By Bruce Lindner
The day Barack Obama was sworn in back on 1/20/09, the unemployment rate stood at 7.8% and was rising fast, peaking at 10% in October of that year. On the very day he took the oath on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible, eleven Republicans—including both the current Speaker of the House and Senate Majority Leader—met in private to finalize their plan to obstruct the new administration. Their resolution: Oppose everything. Everything. Period. Make him OWN the recession. Blame him for rising gas prices. Make healthcare for all out to be a socialist plot. Fire up the Teabaggers, we need your vitriol. Racism? We don’t hear any. Suffocate him while he’s still in the cradle. Welcome to Washington, Barack.
We were losing 770,000 jobs per month. President Obama rammed through the stimulus package, with “Nay” votes cast by EVERY SINGLE REPUBLICAN IN THE HOUSE. Within a month, the rate of job losses slowed, then reversed, and has been declining ever since, dropping to 8% by April 2010, and continuing to decline to where it stands today; 5%.
He literally turned the Bush recession around without a single Republican’s assistance, save the ones patriotic enough to join his cabinet.
I remember back in mid 2009, I read an article by an economist that predicted we wouldn’t see the sunny side of 6% unemployment again until 2020 at the soonest, because the trough created by the Great Recession was so deep. My own one-horse schtick, a coffee catering business, dropped by 65% in a single year. I hung on by the skin of my teeth. And then came the 2012 campaign:
“I can tell you that over a period of four years (by 2017), by virtue of the policies that we’d put in place, we’ll get the unemployment rate down to 6%, and perhaps a little lower.”
~ Mitt Romney, May 23rd 2012
Unemployment under Barack Obama broke 5% earlier this year. This administration has created over 13 million jobs since the peak of the recession, replacing all the jobs lost over the past decade, and then some. Whereas, during the eight years of the Bush administration, only 1 million new jobs were created (plus an additional 2 million in the Armed Forces—war is good for business, bad for human beings. If you were a Republican, where are you gonna create most of those jobs?)
So what were some of the Republican candidates biggest gripes about the Obama administration at last night’s debate?
Jeb Bush: “Our freedom is under attack. Our economy is under water.”
John Kasich: “The first thing we better get going is strengthening our economy.”
Jeb Bush (again): “Hillary Clinton has aligned herself with Barack Obama on ISIS, Iran and the economy. It’s an alliance doomed to fail.”
Ted Cruz: “Ronald Reagan reignited the American economy, rebuilt the Military, bankrupted the Soviet Union and defeated Soviet Communism. I will do the same thing.”
So there you have it. The party that gave you the greatest economic catastrophe in 80 years, did everything they could to sabotage the recovery, contributed NOTHING to turn it around … Their 2012 nominee for President predicted a 6% unemployment rate by 2017, a full 1% higher than it is now, wants you to think everything will be rosy, if only we voters trust them with the levers of power again. And by the way, gas prices are about half what they were back in the summer of 2008 when Barack Obama won his party’s nomination. Half. Yeah, I know, no President has much to do with that, but since they’ve tried to pin the blame for rising prices on him over these past seven years, I like to remind them of that tidbit.
Because you know; Barack Obama has sure screwed it all up, hasn’t he?
Bruce Lindner is a resident of Portland, Oregon. originally from Danville, California. Bruce writes on a variety topics, and we especially welcome his commentary. During the day, you may be able to catch up wih him at Pony Espresso as he travels his daily mobile espresso route, bringing enticing beverages and compelling conversation along the way. Follow him on Facebook.