Monday, June 22, 2009

Joseph "Gaffemeister" Biden Enlightens America

Between June 14 and yesterday, VP Joe Biden has made several statements indicating that the Democrats either lied or distorted what they believed about the economy over the past eleven months. He also slipped a couple of times and referred to documents or studies which showed that what they said was nearly diametrically opposite from what their internal reports showed. Anything to win an election.

Biden's first, and biggest slip, was on June 14, 2009 when he appeared on NBC's Meet The Press. He claimed that nobody [in the Democratic policy committees] realized how bad the economy was at the time of the passage of the Obama stimulus package in February. Not only did the the Democrats know, but it is becoming apparent that they acted on their information in such a way as to make the situation even worse. And they not only knew how bad things were, but they deliberately started as early as June of 2008 (right after Obama had clinched the nomination) to promote tax rates which would provide a self-fulfilling prophecy of decreased revenue by "soaking the rich." In short order, Obama accused Americans who opposed tax increases during a stressed economy as "making a virtue out of selfishness." Biden himself suggested that it was unpatriotic to oppose tax increases to steady the economy.

Then, to frost the cake, they hauled out every economy-destroying plan in the liberal playbook. Radically reduce the use of fossil fuels, and make damned sure no more oil is found or used in American territory. Obama suggested that we could nearly solve the temporary problem by simply making sure our tires were inflated properly. Knowing who was actually responsible for banks being forced to lend mortgage money to un-creditworthy persons at profit-devouring low interest rates, they pointed the finger at bank regulators who helped greedy banks make loans that the banks knew the borrowers could never afford and would never pay. No reasonable explanation was ever given for why banks would want to shoot themselves in the foot voluntarily.

The Democrats knew exactly what the situation was throughout 2008. The only thing they miscalculated was how much damage their crazed plans would actually do. Obama even supported Bush's final major act of throwing good money after bad at the auto industry, knowing that it only opened the door for Obama's administration to do far more cash-burning while at the same time seizing unprecedented ownership in huge private enterprises. Never having owned or operated a business of their own, Obama, Biden, Pelosi and Reid set about "restoring public confidence" without ever realizing that all successful businesses start anticipatory downsizing and cost-cutting in the face of a recession.

Let's take a quick look at some Democratic actions and talking points in chronological order. First, let's deal with Biden's professed love for the little guy and distaste for big banking. In March of 2005, Biden was an enthusiastic supporter of "bankruptcy reform." Whom did he think that served, and whom did he think it hurt? Despite Biden's babbling about "credit abuse," the evidence didn't support any such thing. The rate of "abuse" has cycles, but hasn't changed appreciably in forty years. So the "cheater" gets less opportunity to run up debts intentionally, but the far larger number of persons who met with unforseeable financial crunches could no longer get out from under debts incurred through no fault of their own that would have little impact on the overall economy.

David Broder in the Washington Post reported that the banks were making huge profits from late charges and overlimit charges already, and now the poor debtor couldn't even stop that. This is about the time that Biden got the nickname "the Senator from MBNA (a major credit card grantor)." At the same time, Biden was actively sponsoring "asset protection trusts" which benefited only the very wealthy (and provide no tax revenue), while insisting that persons who fell into debt even as caregivers to ill or disabled family members or victims of identity theft "had to pay."

In late June of 2008, with Biden at his side, Obama made his "tune-up and tire inflation" speech demonstrating how we don't need no stinking oil (or at least a lot less of it). Jim Geraghty of National Review calculated the actual savings of those two items at about 100,000 gallons a day (about 3% of then-current useage) which is about one-third of the number of gallons of oil that could be produced daily if Congress would simply allow domestic oil production at already existing facilities. The best solution is domestic oil production and properly-inflated tires.

By October 31, 2008, Biden and his boss had honed their rhetoric down to saying that "John McCain and Sarah Palin call this socialistic (referring to the proposed tax increases). You know I don't know when, when they decided they wanted to make a virtue out of selfishness." I guess selfishness is only good for Biden's favorite banks, lobbyists, and trust-funders. In fact by then, Biden had spearheaded the bankruptcy reform which was now law that specifically rejected Republican-sponsored amendments to close those bank, lobbyist and overseas trust exemptions. Source: ABC News.

