Shortly before the new Republican controlled congress began its session, GOP strategist and Greed’s right-hand-man Grover Norquist became adamant that Republicans should stop lying about how horrible the economy is and start lying about how it was GOP policies and actions that saved it.
The notion is of course ridiculous. GOP “actions” of the past two years of economic recovery have resulted in nothing but taxpayer-funded witch hunts over issues like Benghazi and the IRS “scandal.”
These are Republicans, though, and they know what their base will believe — anything Fox “News” sells.
On the second day of the new congress, Senate Majority Leader and all-around corporate lackey, Mitch McConnell, took Norquist’s advice and made it abundantly clear that the “uptick” in the economy was in fact the American people showing relief that Republicans were in control:
After so many years of sluggish growth, we’re finally seeing some economic data that can provide a glimmer of hope. The uptick appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the Obama administration’s long tenure in Washington: the expectation of a new Republican Congress.
Oh yes, he actually said that. The accelerated growth the economy saw during the last quarter of 2014, much of which was in the books before election day, is due to the promise of higher deficits from tax-cuts for the wealthy, attacks on our safety nets, deregulation of our banking industry, and people who believe the world was created 400 years before the Great Pyramid overseeing committees on science.
This had to be President Obama’s greatest facepalm moment. The amount of obstruction the man has faced is unprecedented, yet he’s managed to oversee economic recovery with lower spending and higher revenues like no President before him.
Economists agree, the GOP takeover has NOTHING to do with the economic recovery.
Politico did a great piece about the subject where they asked economists and others in the know about McConnell’s statement to see if there was any validity to it at all. Here’s a couple of the best answers:
Richard Thaler, economist, University of Chicago:
There is nothing sudden about job growth, which has been steadily improving for quite a while, especially in the private sector, and the S&P 500 has gone from about 750 to over 2000 since March 2009. Does Senator McConnell think that the stock market been going up for six years in anticipation of the Republican takeover of Congress two months ago?
Robert Reich, labor secretary in the Clinton administration:
McConnell’s suggestion that the Republican victory in November somehow caused the economy to do better is like a rooster assuming its crowing caused the sun to rise. The economy has been gaining jobs steadily over the last several years. Had the Republicans not blocked extended unemployment benefits, an increase in the minimum wage, and infrastructure investments, the economy would be far better today than it is.
Nouriel Roubini, chairman, Roubini Global Economics:
Idiotic self-serving comment: the economy and labor market have been improving for over 2 years now; it has nothing to do with GOP taking over the Senate.
It seems just about everyone agreed that a crystal ball theory of Republican prosperity come 2015 had little to nothing to do with the recovery of the last two years. Unless you ask the likes of the Heritage Foundation, Koch-supported think-tankers who are paid to give the professional opinion that all things GOP are miraculous, or the CATO institute, who spent millions on a flawed study suggesting that welfare recipients were better off than the middle class.
The fact is that in their first week the Republican congress has already laid the groundwork for the next round of financial ruin, attacking social security, declaring women incapable of making choices for themselves and showing with whom their loyalties lie with the passing of Keystone.
Luckily for the American people, there’s some sanity sitting in the White House with a veto pen.