The Brett Kimberlin Saga:

Follow this link to my BLOCKBUSTER STORY of how Brett Kimberlin, a convicted terrorist and perjurer, attempted to frame me for a crime, and then got me arrested for blogging when I exposed that misconduct to the world. That sounds like an incredible claim, but I provide primary documents and video evidence proving that he did this. And if you are moved by this story to provide a little help to myself and other victims of Mr. Kimberlin’s intimidation, such as Robert Stacy McCain, you can donate at the PayPal buttons on the right. And I thank everyone who has done so, and will do so.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Shorter Obama: Prognosticating on the Economy is Above My Pay Grade!

I think that is a reasonable, albeit snarky, summary of what he said on 60 Minutes.  A lot of other people are focusing on Obama saying that he didn’t overpromise on the economy but right at the beginning is the part that left me stunned:

[Update: The video player was not playing the correct video.  I will try to find an alternate source.  In the meantime, you can watch the video at the Blaze.]

And in case you can’t watch the video, the Blaze has a good summary of the passage:

Still, he said the unemployment rate could drop to 8 percent before the general election in November.

“I think it’s possible,” Obama said, “But — I’m not in the job of prognosticating on the economy. I’m in the job of putting in place the tools that allow the economy to thrive and Americans to succeed.”

Well, then Mr. President, you did something that was above your pay grade.  And in doing so, you bet your ass you overpromised:

Once again, the lowest line is what your administration said would happen if we passed the stimulus.  The middle line is what they claimed would happen if we did nothing.  And that top squiggly line, is what has been happening despite—or perhaps because of—your stimulus.

And here are a few other examples of you prognosticating on the economy.  From the State of the Union, 2011:

Thanks to the tax cuts we passed, Americans’ paychecks are a little bigger today.  Every business can write off the full cost of new investments that they make this year.  And these steps, taken by Democrats and Republicans, will grow the economy and add to the more than one million private sector jobs created last year....

And in a few weeks, I will be sending a budget to Congress that helps us meet that goal.  We’ll invest in biomedical research, information technology, and especially clean energy technology -– (applause) -- an investment that will strengthen our security, protect our planet, and create countless new jobs for our people....

Over the next 10 years, nearly half of all new jobs will require education that goes beyond a high school education....

If we take these steps -– if we raise expectations for every child, and give them the best possible chance at an education, from the day they are born until the last job they take –- we will reach the goal that I set two years ago:  By the end of the decade, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world....

To help businesses sell more products abroad, we set a goal of doubling our exports by 2014 -– because the more we export, the more jobs we create here at home.  Already, our exports are up.  Recently, we signed agreements with India and China that will support more than 250,000 jobs here in the United States.  And last month, we finalized a trade agreement with South Korea that will support at least 70,000 American jobs....

And I could go on, and on, and on.  Indeed, let’s go on just a little more.  From the 2009 speech before congress (it’s not a State of the Union speech, but it is similar):

And tonight, I am grateful that this Congress delivered, and pleased to say that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is now law.  

[That’s what we commonly call the Stimulus.  –Aaron]

Over the next two years, this plan will save or create 3.5 million jobs.  More than 90% of these jobs will be in the private sector – jobs rebuilding our roads and bridges; constructing wind turbines and solar panels; laying broadband and expanding mass transit....

Still, this plan will require significant resources from the federal government – and yes, probably more than we’ve already set aside.  But while the cost of action will be great, I can assure you that the cost of inaction will be far greater, for it could result in an economy that sputters along for not months or years, but perhaps a decade.

And, well, you get the idea.  And to wander off topic for a moment, this passage from that speech seems especially relevant today:

I know there are some in this chamber and watching at home who are skeptical of whether [the stimulus]  will work.  I understand that skepticism.  Here in Washington, we’ve all seen how quickly good intentions can turn into broken promises and wasteful spending.  And with a plan of this scale comes enormous responsibility to get it right.

Yeah, well we know who turned out to be right about that.

The fact is, Mr. President, is that you sold us this crushing debt on your economic prognostications.  You promised that if we just blew a hole in our nation’s finances, that you would turn that into jobs.  Now for years I have said, when talking about some version of this chart...

...that there are only two explanations for that chart.  It means that either you stink at making predictions, or you are making it worse.  So now you are trying to tell us that it is the first explanation, that you stink at making predictions.  Fair enough, but that still means you have to stop trying to “help” the economy.  As Sarah Bareilles says, your help just hurts.  Because if you can’t predict the results of your actions, then you can never be sure you are helping.

I said it just the other day, but it bears repeating.  What we need at this point is a President who will take the Hippocratic Oath before attempting to treat our economic “body.”  Like Hippocrates, we need a president who understands first and foremost that he or she doesn’t know very much about the “body” that s/he is treating and therefore he or she must follow the maxim “first, do no harm.”  Admitting that you cannot predict the results of your actions is a great first step, Mr. President, but you need to follow that thread down to its logical conclusion: that you must stop your attempts to “intervene” in the economy.  The maxim “first, do no harm,” applied to the economy means that you don’t do something you know will hurt the “patient” on the hope (without proof) that the benefits will outweigh the harm.

Cut spending, lower taxes and don’t just settle for reducing the deficit.  That is nothing more than a reduction in the rate of increase of our debt.  If you are in car headed toward a cliff is it sufficient to slow down?  Or do you need to stop and go the other way?  Do those simple things that you know will help and let our free markets fix themselves.

And hey, let’s give the shout out to Steve Kroft at 60 Minutes for doing hard-nosed reporting by...  letting the President get away with these stunning statements apparently without asking tough questions or follow up.  Shouldn’t he be asking questions like:

You say it is not your job to prognosticate on the economy, but your administration has being doing so all along.  You sold the stimulus on the claim that it would prevent unemployment from rising above 8%.


You can’t tell me if the unemployment rate will be by election day 2012?  You were willing to make that projection when selling us the stimulus.   Indeed, according to this chart it was going to be under five and a half percent.  What changed since then?

Seriously, Steve, how does Obama’s boots taste?


Follow me at Twitter @aaronworthing, mostly for snark and site updates.

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