June 16, 2011 at 8:00 pm EDT | by Peter Rosenstein
If Obama loses, it will be his own fault

President Obama needs an economic team that stops pushing policies mirroring Republicans or he just may be responsible for his own loss in 2012, which would be disastrous for the nation. We must push for progress on LGBT issues but it is his entire platform that will get him elected.

The philosophy that government should stop spending money in a recession has been proven wrong time and time again. Keynes, Krugman, other economists and even Ronald Reagan understood we need to deal with the deficit, but putting people back to work comes first.

Obama inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression. But unless he proposes policies that will create new jobs now he may be blamed for it. Republicans have hoodwinked people into thinking that cutting the deficit is more important than getting them back to work. We need to change that perception and Obama has one year to do something.

Because the economic mess was created by George W. Bush and Republicans it is disheartening to hear the Obama campaign say they haven’t decided on a theme. It seems simple, “Do you want to go back to the destructive policies of Bush, or continue our climb out of this recession into a better future?”

Democrats shouldn’t try to out-do Republicans by cutting government jobs, salaries and federal programs that help states and localities meet their budgets. Democrats must explain in simple language how we got into this mess and what’s needed today to get people back to work.

Obama should say: “In 2001 George Bush sold you a bill of goods. He said cutting taxes for the rich below what they were in the Clinton years would produce a gain of 5.5 million jobs. Now compare: in eight years Bush created fewer than 1 million new jobs, Bill Clinton created 21 million.

“The Bush Republican policies led to 10 percent unemployment. We are just beginning to climb out of that mess. George Bush started the war in Iraq and told us we didn’t have to pay for it. Only our brave young men and women in the military and their families are paying. We ended up with a trillion dollar deficit left to our children.

“George Bush and Republicans left you and me the worst economy since the Great Depression. We knew recovery wouldn’t be easy but together we are beginning that recovery. In the past year we added 2 million jobs, not nearly enough, but twice as many as President Bush added in the entire eight years of his presidency.

“Today the Republican Party wants to continue cutting taxes for the rich and give new tax breaks to companies like General Electric who owed zero in federal taxes last year. How much did you pay? Republicans have found a new way to cut the deficit on the backs of the poor and middle class. They want to end Medicare as you know it and instead help you pay with a voucher. They say “don’t worry, be happy” it won’t hurt seniors today, just those under 55. I don’t know about you but I care about the next generations. If our great nation can’t guarantee health care for its seniors we should be ashamed of ourselves.

“The Republican Party is holding you hostage. They threaten the good name of the United States of America by suggesting we default on our debts unless we cut federal programs for job training, education and others, which will eliminate the jobs of policemen, teachers and other workers who will then join you on the unemployment lines. The Republican motto should be “misery loves company.”

“Republicans sold you a bill of goods and still want to cut the deficit by putting more money in the hands of the rich, which will then trickle down in the form of jobs. There is a saying, “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me.”

“I want to cut the deficit. My way is to cut programs but continue to spend what is necessary to put you back to work now. When you are working, supporting your family, paying your taxes and mortgages the deficit will start coming down. The second part of my deficit reduction plan is to make the rich and corporations pay their fair share.”

To win in 2012 President Obama must lead. The people are longing for a strong leader and it clearly isn’t history buff Sarah Palin, passé Newt Gingrich, Holy Roller Rick Santorum, flip-flopper Mitt Romney or Tea Party Queen Michele Bachmann.

  • Name calling is beneath anyone, including you, Peter. Don’t forget that it was the Democrats who were in charge of Congress after the 2006 election – when the economy started to go south – and did nothing to stop it. Remember also that the Congress first passes legislation that the president signs. The Democrats provided lax oversight of Fannie and Freddie, and refused to join the GOP in enacting financial oversight and reign in entitlement/give-away spending. Bottom line: the Democrats share equally in having put us in this mess, especially with their astronomical spending since Obama became president. Why is that so hard for people to see and accept this and challenge themselves to put the country on a more prosperous approach? Obama’s inaction, and complete ignorance of fundamental economic principles, theories, and practices that will be his downfall.

  • How much longer are the Dems going to try to cling to George W. Bush as the bogeyman? If Obama inherited such a poor economy, then why didn’t he and the Democrats in charge of Congress do anything about it for two years? Now the complaint is that the GOP gets in the way, but why do the Dems talk a good fight but do nothing and continue to blame things on his predecessor? At what point will Obama man up and agree with the DNC chief that the Democrats own the economy, 9.1 percent unemployment and all? And if Obama is doing such a great job, then why did he start his re-election campaign 18 months before the next election? He should be fixing things instead of making it look like his top priority is to get re-elected regardless of the state of the country.

  • To which “destructive policies of Bush” do you refer — the massive deficits, the expansion of entitlements, and the discretionary federal spending that grew substantially faster under Bush than even under LBJ?

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