June 21, 2011
NYC Letter: The Obama Economy, Part X -- Punchlines
Day 882 of CHOPE
At a recent DNC fundraiser Mr. Obama eased into his reelection theme with a few bullet points and a few jokes.
And so as a consequence, we had to do some things that we didn’t expect we would have to do, just to save the economy -- stabilize the financial system, make sure that states and local governments didn’t have to lay off police officers and cops and firefighters. We had to save an auto industry. I never expected to be a automobile executive. (Laughter.)
As a consequence of that swift, decisive, and sometimes difficult period, we were able to take an economy that was shrinking by about 6 percent and create an economy that is now growing, and has grown steadily now over many consecutive quarters. Over the last 15 months we’ve created* over 2.1 million private sector jobs. (Laughter.)**
Ah, that last line wasn't a joke, folks. [Pause.] Oh. Wait. Yes it was.
May 6, 2011 (Zero Hedge) - Today's BLS of 244K is great... until you exclude the 62K from McDonalds hirings, and 175K from the Birth Death Adjustment, and end up with.... +7K jobs.
Maybe people feel obliged to laugh when Mr. Obama discusses the economy. A polite titter to mask that awkwardness between the super improving job-driven economy Mr. Obama takes credit for and the miserable Obama economy the rest of us live in.
A SHOVEL-UNREADY PRESIDENT
By Jonah Goldberg
OP-ED June 17, 2011 (RCP) - 'Shovel-ready was not as . . . uh . . . shovel-ready as we expected," Barack Obama joked the other day at a meeting of his Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
... In a New York Times Magazine profile last October, the president admitted he had to learn the hard way that there's "no such thing as shovel-ready projects."
This is a staggering indictment of the president, the team he assembled, and the journalists who accepted this administration's arrogant assertions that they knew exactly what to do, how to do it, and what would happen as a result. Remember, this is the administration that to this day insists it is "pragmatic" and simply cares about "what works."
"I think we can get a lot of work done fast," President-elect Obama said shortly after a gathering of governors in December 2008. "All of them have projects that are shovel-ready, that are going to require us to get the money out the door."
Jared Bernstein, economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden - the White House's point man on the stimulus - said in a cable-news interview in February 2009:I think what people need to understand is that this really isn't rocket science.
Spend a bundle on public works projects and - boom - you get a lot of people working.
They were wrong.
They were wrong not just about the effect of infrastructure spending - even an analysis by the Associated Press found no evidence unemployment was significantly improved by the Recovery Act's public-works projects - but they were wrong about the existence of shovel-ready jobs in the first place. (They were also misleading, since only a tiny, tiny fraction of the stimulus went to any infrastructure at all. The bulk went to social programs.)
... The point is that the president and his team came into office insisting that they were on top of things and above mere ideological considerations. When confronted with skepticism about the existence of "shovel-ready" projects, they in effect rolled their eyes and scoffed at the backseat drivers.
But they were the ones who were blinded by ideology. One need not be an ideologue to understand that public-works contracting has become bloated and inefficient. Indeed, one must be an ideologue of a certain kind not to understand that. Or one has to be incredibly naive. Or both.
When Mr. Goldberg says naive, he is being ever so nice about not saying
All the while, the White House tries to spin its agenda as something it's not.
For instance, you know where this jobs-council meeting took place? At Cree Inc., an LED lightbulb maker. Under the supposedly jobs-boosting stimulus, Cree received $5.2 million. According to Recovery.gov, that $5.2 million created 3.02 jobs. That's $1,716,171 per job.
There's a funny joke in there somewhere, but I don't think Obama wants to tell it.
Here's another joke:
At Cree, you’re putting people back to work in a field that has the potential to create an untold number of new jobs and new businesses right here in America -– and that’s clean energy. ... We invested in this company with a tax credit that allowed you to boost capacity and lower costs and hire hundreds of new workers.
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT CREE, INC.
DURHAM June 13, 2011 (White House)
At a plant opening in Huizhou City, China, Cree CEO Chuck Swoboda bragged more than half the company's employees live and work in China. Ha. Thanks for the stimulus bucks.
Oh, yes, Debbie. Yes you do.
The DNC chair's signature quote will be our sign-off on all posts on the Obama economy through January 21, 2013 when the Obama economy will be "inherited" by a generic Republican.
It's the Obama economy. No joke.
* Brave Mr. Obama. He is no longer hiding behind the "created or saved" dodge.
** Credit to the White House Office of the Press Secretary for including the parenthetical laugh-track in the official transcript.
UPDATE 06.22.11: The official legend has no laugh miscues. Yesterday's laughter is today's applause.
June 21, 2011 (Politico) - The Drudge Report Tuesday morning cheekily linked to an official White House transcript of President Obama's remarks from a fundraiser the night before, which noted the audience laughing at his jobs claims.
"Over the last 15 months we’ve created over 2.1 million private sector jobs. (Laughter.)" said Obama per the transcript, emailed to reporters Monday night at around 11:30 p.m.
It did seem a little strange -- because why would Obama supporters laugh at job creation? But the matter prompted some informal wagering within the press corps on the over-under for how long it would take the White House to put an end to the laughter -- especially after the link appeared at the top of the heavily trafficked Drudge site.
At 4:04 p.m. on Tuesday, the corrected transcript appeared: Laughter changed to applause, and noted with an asterisk. The White House declined comment on the record.
No, the asterisk is now gone. No need to explain. It's only keystrokes.
And Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia, has it not? Watch the dial.Posted by Damian at June 21, 2011 11:45 PM