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GOP: Bad jobs numbers prove Dems have lost control of the wheel

The Republican strategy has been to seize on the ailing economy to feed public pessimism about the ability of Big Government to fix the economy -- and to revive the old canard that government is the problem, not the solution -- and Republicans are pointing to today's disappointing jobs numbers to press the case.

Here's Eric Cantor:

"For the last 18 months, Republicans have focused on cutting spending and creating jobs offering better alternatives than the Democrat majority. Now, President Obama is set to preside over one of the largest tax increases in American history, but there is a better way. Washington has a spending problem, and the policies of the Obama Administration and the Pelosi/Reid Congress have caused the size and reach of the government to explode. What the President touts as the 'Recovery Summer' is built upon the misguided notion that government expansion creates prosperity, when in reality it creates debt and deficits. We need to cut spending immediately and House Republicans, whom have already offered hundreds of billions of dollars in spending cuts, will continue to fight against the Democrats' spending spree and for enabling small business people to invest and grow so that we can get America working again."

And here's Michael Steele, with a backhanded barb at Timothy Geithner's ill-timed Op ed entitled "welcome to the recovery":

"For the millions of Americans who are unable to find work, this White House's empty cheerleading rings hollow. President Obama has been more focused on growing government than growing jobs, and it shows. The cumulative effect of his $2.5 trillion health care takeover, his overreaching financial regulatory bill, and his looming small business tax hike has created a climate of uncertainty that has left employers unable to expand their payrolls. If persistently high unemployment, crushing debt, and a continued assault on the private economy is the 'recovery' President Obama is welcoming the American people to, Congressional Democrats will be the ones getting a pink slip in November."

Republicans are pressing the case that Dem spending and regulatory policies are to blame for impeding the recovery, in hopes that voters forget what landed us in this mess in the first place. Dems appear to have decided that more government action to create jobs is not politically feasible, forcing them to gamely insist that the current policies have put us on the road to recovery. But then bad jobs numbers -- and the reality on the ground -- allow Republicans to argue that Dems are out of touch with how badly their policies are failing, feeding a sense that they aren't in touch and aren't in control.

If the Dem argument is that we can't hand the keys to Republicans because they drove us into a ditch last time, the Republican argument is that Dems had their shot at driving and have lost control of the wheel -- and don't even know it.

By Greg Sargent  |  August 6, 2010; 10:36 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , House GOPers , economy  
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Comments

"For the last 18 months, Republicans have focused on cutting spending and creating jobs offering better alternatives than the Democrat majority."

Does anyone actually believe this? For the last 18 months they've been betting against the recovery and doing everything within their power to keep the middle class UNEMPLOYED in order to fool the American people into blaming Dems and Obama. I'm not one of the President's hugest fans, we could and should have done better, but really this statement is absurd from Cantor.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 6, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Since we are not shedding jobs like we used to it shows that the Dem policies have stabilized the economy.

However, it will be up to the Dems to talk about what they will do going FORWARD on how to improve the economy.

That is why the midterm Dem theme of MAKE IT IN AMERICA is one in which the Democrats should concentrate on including specific proposals one of what the Democrats will do to GROW THE ECONOMY AND CREATE MILLIONS OF JOBS.

The GOP proposal of tax cuts for the rich and no regulations is what got us in this predicament in the first place. Unless the GOP has NEW proposals, the Democrats can use the theme of don't give the Repubs back the car keys. However, that is NOT enough. The Dems need to offer their own proposals.

Posted by: maritza1 | August 6, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

The debate on the economy is missing all the complex structural issues that are limiting job creation. Automation continues to cost jobs. Increased use of technology is leaving a huge part of the work force virtually unemployable. I heard today that 40% of the population are functionally computer- and internet-illiterate. Meanwhile education is being cut and there are no funds for job retraining. The rich whine about impending expiration of the Bush tax cuts and wonder why consumer demand is down in the face of persistent and rising inequality.

The GOP is winning the message wars for three reasons. Fox and the GOP noise machine puts out a constant drumbeat of misinformation to the effect that Obama is scary and the Dems are failures. The electortate doesn;t have the patience or appreciation for complexity and nuance, so this succeeds. And the Dems are too cowardly to push for bold solutions and too inarticulate to explain the successes they have had.

