Blaming the future for the past

BLAMING THE FUTURE FOR THE PAST…. Former Rep. Pat Toomey (R), running for the U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania this year, thinks he has a firm grasp on economic policy. He took his case to a group of voters the other day, explaining why he thinks the economy is in rough shape.

“If you think of what we’ve witnessed in just the last 18 months or so, serial bailouts of failing companies, nationalizing whole industries, spending money on a scale we’ve never seen before, deficits and debts that are completely unsustainable, you add in cap and trade, card check, government-run health care, is it any wonder we haven’t had an economic recovery?

“Is it any wonder we don’t have job growth? How hard is this to figure out?”

Apparently, it’s harder than it should be, since Toomey’s entire approach is gibberish. It’s almost as if the poor man has absolutely no idea what he’s talking about.

His indictment is amusing in its absurdity. To hear Toomey tell it, rescuing Wall Street and American auto manufacturers was bad for the economy, though reality suggests the opposite is true. Toomey thinks we’ve “nationalized whole industries,” which isn’t at all true. He also thinks deficits are undermining the economy, which is (a) wrong; and (b) at odds with his vow to add trillions to the debt through tax cuts for millionaires.

But it’s that other sentence that really stands out. For Pat Toomey, the recovery has been weak because of “cap and trade, card check, government-run health care.” But none of those things exist.

The cap-and-trade proposal didn’t pass, and neither did card check. Health care reform passed, but it’s barely begun to be implemented, and no sensible person could characterize it as “government-run health care.”

In other words, in Toomey’s bizarre worldview, policies that don’t exist and couldn’t pass are somehow dragging down the economy.

In Grown-Up Land, job losses are the result of a deep recession, which was the result of economic policies Pat Toomey supported. He has a few rhetorical choices here — my personal preference would be to hear Toomey apologize for having been so wrong, so often — but blaming legislation that hasn’t passed isn’t one of them.

I realize the parties don’t agree on much, but can we at least agree that it’s literally impossible for laws that don’t exist to undermine the world’s largest economy? Toomey isn’t well grounded — the man blames FDR for the Great Depression — but this doesn’t seem like too much to ask.