The earthquake near the nation’s capital this week prompted speculation about fault lines in the Washington DC area. This has actually been a hot topic for the White House, as it desperately searches for ways to blame the economic failures of Barack Obama on anyone but Barack Obama. The President and his team have repeatedly blamed “bad luck,” corporate jet owners, the Tea Party, and the weather for the malaise and high unemployment that have become hallmarks of his term in office. Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez of Investors Business Daily puts the two stories into his singularly unique perspective:
IBD also has a stinging editorial about the economic failures of the Obama administration:
Obama likes to blame the depth of the downturn for the “painfully slow” recovery. “We didn’t get into this mess overnight, and we won’t get out of it overnight. It’s going to take time,” he said — nearly a year ago.
The claim is bogus. This recession lasted only slightly longer than the 1981-82 contraction — 18 months vs. 16 — and wasn’t as severe when measured by peak unemployment.
But the economy came screaming out of that downturn, and in three quarters was already well into an expansion. The 1973-75 recession lasted 16 months, but also took only three quarters to fully recover.
Obama’s also fond of blaming the sluggish recovery on the fact the recession resulted from a “financial crisis,” alleging that something about that kind of recession makes for a longer recovery time. But it’s not like all the other slumps didn’t have any hint of financial crisis behind them.
Now he and his friends have taken to blaming bad luck and Republican bad faith for supposedly weakening what had been an improving economy.
“In 2010 … we were growing,” Obama’s former chief economic adviser Austan Goolsbee said Thursday. “Now, at the beginning of this year, we get earthquakes, tsunamis, revolutions in the Middle East, European financial crises. Now we got earthquakes outside of Washington, D.C.”
But Obama’s recovery was vastly inferior to previous ones well before these alleged headwinds emerged. Plus, revised GDP numbers show that the recovery was softening throughout 2010, with GDP growth slowing in each successive quarter.
Small wonder Ramirez calls the White House the “epicenter of excuses.”
Also, be sure to check out Ramirez’ terrific collection of his works: Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion, which covers the entire breadth of Ramirez’ career, and it gives fascinating look at political history. Read my review here, and watch my interviews with Ramirez here and here. And don’t forget to check out the entire Investors.com site, which has now incorporated all of the former IBD Editorials, while individual investors still exist.