So farm, extreme solutions are losing at the ballot box, giving hope that where Dems can find their voice they can win congressional elections. But they have to be bolder and more aggressive.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 6, 2010 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Republicans are claiming that the things they did to bring about the Economic Collapse, are the same things that should be done to undo the Economic Collapse.

In other words; Republicans are claiming that they can cure the patient, with the same poison that they gave him, when they almost killed him.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 6, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Since we are not shedding jobs like we used to it shows that the Dem policies have stabilized the economy.

However, it will be up to the Dems to talk about what they will do going FORWARD on how to improve the economy.

That is why the midterm Dem theme of MAKE IT IN AMERICA is one in which the Democrats should concentrate on including specific proposals one of what the Democrats will do to GROW THE ECONOMY AND CREATE MILLIONS OF JOBS.

The GOP proposal of tax cuts for the rich and no regulations is what got us in this predicament in the first place. Unless the GOP has NEW proposals, the Democrats can use the theme of don't give the Repubs back the car keys. However, that is NOT enough. The Dems need to offer their own proposals.

Posted by: maritza1 | August 6, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Imsinca - You are correct, but the "liberal" media is so terrified of being called "liberal" that they won't point this out.

The irony is that regardless of what the media does or does not do, the right wingers will call them liberal.

A proper fact check would go a little like this:

Claim: "For the last 18 months, Republicans have focused on cutting spending and creating jobs offering better alternatives than the Democrat majority."

Fact: No they haven't. They've offered very little in alternatives, choosing instead to obstruct at every opportunity. They did their best to provide "Obama's Waterloo" in the hope that the American public has the attention span of the crack addicted monkeys they so loath.

Claim: Now, President Obama is set to preside over one of the largest tax increases in American history.

Fact: The vote for a "tax increase" took place a decade ago, and most all of the votes were Republicans.

Claim: Washington has a spending problem, and the policies of the Obama Administration and the Pelosi/Reid Congress have caused the size and reach of the government to explode.

Fact: Most of that spending has to do with two wars, an unpaid for Medicare part D plan and bailouts / stimulus only made necessary by the fiscal malpractice committed during the Bush years.

Claim: We need to cut spending immediately

Fact: No we don't. We do need to cut spending, but this is NOT the best time to do so.

Claim: House Republicans, whom have already offered hundreds of billions of dollars in spending cuts...

Fact: What has the GOP ever done to show it was serious about cutting spending? Sure, they'll offer up cuts if they know those cuts will never pass, but when they could have cut spending all they did was increase spending. Reagan tripled the national debt and W. Bush doubled it.

Claim: ...will continue to fight against the Democrats' spending spree and for enabling small business people to invest and grow so that we can get America working again."

Fact: They'll fight anything Obama does, regardless if it is good for the economy. They'll gladly kill anything that "enables small business people to invest and grow" if there is political gain in it for the Republicans.

Bottom Line: The Republicans will get away with spewing this nonsense because the media has been intellectually castrated by the GOP.

Posted by: nisleib | August 6, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Republicans Position;

Our brand of Poison almost killed the Economy;

But since President Obama's medicine has not yet restored the Economy to full health;

We should now stop doing that, and resume giving it massive doses of our brand of poison.

Sure; it almost killed the patient, the last time, but that is no reason to not poison him again. Maybe this time; it will have the opposite effect.

Poison Is All We've Got.
GOP 2010

Posted by: Liam-still | August 6, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Cantor and Steele. Lord. They are made for each other. Sounds like a bad '80s cop show. They have two pre-written press releases: this one when the numbers stay the same and one slightly more histrionic when they improve.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | August 6, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Attn: Greg: OT, but I thought you would want to be made aware of this.


Salon.com

Points out that there is already a Mosque in the Pentagon.


"Why did no one object to the "Pentagon mosque"?"

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/index.html?story=/politics/war_room/2010/08/05/muslims_infiltrate_pentagon


" Navy imam Chaplain Abuhena M. Saifulislam lifted his voice to God as he called to prayer more than 100 Department of Defense employees Monday at a celebration of Ramadan at the Pentagon.

God is most great, sang the lieutenant commander and Islamic leader, in Arabic, as iftar — the end of the daily fast began.

