Obamateurism of the Day

posted at 8:05 am on November 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Earlier in his life, Barack Obama worked as a lecturer on Constitutional law. Let’s hope he bothered to learn it first before lecturing, because he’s not quite so picky about research these days.  He tried lecturing on economics and Herbert Hoover during his visit to Asia Hawaii last week:

So this competition for new jobs and businesses and middle-class security, that’s the race I know we can win. But you don’t win it by saying every American is on their own. We’re not going to win it if we just hand out more tax cuts to people who don’t need them, let companies play by their own rules without any restriction, and we just hope somehow that the success of the wealthiest few translates in the prosperity for everybody else.

We have tried that, by the way. We tried it for 10 years. It’s part of what got into the mess that we’re in. It doesn’t work. It didn’t work for Herbert Hoover, when it was called trickle-down economics during the Depression. It didn’t work between 2000 and 2008, and it won’t work today.

That’s about as wrong as it gets.  Hans Bader explains at Open Market:

Obama is dead wrong. Data from the White House’s own website shows that Hoover increased, rather than cut, spending in the Great Depression, and ran up deficits that were huge by historical standards.

That is illustrated in Table 1.1 on page 21 of a document on the White House’s website, a document entitled, “Historical Tables: Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2009.” It shows that Hoover increased the federal budget from $3.1 billion in 1929, the year he took office (and the Great Depression began), to $4.7 billion in 1932, his last full year in office, and $4.6 billion in 1933, the year he left office. The budget deficit went from a surplus in 1928 to a deficit of $2.7 billion in 1932. Table 1.2 on page 24 of that document shows that government spending and deficits rose considerably as a percentage of the economy under Hoover. (See Table 1.2, “Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (–) As Percentages of GDP: 1930-2013)” and Table 1.1, “Summary of Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits (–): 1789–2013)”). By 1932, the government was spending more than $2 for every dollar that it took in.

In fact, Hoover’s spending policies look a lot like Obama’s.  Maybe that’s why we’re seeing a big resurgence of Hoovervilles Obamavilles these days.

Got an Obamateurism of the Day? If you see a foul-up by Barack Obama, e-mail it to me at obamaisms@edmorrissey.com with the quote and the link to the Obamateurism. I’ll post the best Obamateurisms on a daily basis, depending on how many I receive. Include a link to your blog, and I’ll give some link love as well. And unlike Slate, I promise to end the feature when Barack Obama leaves office.

Illustrations by Chris Muir of Day by Day. Be sure to read the adventures of Sam, Zed, Damon, and Jan every day!

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Blame bush, that’s all I know
-dear leader

cmsinaz on November 22, 2011 at 8:09 AM

If it doesn’t fit the narrative, history must either be changed or ignored.

crazy_legs on November 22, 2011 at 8:12 AM

Bush,Bush,Bush,Bush…..Rich,Rich,Rich,Rich, Corporations,Corporations Corporations, Corporations ….It’s their fault…

sandee on November 22, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Doesn’t matter what he says…. he’s got a lock on 45%, and the other 6% are just Sounbyte Americans that get their news on the 5 minute top and bottom of the hour news on the radio in their cars, in drive thru, taking Caitlin and Brandon to their sports activities.

They hear this and they hear Hoover and GOP and they know that’s bad, and then Brandon won’t share his fries and they turn off the radio to deal with their very own “food crisis”.

PappyD61 on November 22, 2011 at 8:14 AM

Uh, I think rewriting history is one of the job requirements of an Obama speechwriter. They know exactly what they are doing. Truth is the enemy of propaganda.

tommyboy on November 22, 2011 at 8:15 AM

that J Edgar was a helluva president/

ted c on November 22, 2011 at 8:16 AM

When it comes to lying he’s no amateur.

Naturally Curly on November 22, 2011 at 8:20 AM

Maybe he should get an Explanation Czar to explain simple facts from his own website so that he doesn’t go out and mis-speak about economics, history, his location, foreign affairs and other routine presidential stuff before he opens his mouth.

Kissmygrits on November 22, 2011 at 8:20 AM

Not to mention conflating Reagan’s catch phrase “trickle down”. Although it’s true that any policy will trickle down to the average Joe. In oboobi’s case, it has trickled down to the malaise we’re in now.

AH_C on November 22, 2011 at 8:23 AM

Why let facts get in the way when the lsm is so complicit. No accountability.

Static21 on November 22, 2011 at 8:27 AM

Isn’t it ‘trickle down economics’ to fork over $870 billion in ‘stimulus’ to political cronies and local governments and insist it will benefit everyone?

forest on November 22, 2011 at 8:30 AM

When in doubt, throw them out!

Let’s start with the Hoover II in 2012.

PappyD61 on November 22, 2011 at 8:42 AM

The ground is being laid in the press for a new MORE EFFECTIVE way of getting things done in Washington, because you see our GOVERNMENT IS BROKEN.

