WHEN ALL ELSE FAILS, SPIN LIKE A TOP…. When it comes to economic credibility, conservative congressional Republicans are in a bit of a bind. They have a habit of making bold declarations — Reagan’s tax increases will hurt the economy! Clinton’s economic policies will lead to ruin! Bush’s tax cuts will work wonders! — which don’t pan out. It’s getting a little embarrassing.
It’s especially awkward right now, since GOP leaders were absolutely certain that President Obama’s economic recovery efforts would not rescue the economy, would not generate growth, and would not create jobs. In light of the 290,000 jobs created in April, and the GDP numbers over the last year, the Republican predictions, once again, look pretty bad.
The question is what they should do about it. The RNC usually issues a statement shortly after the release of the monthly job numbers, but as of right now, the committee hasn’t published anything. All things considered, silence is probably the right call.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) tried a different tack. While he conceded that “positive job growth is always welcome news,” Boehner described the best monthly jobs report in more than four years as “disappointing news.”
“A 9.9 percent unemployment rate is a harsh reminder that families and small businesses continue to ask ‘where are the jobs?’ […]
“Washington Democrats have no coherent agenda to create jobs, and no interest in doing anything but continue to spend money we don’t have on ‘stimulus’ programs that don’t work.”
Even for Boehner, this is just sad. “Where are the jobs?” Well, after digging us out of the hole Boehner helped get us into, the economy has added 573,000 thus far in 2010. There are the jobs. Given the economic growth created by the Recovery Act, reality suggests “‘stimulus’ programs” do work.
House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) was nearly as bad. After the perfunctory acknowledgement that “job growth is always a good thing,” Cantor makes his case.
“Out-of-control spending in Washington has produced a Mount Everest of debt that we are asking future generations to climb. Even if the economy added 250,000 jobs every month, it would take nearly five years to get back to full employment. Five years is too long.”
I can appreciate Cantor’s impatience, but after the mess Republicans created, getting back to full employment is going to take a while. Thankfully, Cantor wasn’t in the majority last year, and the United States didn’t respond to the crisis by approving his proposed five-years spending freeze, which we now know would have led to catastrophic consequences.
Look, Republicans are embarrassed; I get that. They have reason to be. Their policies were disastrous; their proposed solutions were “insane“; and their predictions were backwards.
But instead of trashing good news and rooting for failure, maybe Boehner and Cantor can enjoy a little quiet time while the grown-ups talk.