Here’s a joke for you: How long does it take for a president to own his economy?
After four consecutive “Recovery Summer”s that failed to produce, ya know, a recovery, the major news outlets have all used the word “surprise” to describe news yesterday that the US economy shrank 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2012 (October-December).
Unsurprisingly, Democrats were quick to point the finger at Republicans for the “surprise” downturn. Via Fox News:
“The White House had suggested GOP willingness to let sweeping defense cuts take effect was the culprit… Pelosi further charged Wednesday that “today’s disappointing GDP report is a direct result of the economic uncertainty created by House Republicans’ strategy of obstruction and manufactured crises.”
But ironically, military spending is the one area where Democrats — not Republicans — have advocated real cuts. In an attempt to gut the military and shift spending priorities toward entitlements, Democrats have wailed for a decade over the costs of “two unfunded wars we put on the national credit card.” You’ve heard the meme a thousand times. And the so-called “Fiscal Cliff” was a bipartisan creation of the 2011 debt ceiling negotiations, as Fox reminds readers in the article.
So even after Obama won two straight elections, it looks like the economy still isn’t his problem. 16 quarters into the Obama presidency and the Blame Bush mantra is alive and well. How pathetic!
But hey, things can only get better — right? Not so fast. According to the Obama cheer squad at the Washington Post:
[T]here are reasons for concern in 2013: While consumer spending held up in the final months of 2012, that was before the payroll tax break expired in January, siphoning income from workers’ paychecks. And if negotiations over the sequester force steep cuts in defense and other government spending in the months ahead, GDP could suffer a steeper decline. In that sense, the portrait painted by the new numbers, of a private sector holding up but counterbalanced by a contracting public sector, may be an indicator of the new normal.
Welcome to the age of permanent Obamanomics. Or, put another way, damn that George Bush and those rascally Republicans!