John Boehner Says Defense Spending Is the Problem with the Economy. Awesome. – [UPDATED]
Okay, look. If Obama doesn’t now, finally, explain Keynesian economics to the general public, using actual facts–such as the reason for the economic contraction–and point out that Boehner & Co. either are ignorant of the facts or are willing to deliberately misinform the public about such a critically important matter, then he should resign and let Joe Biden explain it as president.
I mean it.
Obama did a stellar job a week before his inaugural address explaining the debt ceiling law and what “raising the debt ceiling” means–and that ti does not mean what the Republicans’ campaign of disinformation was saying it means. He should do the same now, on this.
Presumably, he’ll enlist as his chief speechwriter for his State of the Union address a speechwriter who understands how to easily explain Keynesian economics and the current “contraction” statistics. But, just as with his inaugural address, he should not wait until that speech to expose the Republican game plan for what it is: a concerted campaign to misinform the public about critical facts, knowing that the public will not know the accurate specifics, and aware that–as Thrush says, outright–the mainstream press will not sufficiently (or at all) apprise the public of those fact.
In other words: that Romneyism–the flagrant lying, con artistry, as the chief modus operandi–is now at the very heart of what the Republican Party is.
The public did catch on to Romney by the fall. And, thanks largely to Obama’s statements at his press conference on Jan. 14 abou the debt ceiling, they caught on to that, as well. And if Obama makes an effort to explain to the public basic Keynesian economics, and cites actual facts, actual statistics, about the fourth-quarter contraction, they’ll catch on this time, too. And, maybe, finally, to the fact that the Republicans have decided upon a strategy of fraud in order to disassemble the social safety network, including Social Security and Medicare.
In his State of the Union address, he’ll have an opportunity to finally educate the public about the actual causes of the Greek meltdown, of the actual effect of Tory austerity in Britain, of the actual cause of economic near-collapse in Spain, in Italy, in Ireland, in Iceland–and of the actual effect of the safety net in Germany, in Holland, and elsewhere. And maybe he’ll even take that opportunity. But the State of the Union address is two weeks away. And in responding to Boehner’s tweet at #spendingistheproblem, there’s no time like the present. Or at least like the next few days. Just as with the fiscal cliff and the debt ceiling, the Republicans’ political leverage, whether real or fanciful, will turn out to be ephemeral.
Unless Obama remains mute.
But as I say in my post, Obama shouldn’t wait the two weeks until the State of the Union address to begin making the point. Just as he didn’t wait a week until his inaugural address to explain to the public what “raising the debt ceiling” actually means–thus pulling the rug out from under Repubs’ disinformation campaign telling the public that it means increasing spending appropriations.
Sargent titles his post “Make strong case that spending cuts hurt economy, Mr. President!” (Amen.) He points out: that
But I think it’s a mischaracterization to describe that as a dilution of the Keynesian message. It’s actually an outright misrepresentation of economic fact; that’s why that statement has been so detrimental. And, if necessary, Obama should expressly acknowledge that this was misleading about economic fact, and then explain exactly why.
With subtraction from real inflation, the contraction is greater.
Economy needs to be more about production and less about consumption.
So, Romney’s oil-in-US project was one of the great ways to increase production to make up for falling stimulus of deficits.
Obama has not got a program to stimulate production. O’s actually against it, as we see in the Gulf and the bans on drilling on federal lands.
Here are some charts on real GDP loss because of inflation:
GO to globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2013/01/ten-reasons-for-declining-gdp-growth.html?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter
I appreciate your commenting here, Roy. But last fall, after the presidential debate in which Oil-in-US production was discussed, there was extensive discussion about it in the mainstream media and in the blogosphere, including here, citing statistics showing extensive increased Oil-in-US production during Obama’s administration.
I understand your legitimate interest here, but please understand that there are very strong countervailing environmental issues that it is critically important to address. I read very recently (I can’t remember where) that the U.S. will soon be the leading oil producer in the world, even while avoiding the increased economic risks of still more drilling. So it seems all the more in our country’s interest to continue on our current path.