We just need SOMEONE to fix it.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/22/us/politics/disgust-but-no-surprise-at-supercommittee-failure.html?_r=1&partner=rss&emc=rss

You could almost say that Congress is going right along with the plan.

PappyD61 on November 22, 2011 at 8:45 AM

we’re going to have to change our conversation, we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history and we’re going to have to move to a different place.”

- Michelle Obama

It’s not like they didn’t tell you they were going there.

This was the strategy. Convince everybody that Barack’s the smartest man ever to ascend to the presidency just by repeating it over and over. Then, once they’ve got enough people to buy into that it no longer matters how he distorts history for his own ends, people will believe it because he’s just so damned smart.

Trafalgar on November 22, 2011 at 8:48 AM

How long must we suffer the lies?

golfmann on November 22, 2011 at 8:52 AM

“It didn’t work for Herbert Hoover, when it was called trickle-down economics during the Depression.”

Barry was trickling tinkling down his leg and thought it was raining in Asia Hawaii the Promised Land. Now THAT’S a ‘down tinkle’.

Yoop on November 22, 2011 at 8:56 AM

But Hoover didn’t have 57 states to prop up with stimulus dollars, either. Makes all the difference.

tpitman on November 22, 2011 at 8:58 AM

It didn’t work for Herbert Hoover, when it was called trickle-down economics during the Depression.

But Hoover wasn’t president during the Great Depression. President Roosevelt went on TV after the stock market crash in ’29 and was president right on through until ’44.

forest on November 22, 2011 at 9:05 AM

When is somebody going to name a brand of vacuum cleaner “Obama”?

radjah shelduck on November 22, 2011 at 9:13 AM

Obama is a SCOAMF. Nuff said.

Abby Adams on November 22, 2011 at 9:20 AM

Along with what everybody else has said, the other big lie :

let companies play by their own rules without any restriction, and we just hope somehow that the success of the wealthiest few translates in the prosperity for everybody else.

We have tried that, by the way. We tried it for 10 years. It’s part of what got into the mess that we’re in.

You miserable lying sadsack! Companies haven’t been allowed to play by their own rules for decades! Need we remind you of FDA, FCC, EPA, DOE, ICC, … and all of the regulations and restrictions that go along each of those alphabet soup agencies? CRA anyone? What started the housing crisis? A bunch of Wall street bankers sitting around saying, “Hey, I know! Let’s give loans to people who will never be able to pay them back, bundle the loans into debt securities and sell them to people who don’t know better! We’ll make millions!” What really happened was a bunch of Wall street bankers sitting around, “Well, the Clinton administration is going to destroy us with more regulations and investigations if we don’t do what Reno is telling us to do by opening banks in areas with people who have no money and if we fail to meet our quotas in making loans in these areas. How do we minimize the pain here? How about if we try to dilute the loans that we know will never be paid back with others so that at least some amount of return can occur and we don’t all go bankrupt?”

AZfederalist on November 22, 2011 at 9:33 AM

Earlier in his life, Barack Obama worked as a lecturer on Constitutional law. Let’s hope he bothered to learn it first before lecturing,
==================

Barack Obama Lectures on Constituonal Law
******************************************

To: Students in Con. Law III
From:Barack Obama
Re:The Exam
***********

Overall, I was impressed with the quality of the exams’- almost all of you
identified the main issues, leaving me to score the exams mostly on the precision of your
answers. The memo below gives you a basic idea of the analysis I was looking for in
grading the exams, as well as some of the thoughts that you may have raised and for

which I assigned appropriate credit. This memo isn’t intended to be exhaustive (although it is more comprehensive than I would have expected from any exam, given the time
limits you were all working under); there may be issues that some of you identified that
represent sparkling insight and for which you were awarded credit, but which are not
included in this memo.
(More….)
==============

http://www.scribd.com/doc/13516100/Barack-Obama-Lectures-on-Constituonal-Law

canopfor on November 22, 2011 at 9:48 AM

I heard his speech writer(s) are muslims – why would they know or care about factual American history? This is all a big guffaw for them and the marxist kenyan.

Ris4victory on November 22, 2011 at 9:48 AM

Here, let me help you: Just give up.

RDE2010 on November 22, 2011 at 9:52 AM

What’s more revealing, IMO, is the first paragraph where he talks about “handing out” tax cuts. Setting aside the issue of “need”, reducing the amount of earned wealth seized through the might of the state should not be considered a favor, or gift, to the wealth earner. This attitude is exactly what’s wrong with the left. Too bad Republicans can’t seem to make (or understand) this fundamental point.

landshark on November 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Not to mention conflating Reagan’s catch phrase “trickle down”. . . .

