Sunday, September 18, 2011

But does he understand GNP versus GDP?

Jack Kelly today takes on the President's jobs bill. Predictably he slams it, and I have to say he may be right about it's chances for passage (at least in the form Obama submitted it to Congress). Kelly both quotes negative comments from Blue Dog Democrats and harps on negative things about the President. And yes, many Democratic voters are disenchanted with the President, not to the degree that they would ever vote for one of the lunatic Republican candidates (or any of them), but to point where they might stay home in 2012.

But let's be clear, Jack Kelly is no economist, and does not understand economics. His flat statement that the first stimulus failed betrays his lack of knowledge, and more importantly, once again misleads his readers. The first stimulus certainly did not do what any reasonable person would have wanted, but never the less it did keep the economy from dropping like a stone into a depression. No deflation, no 33% unemployment.

The current jobs bill still has more tax cuts than I would like. I mean, it is fine for me to have a few more dollars in my pay check, and I hope the increased spending will have a stimulative effect. And keeping or rehiring laid off teachers and other state and local employees will help communities. But better in my opinion would be to hire people to work on bridges and roads. Unfortunately not only would Republicans scream that Obama is only helping his union cronies and spending money recklessly, they would also play the race card, and claim that Obama is helping African Americans over whites (because it is the fault of African Americans without a high school degree that they are out of work in such high numbers, although we are also spending too much on inner city schools).

Yeah, the President has not been doing a great job, according to progressives. But that doesn't mean conservatives are doing better. In fact, Republicans/conservatives/Tea Party types have offered no jobs plan of their own, no economic program. But they howl with rage when progressives suggest that means they embrace George W Bush's economic program (such as it was, giving tax breaks to the wealthy, transferring wealth upwards). Actually, though they claim otherwise, increased income inequity is exactly what they have been advocating for the last year or so (or resumed advocating).

It is a dismal sort of prospect, a President who is maybe going too far to counter the claims of Republicans of his racism and socialism, and an opposition party that is actively trying to make the rich richer at the expense of the poor. Too few Democrats and no Republicans are trying to actually fix the problems of the economy, and help the poor. Jack Kelly is definitely not in that number. I have to question how much he actually loves America.


Bitter Clinger said...

Almost three years ago I wrote to Kimber at 2PJ: If Obama grows the economy by 107 thousand jobs a month it WILL BE pure gold and I will take back everything negative I have ever said about the man. Even though…. It will only bring the employment back up to the Bush’s high water mark of 138,078,000 set December, 2007, which as we all well remember was the worst economic time, before now, in American history. Or are you telling me he is going to create 2.5 million NEW jobs so that in January of 2011 the employment will be 140,578,000? I will go so far as to kiss your ass with a smile if he hasn’t LOST 107,000 jobs a month down to 132,399,000. If the stimulus is $700 billion, that works out to $280,000 per job. That’s not change that’s real money. In January, when the Stimulus was passed the employment was 133,563,000 and even last month, after thirty months, it is still only 131,132,000. (You notice, I like my numbers raw not homogenized). Bush had the Tech Stock Bubble, 911, and Enron which caused a recession in dollar terms almost double the size of the financial crisis of 2008. He responded with typical proven effective Keynsian stimulus: war (in fact two wars) and tax cuts for the millionaires and billionaires. When the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006 and drained the swamp of Republican corruption the unemployment rate was 4.4% and the DOW was at $11,800. For two years they fought, sabotaged, and obstructed Bush. But we know it was Bush who ran the bus into the ditch. Now after nine months it is the obstructionist Tea party’s fault that the bus is still in the ditch? How about a couple words on why the Democrats, in the lame duck session, extended the Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires? That wasn’t the tea party. The president got a good jump in popularity as I remember. Just what were they thinking?

EdHeath said...

Bitter Clinger, do you have a source for this: "Bush had the Tech Stock Bubble, 911, and Enron which caused a recession in dollar terms almost double the size of the financial crisis of 2008."?

I googled "recession 2002" and found a table at this website. I changed the last year in the analysis to 2011 and we see that in 2001 in the first quarter GDP dropped 1.3 percent and in the third quarter it dropped 1.1 percent. Compare that to a drop in the fourth quarter of 2008 (when Bush was still President) of 8.9 percent and in the first quarter of 2009 of 6.7 percent.

I did say in my post that the first stimulus bill did not achieve what anyone would have wanted (because it was too small), but you have to admit the economy is growing again, just really, really slowly.

You need to show me where Keynes says that war is a good economic policy, or for that matter where he advocates tax cuts for millionaires. But then again, you would also need to show me where Bush II's economy grew faster than Bill Clinton's.

You do an effective job of laying out the Republican myth of the economy. You manage to make Barack Obama's obsequious kow-towing to Wall Street look like wisdom.