President Obama continues to blame the soft economy and record red ink on Republican policies, including "tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans."They all knew this. Obama, David Axelrod, Stepanie Cutter --- they all knew all of this.
But three years ago he seemed convinced the economy had made a clean break from those old policies, and would soon roar back on the strength of his own policies. The proof is in his economic projections.
In his 2010 budget, Obama predicted his American Recovery and Reinvestment Act would "jump-start our economy" and "create new jobs" and "many years of economic growth."
Stronger economic activity, he promised, would bring in more government revenues and "cut the deficit in half by the end of my first term in office," putting "our nation on sound fiscal footing."
"The time has come to usher in a new era — a new era of responsibility in which we act not only to save and create new jobs, but also to lay a new foundation of growth," the president said.
His recovery plan included more than $1 trillion in new government spending. A Democrat-controlled Congress passed it without a single Republican vote.
Based on the new economic program, the White House forecast real GDP in 2012 would grow at a robust 4.6% clip, cutting the unemployment rate to 6.0%. It also saw the budget deficit dropping to 3.5% of the economy.
The projections didn't come even close to panning out. Real GDP growth has stagnated at 2%, while unemployment hovers near 8%. Far from being halved, the deficit had soared to 8.5% of GDP.
As the jobless rate soared to 10% — well beyond the promised 8% high point — the White House had to adjust its assumptions and timeline. In its 2012 budget, however, it still projected 4.0% economic growth.
Despite White House spin, it became clear the president's economic plan had failed to deliver on its promised stimulus.
Which is why they lied 24/7 about the problems facing the country and launched the most unprincipled demagogic smears against private property and wealth accumulation in modern history. And it worked! I doubt four more years of economic stagnation will help the party maintain its general election majority, but then again, I was wrong about 2012, so who knows? Maybe another paradigm of lies will lift these criminal authoritarians to yet another presidential win in 2016. Democracy doesn't just collapse in one big instant, it withers away in the slow death of a thousand cuts. It's withering now under the Democrats, but all is not lost. The republic will survive when enough people who've been butt-reamed and had the wool pulled over their eyes wake up and scream, "I'm not going to take it anymore!"