AH_C on November 22, 2011 at 8:23 AM

No. “Trickle down” was a term the Democrats derisively used to describe Reagan’s supply-side economics.

Sowell Disciple on November 22, 2011 at 10:09 AM

“Smartest man in the world”!

Reveals his stupidity on a daily basis.

GarandFan on November 22, 2011 at 10:10 AM

It didn’t work for Herbert Hoover, when it was called trickle-down economics during the Depression. It didn’t work between 2000 and 2008, and it won’t work today.

I heard a lot about “trickle-down economics” during the 1980′s when Reagan was President, but was that phrase ever used during the Depression? I wasn’t around then, does anybody here know?

Steve Z on November 22, 2011 at 11:05 AM

Where, oh where, is squishypudlian with her “Ed Fail of the Day?”

CurtZHP on November 22, 2011 at 11:09 AM

When you’ve lost Herbert Hoover…

Khun Joe on November 22, 2011 at 11:49 AM

It’s so simple: It’s the spending, stupid!

EconomicNeocon on November 22, 2011 at 12:04 PM

Back off NeoCons………He’s a GEEEEEEEEEEEEEENIUS!!

Tim_CA on November 22, 2011 at 12:09 PM

We’re not going to win it if we just hand out more tax cuts to people who don’t need them, let companies play by their own rules without any restriction, and we just hope somehow that the success of the wealthiest few translates in the prosperity for everybody else.

Here it is, the core of socialism in a nutshell. Let’s break it down…

Hand out tax cuts to people who don’t need them. ~ This says that government gets to decide what you need and what you don’t need. Behind it, it also says that government gets to decide who needs your money more than you do.

Let companies play by their own rules without any restriction. ~ This says that the free market doesn’t follow the laws of supply and demand, that the evil corporations can make you pay whatever they want you to pay for their products and services, and government must run interference for the consumer.

Hope somehow the success of the wealthiest few… ~ This says that government will never understand how the wealthy figure out how to become wealthy, that it’s all blind chance that they have the money, and that they intend to play keep-away with it from everybody else.

FAIL, FAIL, FAIL. Can we please go back to the right way?

Freelancer on November 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Ok, someone help me on this one. obama (D) says Hoover’s policies DID NOT WORK. Ok. We’ve got that. And then you add Hans Bader saying obama (D) is wrong…and then Bader says Hoover’s policies DID NOT WORK. So how did obama (D) get it wrong? obama (D) got it right…right? What am I missing? I think someone jumped the gun on today’s obamateurism. By the way, I loathe obama (D), so don’t get me wrong. I’m just not getting this article.

SuperManGreenLantern on November 22, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Ok, so I’m alone on this one?

SuperManGreenLantern on November 22, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Obama is dead wrong. Data from the White House’s own website shows that Hoover increased, rather than cut, spending in the Great Depression, and ran up deficits that were huge by historical standards.

This is very well documented in the book, “The Forgotten Man,” by Amity Shlaes. See also Great Myths of the Great Depression at fee.org.

So why does Obama repeat it? Because this is the conventional wisdom universally accepted by liberals. Just another reminder that Obama may be brilliant in some way — though I’ve yet to see evidence for it — but he is a completely trite and pedestrian thinker who’s never moved in political thought beyond the college sophomore awestruck by his history professor.

tom on November 22, 2011 at 6:31 PM

Ok, someone help me on this one. obama (D) says Hoover’s policies DID NOT WORK. Ok. We’ve got that. And then you add Hans Bader saying obama (D) is wrong…and then Bader says Hoover’s policies DID NOT WORK. So how did obama (D) get it wrong? obama (D) got it right…right? What am I missing? I think someone jumped the gun on today’s obamateurism. By the way, I loathe obama (D), so don’t get me wrong. I’m just not getting this article.

SuperManGreenLantern on November 22, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Well, they both agreed that Hoover’s policies didn’t work. Obama, though, is dead wrong about what those policies were. Hoover reacted to the stock market crash and slump by intervention in the economy, raising tariffs, forming groups to keep wages artificially high — which, as always, caused higher unemployment, and similar moves.

That’s the problem with the Hoover myth. Hoover did not act as a laissez faire capitalist would, and allow the market to recover on its own. He tackled the problem like a big government interventionist. In short, he basically reacted a lot like …. Roosevelt. The big difference is that Roosevelt was a better politician, and had 3 full terms to work his destruction before dying shortly into his fourth term. World War 2 finally rescued us from the Great Depression by giving the government something else to occupy its time.

Again, a good short treatment is at Great Myths of the Great Depression

Hence the irony: the hyper-capitalist the left wants to paint as the bogeyman who caused the Depression actually did start the Depression — by trying to do the same things that Roosevelt later did.

In short, the Great Depression was a failure of government-directed economic markets rather than the free market.

tom on November 22, 2011 at 6:41 PM