“Economy needs to be more about production and less about consumption.”
That sounds like the cart and horse phenomenon. Yes, they need one another for anything worthwhile to happen, but once the cart is loaded up where does the horse fit in? And where that production takes place is another part of the issue. Produce all you want, but all yuou’ll have are goods and services loading up the cart if there are no horses waiting around to buy,err, I mean pull.
It is the role of the President and his advisors to understand and set in motion the best means by which any takd is accomplished. The Congress plays its role by reviewing the resulting policies before things get moving. Neither are very effective in making clear to the public why,what, where and how of any of the process as each has a vested interest in pushing their individual agendas, especially when thee is a significant difference of opinions.
Alexander Hamilton understood this very well and so the NY Evening Post was borne as a means to explain and promote the ideas of the Federalist Party following the electoral success of Jefferson and his political allies. Hamilton well understood that such promotion of ideas had to come from what would at least appear to be a third party perspective, the news media of the day. The political value of that belief was best displayed when William C.Bryant was the Editor of the paper in the years prior to the Civil War and became instrumental in fanning the flames of anti-slavery rhetoric. The NY Post was actually a well regarded newpaper at one point in its history.
The news media is letting us down in miserable fashion trying hard as it will to balance the ideas of two sides of all political issues regardless of the validity of one view or the other. The media have joined with the aristo/plutocrats. The Third Estate needs a rebirth of the Fouth Estate which seems to have morphed into a Fifth Column.
The second necessary part to improve production in the US is to confront China on its currency manipulation.
I say, Japan, China and all the rest.
Romney talked about this and Obama had talked about it in his first campaign.
Nothing has been done about it.
As for the oil, the increase in US oil/gas production is in spite of and not because of Obama’s policies.
Despite the Q4 GDP headlines the pentagon is obligating (booking new orders for weapons, supplies, and services) at FY 2012 rates, no concern for sequestration nor the impact of war spending on the rest of the economy. GDP measures items delivered and/or bills paid not ‘obligations’ or orders.
Military industry complex “billings” were down 22% Q3 over Q4, that is the “largest decline since 1972”, when the US was drawing down from Vietnam, similar to drawing down from Iraq and Afghanistan. (I have not seen whether the difference in economic measures from 1972 matters)
Reduced war spending is beneficial; it has a dismal multiplier and is serious opportunity cost to the economy, listening to Eisenhower, Seymour Melman and Frederic Bastiat.
Worse the “decline” is not reflected in diminsihing orders or “backlog” of future “billings” for the too expensive low performance military spending.
Cutting the military industry complex even at the puny 10% from the Budget Act sequestration is a good form of austerity to be done in larger measures than currently planned.
footnotes to comments:
beverly said: “I read very recently (I can’t remember where) that the U.S. will soon be the leading oil producer in the world”
& a note to roy: there was seven fold increase in oil drilling rigs in the US since 2009, but it has only produced about a 20% increase in oil production…
link also here…
I don’t argue that oil production is down. I argue that it is up in spite of Obama’s restrictions in the Gulf, the blocks on federal land, etc.
The general point is that trade deficits do count at some point. That point would be where you have begun to ship out your wealth faster than you create it with the net result of a poorer country.
Real populism understands that the sovereignty of the US is in play when we cannot or won’t secure our borders, our territory and we cannot pay our bills.
The internationalization of business is behind this and it has meant that the GOP, the party of Big Biz, does not support the very things necessary to keep the US itself solvent and functional.
Combining that with the internationalist policies of the left, more concerned about the working class of other countries, and you get the present situation where our working class, our middle class essentially has nowhere to go to press its case. OCare and keeping the entitlement spending on full-tilt while the Fed prints up a lot of “fresh, new” money is supposed to take away the anxiety about the future with a democrat “iron rice bowl”, as it were, but to no avail.
Only Wall St can play with the Fed cash running up another speculative bubble as another round of suckers get taken.