Uniformed military personnel, civilians and family members faced Mecca and knelt on adorned prayer rugs chanting their prayers in quiet invocation to Allah.

The "ground zero mosque" story seems to be dying down, but nothing lays bare the absurdity of what we've just lived through quite so much as this Washington Times story, quoted above, from 2007.

Yes, Muslims have infiltrated the Pentagon for their nefarious, prayerful purposes -- daring to practice their religion inside the building where 184 people died on Sept. 11, 2001. They haven't even had the sensitivity to move two blocks, let alone a mile, away from that sacred site."

Posted by: Liam-still | August 6, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Liam-

LOL!

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | August 6, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Dems must remind voters that the "Just Say No Crowd" in the Senate have repeatedly blocked good stimulus and jobs legislation there; the GOP in the Senate have been successful in derailing the Dem's efforts to turn this economy around. What a short memory we all have.

Posted by: dozas | August 6, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Liam -- yup. Thanks. Pretty amazing.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | August 6, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Liam-

I did not know that. Well done.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | August 6, 2010 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Cantor's big idea for creating jobs is extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans letting the rest of us wallow in pain. It didn't create jobs then, it won't create jobs now. It's really as simple as that or we could just call them a&&clowns.

Posted by: lmsinca | August 6, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

OT - But I have a question for ya'all.

Last night I was watching Hardball and there was a Republican Representative on, I think it was Phil Gingrey. He was talking about all this "Let's repeal the 14th amendment" nonsense.

Gingrey kept using the term "anchor babies." How is that not totally offensive? I don't consider myself all that PC, but to me that is right up there with #igger or #pick. Yet nobody called him on it. I found myself yelling angrily at my TV (a shame really, my TV is nice and has done nothing to deserve such language.)

Posted by: nisleib | August 6, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

OMG. A mosque inside the Pentagon! Let the screeching begin.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 6, 2010 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Nisleib, I find Lindsey Graham's terminology for giving birth in the US by an undocumented mother as "drop & leave" pretty offensive, too.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | August 6, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

Right Winger's Claim to be Pro-Birth; yet; they turn right around and start scapegoating the unborn, in order to foment more Xenophobia.

Posted by: Liam-still | August 6, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

suekzoo1 - Agreed.

But, to me, "Anchor Baby" is extra foul because it is a derogatory term about, well, brown people. "Drop and Leave" is a disgusting reference to a course of action, not a class of people.

But the whole arguement is offensive in the extreme.

It kind of reminds me of Limbaugh continually playing "Barrack the Magic Negro" over and over during the election.

Posted by: nisleib | August 6, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

You know you're rubbing people the wrong way when lmsinca -- hands down the most considerate person on here -- calls you an a&&clown! :)

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 6, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I'm so sick of politics.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | August 6, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

Speaking of Hardball, I really liked his commentary on all of the GOP's efforts at changing the Constitution.

Gay Marriage, Abortion, the 14th amendment, and I think one other.

Only 2 minutes, worth watching. He absolutely skewers the Tea Party Republican set who "love the Constitution" so much that they want to change it to suit their needs.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697/#38583884

Posted by: Ethan2010 | August 6, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Liam: the Right wingers are pro WHITE birth. Also, their latest stunt re: the 14th Amendment, on the heels of Arizona's SB 1070, is all about the brown menace supplanting WHITE numbers. This is just "history repeating itself," as many examples throughout our history will testify, e.g.: in 1889, the SF Examiner railed that "the 'Chinese horde's were multiplying at an alarming rate" and "the paper offered to sponsor a 'labor train' to bring white laborers to California to replace the Asian." (From David Nasaw's bio of WH Hearst).

Posted by: dozas | August 6, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

All, this latest from Sharron Angle is really something:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/08/sharron_angle_i_wouldnt_take_m.html

Posted by: sargegreg | August 6, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Republican had a wild party, lots of booze and women, lit the house on fire and then handed the keys to Obama. They then stood in a circle, blocking the Democrats from putting out the fire or cleaning up the smoldering mess. They complained about how much water the firemen were using and accused Obama of not having the house rebuilt fast enough.

No lower life form than a Republican politician..

