We hear a lot of people blaming Obama for the anemic recovery of the economy. They are saying that his policies are hindering a proper recovery. They call it a slow recovery.
The right-wing also says that Obama is whining and complaining about having inherited a bad economy. They want him to get over it and take responsibility. And indeed, he needs to, and move on. I, for one, believe he did take responsibility, he did move on, and he did sponsor a recovery, albeit a slow one, an anemic one, but a recovery nonetheless. It is a recovery, and we are better off than we were in the last dark months of the Bush administration.
We tend to forget what actually happened:
When the economy took a nose dive in the fall of 2008, the political establishment in Washington was horribly inept. Remember the incident in early October, captured in a PBS documentary, when then Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson assembled a Congressional delegation in his office to present the $700 billion bailout proposal [which we now blame Obama for]. Paulson said, “We need this by Monday.” One of the representatives said (paraphrasing), “You don’t understand. This is Congress; we don’t work that fast,” to which Paulson replied, “If we don’t get this by Monday, there won’t be an economy.” The narrator’s comment: “All the oxygen went out of the room.”
Let me repeat that: Paulson, Bush’s Treasury Secretary, at the tail end of the Bush administration, said:
If we don’t get this [$700 billion bailout] by Monday, there won’t be an economy.
We were at the edge of an abyss that weekend.
How can we, with a straight face, now claim that the worst economic disaster since 1929 is not a result of eight years of Republican fiscal policy?
Of course it is. Bush had been in charge for almost eight years. Obama had not even been elected yet.
How can we, with a straight face, fault Obama for the anemic recovery?
If Bush had stayed in office, the way things were going, we would now be rubbing sticks together to light kindling.
That is why the Republicans today don’t even have an ex-president to lobby for them. That is what tells me that the Republicans do not know how to run an economy in the long run. All they have shown to me, over the last 20 years, is that they know how to run one into the ground.
And now they are asking us to trust them again?