On December 19, 2008, again with Biden in tow, President-elect Obama made a major policy speech in which he claimed the problem to be larger than they had thought (now that the Democratic Congress had taken multiple measures to insure the crisis would get worse, including serious talk of trade barriers), but his magic solutions would solve that problem.

By June 5, 2009 Obama was claiming that pouring huge sums of taxpayer dollars into and taking over the operations directly or indirectly of mega corporations would result in an unemployment rate of 8.5% maximum by mid-June of 2009. Oops, it's at 9.4% and rising, despite one short dip in early June. Obama and Biden simply used the April figures (knowing the May figures were worse) and "postdicted" a result that was wrong the moment it was announced. Jeez--can't these guys even look at their own Labor Department figures?

By June 17, 2009, Republicans led by Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma) had released a report highlighting 100 examples of questionable stimulus projects totalling about $6 billion. Knowing exactly which programs they had over-sold and over-touted, the Democrats had a full point-by-point refutation of each project listed in the Republican report the same afternoon. As reported on RealClearPolitics, Biden's earlier report in mid-April had listed all of these projects as "enhancing the economy." In the rebuttal, fully one-third of the points made by Coburn were simply called "false" or "still under review." My favorite was $800,000 allocated for repaving a backup runway at John Murtha Airport ("still under review").

On the same day, Director Lawrence Summers of Obama's National Economic Council was repeating Biden's talking points about extensive regulation of everything financial as the means to prevent future financial crises. Each economic expert will be provided with his or her own personal crystal ball. In the Soviet Union, they called them "five year plans." As reported by Matthew Benjamin and Peter Cook in the Bloomberg Times, Summers mystifyingly stated "This problem was much more caused by what happened when institutions escaped the Fed's jurisdiction than it was by anything the Fed did." Huh? Knowing it to be untrue, Summers went on to say "The economy is in a very different place than it was three months ago, there's been a lot of normalization." Although if by "normalization" he means the biggest power grab of the economy by any government in American history, I guess he's right.

Finally back to Biden and Meet the Press. He added "we took the mainstream model as to what we thought--and everyone else thought--the unemployment rate would be." Not according to your boss, Joe. "The bottom line is that jobs are being created that would not have been there before." Jobs are not the issue, Joe. Jobs that improve the economy are the issue. And government-funded workfare along with new government employment hamstring the economy. That's not job creation, Joe. It's dependency-creation.

12 comments:

CrispyRice said...

Good article, with lots of good reminders about things I'd forgotten about. It makes my stomach turn thinking about all this. *sigh*

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, nice article, thanks! You certainly make a great case that they are lying to keep us happy, and that Biden doesn't know how to shut up. :-)

Writer X said...

I, for one, hope that "Don't Mess With Joe" Biden continues to gaffe his way across America for the next four years. I think my favorite so far pertains to the employment numbers. "We didn't know..." I don't think Biden knows much of anything.

patti said...

mmmmm, cake...

wait. my point is (you distracted me with frosting talk): who continues to believe in these posers?! good for mocking, but that's about it.

Tennessee Jed said...

I have felt like Joe Biden is a political gift to conservatives. It always amused me during the campaign when Democrats would complain about Governor Palin being inexperienced and a heartbeat from the presidency. Biden is proof positive experience can be overrated. It only works if it's good experience

LawHawkSF said...

Gang: I do sometimes wonder if Joe Biden wasn't a brilliant choice on the part of the Democrats. They all knew he was prone to saying outrageous things, including slipping and telling the truth from time to time. If the public doesn't react, they can keep on lying. If the public does react, they can say "that's just Joe" and change their strategy to deflect the public from getting honest information. Biden will always be Biden. As Al Gore said, "a leopard can't change its stripes."

StanH said...

Joe… I don’t know what in the Hell I’m talking about …Biden. He just loves to hear himself talk and if he can’t think of something to say he’ll borrow it and call it his own – wink-wink-nod-nod... He tells the truth as often as he’s in the Home Depot?

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk,

Good point. We should re-name him "Vice President Trial Balloon".

LawHawkSF said...

Andrew: Or "let's run him up the flagpole, and see if anybody salutes." Never mind, that won't work. Who in his right mind would salute Joe Biden under any circumstances?

BevfromNYC said...

Don't you mean "Vice President Trial Buffoon"?

AndrewPrice said...

Brilliant Bev, brilliant.

LawHawkSF said...

Bev: I second Andrew's comment.

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