With the regimented applause and witty comebacks that assailed the State of the Union Address behind us, this seems like a great opportunity to clarify one basic point. Regarding this president, his ideology, his administration and the oft touted economy of which he so boldly speaks when he reminds us how much he has helped the folks:
Economic progress made during the last 6 years has been IN SPITE of the actions taken by this progressive administration and those of similarly minded disposition. However, arrogance knows no shame. While the policies have been detrimental, the administration still waves the banner of success.
In 2012 the president stated, “First of all, we are drilling,” he said. “Under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. That’s a fact. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs to a record high. I want everybody to listen to that — we have more oil rigs operating now than ever.” This is so misleading that Webster’s is now using this quote as the number three definition for the word “demagogue”. Fuelfix.com rates this as “half-full”, partially accurate or, in more direct terms, DISHONEST.
As noted here, “Oil production on federal lands — those under the president’s control — fell 6 percent since 2009, according to the federal Energy Information Administration, while production on private lands increased 61 percent.” So while the feds (which means the executive branch, which means the president) have limited, denied or otherwise halted permits for drilling on the land that they control, drilling on property where they have no jurisdiction (because of that pesky Constitution) has risen. This PRIVATE SECTOR success has been co-opted by the administration. A sort of have your oil and eat it too.
Last fall the president was repeating this gem of sophistry: “We’ve created more jobs in the United States than every other advanced economy combined since I came into office.” Now, when the entire world of advanced economies is going through an, huh-hemm, “Economic Downturn”, growth in jobs created is generally a good thing. But comparing the two economies, saying that ours is going better than theirs, does not make our growth substantial. It just makes it less bad. Bloombergview.com has this on Europe, “since the global financial crisis of 2008, the U.S. and the U.K. have seen output grow more slowly than in previous recoveries. That’s nothing to boast about. Still, six years on, gross domestic product is higher in both countries than it was at the pre-crisis peak. Europe’s output remains 2.4 percent below that benchmark. And the gap isn’t closing. All three of the euro area’s biggest economies — Germany, France and Italy — are failing. Germany’s output actually fell in the second quarter. So did Italy’s, for the second consecutive quarter. (Whether this is a new recession for Italy or a continuation of the old one is debatable.)” Doing better that Europe is not an accomplishment, it is the bare minimum in order to avoid catastrophe.
Misdirection is a regular game for this administration. Whenever the new unemployment numbers come out, some spokesman regales us of the great news that unemployment has fallen. However, as usual, that’s not the whole story. It is the dishonest, half-full, half truth. In reality, these numbers do not account for people who are working in underemployed, part-time jobs or those who have simply given up looking for work altogether, which has been on ongoing epidemic. Politifact notes, “the idea that long-term unemployed Americans are increasingly leaving the labor force is supported by an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data by FiveThirtyEight.com’s Ben Casselman. The data led him to conclude that “the share of the long-term jobless who are giving up their job searches has been rising steadily, even as the job-finding rate has remained largely flat. This puts a damper on the notion, stated by Obama, that “we’ve put more people back to work” in recent years.” In the end, Politifact says, “we rate Obama’s claim Half True.”
It is common knowledge that if it walks and talks like a duck then it probably is one. Politicians are the poster-people for deception and finesse when it comes to communicating with the people. But this guy was supposed to be different. The most transparent president ever, healing our ills while the ocean tides recede. Instead, we have a president who plays both sides against the middle, supporting policies that limit growth while still claiming victory when Americans find success despite his actions. He takes credit for the work that he has sought to hamper, that the folks who are still working have accomplished.
Just check your common sense at the door and everything will be as sunny as a day on a Hawaiian golf course. The economy is better, when compared to terrible economies. Jobs and production have risen, when you don’t count the jobs and production that have quit entirely. Looking through the opaque lenses of the Glasses of Politicity grants the viewer the necessary tunnel vision to accept the logic of a leader who has intentionally misled his people.
After all, if his infallible policies aren’t infallible, what does that say about the state of our union six years later?
And more personally, if someone ties your hands and then takes credit for your work, how much longer would you have the spirit to go on?