Posted by: thebobbob | August 6, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

If babies (or, presumably, their parents) have to prove the baby's right to citizenship to get a birth certificate, won't thins mean a massive new bureaucracy and the intrusion of the gevernment into the birth process? Right now proof of place opf birth is sufficient, but if an inquiry has to be made into every birth, that is a whole new level of intrusion.

Small government advbocates, except when they want to investigate you or control your reproductive life.

Posted by: Mimikatz | August 6, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. economy has suffered about 6 recessions since 1950 that were comparable to the latest one.

This recession stand out only because the recovery has been so weak. The Democrats have been dying to prove Keynesian (big government spending) stimulus since Ronald Reagan crushed a terrible recession with tax cuts.

After 17 months of Reagan tax cuts, a terrible recession was turned around and the economy was growing at nearly 10%. Compare that to 17 months since Obama's 'stimulus' passed and... The results speak for themselves.

The Dems have been steering the economy since 2007. The problem is they are going the wrong way!

Posted by: mgsorens | August 6, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

@mgsorens: Missing a few facts like the financial meltdown that triggered the recession has no parallel since 1929. The s and l crisis is peanuts compared to this.

Reagan benefitted from oil prices dropping after spiking during the carter admin.

The reagan recession was caused by the Fed raising interest rates to historic highs. As inflation was wrung out of the economy (at great human cost) interest rates were dropped and the economy improved. Interest rates are at almost 0% right now so that tool is not available this time around.

In fact, the economy didn't really start turning around until Reagan raised taxes.

" Everyone remembers Reagan's 1981 tax cuts. His admirers are less likely to tout the tax hikes he accepted as the 1981 recession and his own tax cuts began to unravel his long-term fiscal picture--a large tax increase on business in 1982, higher payroll taxes enacted in 1983 and higher energy taxes in 1984. " --forbes.com

Posted by: srw3 | August 6, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. economy has suffered about 6 recessions since 1950 that were comparable to the latest one.

This recession stands out only because the recovery has been so weak. The Democrats have been dying experiment with Keynesian (big government spending) stimulus since Ronald Reagan crushed a terrible recession with tax cuts.

After 17 months of Reagan tax cuts, a terrible recession was turned around and the economy was growing at nearly 10%. Compare that to 17 months since Obama's 'stimulus' passed and... The results speak for themselves.

The Dems have been steering the economy since 2007. The problem is they are going the wrong way!

Posted by: mgsorens | August 6, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

@srw3: Are you claiming that raising taxes 'stimulated' the economy???

I do recall that defense spending had gone from 9% of GDP during the late 1960s and early 1970s to under 3% during the Carter term. Reagan raised defense spending from just over 2% of GDP to 6% of GDP, resulting in most the the budget deficits during his administration.

Posted by: mgsorens | August 6, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

srw3 You are awesome! I love the way you take out the trolls with facts and attribution and links. You'll never get a job at Fox.

However you mgsorens are a great candidate for a Fox News producer. Either make stuff up..or out and out lie...or simply get it wrong.

Bruce Bartlett one of Reagans chief Economic advisors has admitted trickle down is a failure. Perhaps you'd like to visit Amazon and buy a copy of Mr. Barlett's book.

"The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward"

http://www.amazon.com/New-American-Economy-Failure-Reaganomics/dp/0230615872

David Stockman Reagan's director of OMB recently wrote an editorial excoriating the Bush Tax Cuts and advising AGAINST renewing them! Virtually all the respected R economists have now confessed what actual numbers and your misguided Reagan history show. That tax cuts DO NOT FREAKING PAY FOR THEMSELVES, AND WHEN TARGETED TO HEAVILY TOWARDS THE TOP 5% DO NOT CREATE JOBS!!!

And so here is a question..actually two for you mgsorens.

Google "Wealth Disparity in the U.S." or type it in Wikipedia. Learn something.

Do you think that having the greatest income inequality since the late 1920's ("coincidentally" right before the Great Depression is a good thing or a bad thing?

Unless you want the rich to just keep getting richer at the expense of the middle class btw not the poor what is your solution...because historically (FACTUALLY) income disparity always gets worse in times of Republican Governance. Again I suppose you'd call it just a "COINCIDENCE" mgsorens...3 r's Harding,Coolidge, and Hoover in a row led us to the great recession. 16 years of Reagan and Bush II have led to the Great Recession.

Posted by: rukidding7 | August 6, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

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