting for the government to create jobs and start doing it themselves. There has been an increase in new business licenses issued in the state of Florida, people are getting to making work instead of waiting for someone to give them work. That is the American Dream.

      “New Deal or Raw Deal”:
      Book TV:


      June 23, 2011 at 8:29 am

    • Have you had a chance to watch that video or check out that book? I would like to hear your thought on what the author proposes.


      June 29, 2011 at 7:09 am

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