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Are You Better Off Than You Were Two Years Ago?

Monday, November 01, 2010 - 04:25 PM

Karol Markowicz

There's an episode of the old show Roseanne where Roseanne Barr's character is complaining about her weight. Her husband, trying to be sympathetic, tells her that her weight is okay—after all, she has had three kids. But Roseanne hisses back, "I can't blame the kids forever, Dan. Maybe another year or two, but not forever!"

Barack Obama loves blaming the state of our economy on George W. Bush. After all, he's only been in office for half his term. The funny thing about blaming Bush is that Obama has chosen to continue the failed policies of his supposed saboteur's administration, like propping up dying companies, issuing obscene bailouts using money we don't have, and launching entitlement programs we simply can't afford.

Meanwhile, he's getting rid of the Bush policies that did work, such as tax cuts across the board to stimulate the economy. It may play well to call them "tax cuts for the rich," but the fact is that middle class business owners, the ones who actually keep the economy running, will lose the tax cuts they got under the last president. It really is the worst of both worlds. Tax hikes and high spending do not a strong economy make.

The unemployment rate when President Bush left office was a dismal 7.6%. It was the highest unemployment rate in 15 years. The current unemployment rate, 9.2%, makes that number look almost manageable. Back in January when the unemployment rate hit 10.6%, it was already past the time for Barack Obama to be blaming his extra cheeseburgers on the baby weight. Today, the blame can only be layed at the feet of our current president.

Americans can send a message tomorrow that they want real change, not the kind promised to them two years ago which turned out to be just more of the same. They can elect candidates who want to reign in spending, stop inventing programs we can't afford, and let Americans keep more of the money they make. It's a simple plan to get America back on track and to lower the unemployment rate. The Obama plan of repeating "it wasn't me" just isn't working.

Born in the Soviet Union and raised in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz is a public relations consultant in NYC and a veteran of Republican campaigns in four states. She blogs about politics at Alarming News and about life in the city with her husband and baby at 212 Baby. She can be followed on Twitter.

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Comments [8]

Marcello from Brooklyn

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE TEA PARTY: Once upon a time, a young and healthy man met a nice pretty young woman and they got married. Unfortunately, the young man picked up a very bad habit; he started to smoke! He soon became a chain smoker and kept at it for years and years. Actually for decades!!... During this time, his loyal and loving wife did not say a word to prevent her husband from smoking. They both knew very well that this was a terrible habit that could potentially lead to death but, alas, they, they did not care...They were in love!...So she made sure to buy cigarettes for him on her way back from work and sat placidly by his side, ready to light his next one. Unfortunately one terrible day, they got the bad news: he had lung cancer! An almost certain death sentence. The only feeble hope: a very risky operation to remove the cancerous lung. The woman was distraught and sat trembling in the waiting room waiting for her husband to come out of surgery. When she was finally admitted to his room she was horrified!!!! The man had a horrible cut on his chest, he was pale as a ghost and the doctors warned her that he may not make it. At this point the woman went into a rage!! She launched at the surgeon calling him names and attacking him, demanding to know why her husband was not "healed" yet!!! At no point she stopped to think how the situation had gotten to that point! Obviously the surgeon was to blame! So she demanded the immediate firing of the doctor obviously guilty since when he took office unemployment...ooops ...I mean Cancer Cellular Invasion Rate was a "DISMAL 7.6%" when her husband got the news and stopped smoking and now the cancer invasion rate had grown to 9.6%, even after six months he had finally stopped smoking. BAD,...BAD DOCTOR!!!....

Nov. 02 2010 11:34 PM
Marcello from Brooklyn

"Meanwhile, he is getting rid of the Bush policies that did work, like tax cuts across the board to stimulate the economy...". How exactly did these cuts work?...By creating the biggest economic crisis of the last 80 years? Or maybe by producing the biggest income inequality of the last 90 years?
I would suggest a simple on line course in Macroeconomics. Even at community college. You might find out that in a depressed economy, of the two pillars of expansionary fiscal policy (tax cuts and direct government spending) the cuts are the less effective because the portion of them going to the richer segments of society is saved rather than spent and that greatly diminishes its stimulating effect. It's called the "Multiplier Effect". Look it up!....

