IT’LL TAKE MORE THAN FOUR MONTHS…. Republicans have a new line of attack they seem to be especially excited about: President Obama, irrespective of what he inherited, has not yet fixed the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.
Indeed, in the Republican response to the president’s weekly address, Representative John A. Boehner, the minority leader … derides what he calls the Democrats’ “spending binge” in service of helping the economy and asks, “After all of this spending, after all of this borrowing from China, the Middle East, our children, and our grandchildren, where are the jobs?”
Earlier this month, after May’s job numbers looked less awful than expected, Boehner tried the same approach: “Today’s announcement is an acknowledgement that the Democrats’ trillion-dollar stimulus is not working, and the American people know it.” (Boehner’s assessment of the size of the stimulus is only off by hundreds of billions of dollars, but he’s never been a “detail oriented” kind of guy.)
What’s interesting, though, is the underlying point. When Obama took office, the economy was in free fall, the job market was collapsing, the banking industry was in crisis, the auto industry was on its last breath, the deficit was nearly $1.3 trillion, and the budget was a total mess. The White House got its stimulus bill in February, and saw Congress approve its budget in April.
And now, it’s June, and congressional Republicans are shocked President Obama has not yet completely cleaned up the mess they directly helped create.
Boehner’s argument, in a nutshell, is easy: if the recovery package passed in February hasn’t solved our problems by June, it’s only reasonable to declare it a failure. Paul Krugman noted this week that this kind of analysis is “insane,” in large part because “hardly any of the money has flowed to the economy yet.”
It took quite a while to dig our way into this hole; it’ll take more than four months to get us out.
Maybe Boehner can just wait in the corner and let the grown-ups talk for a while.