Gov. Mitt Romney might not match the charisma, humor, or conservative passion that Gov. Ronald Reagan had when he defeated Jimmy Carter in 1980. But it does not matter. Romney does have a solid and faith-centered family life and a cornucopia of practical business experience that gives him a complete understanding of how free enterprise works while Washington has subsisted since 2009 on almost nothing but the shallow charisma of President Obama with little genuine leadership skill.
On Friday, Sept. 7 President Obama talked about the tentative addition of 96,000 new jobs in August according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report on employment. But experience shows us that BLS job numbers are often revised downward this year a few weeks after a monthly report. Obama has been saying he understands the job growth has not been fast enough but that he never promised he could get a recovery going by the end of his term. This is not true. Obama specifically did promise in 2009 that if Congress passed his $831 billion economic stimulus bill, the unemployment rate would be below 6 percent in 2012.
Today the unemployment rate has changed very little for the last 44 months and is now at 8.1 percent subject to later revision in the BLS numbers. Barack Obama knows that no incumbent president since Franklin Roosevelt has been re-elected with unemployment above 8 percent. He also knows that the only reason our unemployment rate is not higher today is that a record high number of 88,921,000 Americans are no longer counted as looking for work because they are so discouraged they have dropped out of the labor force and many of those are no longer eligible for unempoyment insurance benefits because the benefits have expired.
So somehow the Obama campaign must try to wage a slander against the free enterprise credentials of Romney and at the same time change the conversation from a lack of private sector jobs to a conversation about how much worse things might have been if Obama had not been in office. But the campaign slogan "It could have been worse" is not very inspiring for a bumper sticker.
The tried and true stategy of blaming former President George W. Bush for all bad policy decisions made before January 2009 has become a little stale to many voters in 2012 in part because Obama is no longer the blank slate novelty item he was marketed as in 2008. Democrats carefully avoid any reference to their own role in the financial crisis of 2008 to continue to shift all blame to Bush.
The role of the Democrats in helping to create the seeds of the mess that Obama says he inherited actually started two years before Bush left office on January 3rd 2007 when Democrats took over the House of Representatives and the Senate, at the start of the 110th Congress. The Democratic Party controlled a majority in both chambers for the first time since the end of the 103rd Congress in 1995. For those who are listening to the Left Wing fantasy that everything is the fault of President Bush, these reminders deserve more careful thought:
At the start of the Democratic-controlled Congress in 2007, The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 12,621.77. The GDP for the previous quarter was 3.5% and the unemployment rate was only 4.6 percent!
The George W. Bush economic policies set a record of 52 consecutive months of job growth to that time. But on January 3rd, 2007 Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) took over the Chairmanship of the House Financial Services Committee and former Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) took over as Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee.
The economic meltdown that happened 15 months later was in the sector covered by those two committees, banking and financial services.
In addition to this crisis and among other elements, the dumping 5 to 6 trillion dollars of
toxic loans on the economy to pay for idiotic policies mandated by Conress at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac made the 2008 meltdown in housing far worse.
Starting in 2001 when Republicans were still in control of the House but not the Senate, President Bush asked Congress many times to stop Fannie & Freddie because of toxic liabilities that were so financially risky for the US economy. Republican leaders in Congress during 2001-2007 bear their share of the blame for doing nothing. From 2005 to 2009, Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois) was the third highest recipient of political donations from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at a time when Democrats fought agains reforms at the two agencies and for higher risk loans to people who had no history of being able to pay mortgage installments.
So whensomeone tries to blame Bush, remind them that January 3, 2007 is the day that Democrats took over the gavels in Congress. Budgets are mostly shaped by the party that
controls Congress which was the Democratic Party from January 2007 through January 2011 when the House came back under Republican control but not the Senate--at least not yet.
If the poor blameless Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the last of the
Republican budgets passed in 2007 for FY 2008 when that deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth straight decline in deficit spending under the pre-2007 Republican Conress. After that, Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and that includes Sen. Barack Obama, who voted If Obama inherited were Democratic budgets that he himself had voted for when he was a member of the Senate. In a nutshell, what Obama is saying in efffect is that "I inherited a deficit that I voted for and then I proposed bills to to expand that deficit four-fold since January 20, 2009 when I was sworn in as president."
(the above is adapted in part from emails in circulation but I did my own fact checking and corrections.)