Nov. 02 2010 11:00 PM
Marcello from Brooklyn

The devastation left behind by Bush and by eight years of conservative policies is UNPRECEDENTED in modern times. You need to go back the 1929 Depression (ushered in by Hoovers's conservative policies and cleaned up by progressive policies of Roosevelt) to find comparable damage. Propping up car companies prevented huge layoffs and therefore further economic depression. Now the taxpayers are getting their money back starting with the upcoming GM's IPO. The obscene bailouts (initiated by Bush...) is a direct consequence of the huge amount of toxic assets held by banks and, since nobody knew who had what and how many exactly (because they had been securitized thanks to conservative deregulation policies) the only option left to government was a "carpet bailout" to the entire financial system to prevent catastrophe. "Money we don't have you say". You are right! We don't have it because the entire budget surplus that Bush inherited by Clinton has been turned into an ocean of red ink by Bush and the Republicans in order to finance a war initiated on false pretenses and to give tax breaks to the rich. Yes, to the rich! Because if the point was simply to give tax cuts, the GOP would have supported Obama's policies to keep the cuts for 95% of the people (those who earn less than $ 200K/year) but they don't want that. They want to extend the cuts to the rich, even if that is going to produce even wider deficits. The reason is simple: Republicans are the party of the rich. They only exist to cater to the interests of this minority implementing policies that go against those of the majority. I am not even going to go into the Health Care issue because that would be worth it if you Americans understood the shameful state of your "health system" compared to those of other advanced nations. But you don't so...keep watching Roseanne.

Nov. 02 2010 10:31 PM
Swami from NYC

"In the 40 years between 1968 and 2008, US GDP grew by 16 times, ($900B to $14.5T), average wages grew only six times ($3.04/hr to $18/hr). $30/hr in wages went to the upper quintiles rather than the middle class."

Ummmm..... You forgot to account for the fact that the labor force grew by about 2.25 times. 2.25 x 6 = 13.5, which is 84% of 16. So by your own figures, 84% of economic growth over those years went to wages. That pretty much shreds your thesis. Epic Math Fail on the part of the Democrats. Just like all the other "it was the fault of the GOP" whines- not reality based at all.

Nov. 02 2010 01:26 PM
Karol from NYC

I'm sorry you all don't hold your president accountable for the spike in unemployment since he took office. I thought the buck stopped with him?

Nov. 02 2010 12:47 PM
Jack Jackson from Central New Jersey

Wrong again, Karol. Blaming the GOP and Bush for the Great Recession and the unemployment caused by it is not just a case of 'Blame Bush'. It's historically accurate.

Poppy and Bar's little boy gave us a tax cut but didn't cut programs, thereby ensuring that deficits would grow. He engaged the country in two wars neither of which were properly funded. He let the SEC leave unregulated investment banking as they crossed the line into insurance and options on insurance. He let naked speculation in oil futures drive up gas to $4/g and let it stay there. The wreckage created by Little George is going to take more than 2 years to clean up. It wasn't just another recession.

Now does Obama do everything right? Of course not but the Democrats appear to be filling in the hole and not deepening the crater.

In the 40 years between 1968 and 2008, US GDP grew by 16 times, ($900B to $14.5T), average wages grew only six times ($3.04/hr to $18/hr). $30/hr in wages went to the upper quintiles rather than the middle class. Fix that and the deficit will fix itself.

Nov. 02 2010 10:45 AM
landless from Brooklyn

What are this woman's qualifications? Like all public relations consultants (a phrase that used to be an insult) she can turn a phrase, but she has no insight or depth. I do hope WNYC takes advantage of the unemployment rate and hires a better columnist.

Nov. 01 2010 11:03 PM
Victoria Sant

Wow. The Bush policies worked? The middle class is getting a tax hike? No matter how often you repeat misinformation, it doesn't make it true. The "bailout" was money loaned, mostly paid back now, at a profit. Virtually all serious economists agree (in about the same proportions as scientists on global warming) that government action was critical in preventing a totally collapsed economy: the result of Republican policies. Most by far say that the stimulus was not large enough; thus the slow recovery. The deficit CAN be reduced---JUST NOT RIGHT NOW. We don't scream about water damage while the firemen are still putting out the flames.

Nov. 01 2010 05:56 PM

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