President Obama smacked down Republicans today by contrasting his record of economic success with the reality of their trickle down failures.
The president said:
Now, I want to return to the issue of the debate that we were having then because it bears on the debate we’re having now. It’s important to note that at every step that we’ve taken over the past six years we were told our goals were misguided; they were too ambitious; that my administration’s policies would crush jobs and explode deficits, and destroy the economy forever. Remember that? Because sometimes we don’t do the instant replay, we don’t run the tape back, and then we end up having the same argument going forward.
One Republican in Congress warned our policies would diminish employment and diminish stock prices. Diminish stock prices. The stock market has doubled since I came into office. Corporate profits are — corporate balance sheets are stronger than they have ever been — because of my terrible business policies.
One Republican senator claimed we faced trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. Another predicted my reelection would spike gas prices to $6.60 a gallon. I don’t know how he came up with that figure — $6.60. My opponent in that last election pledged that he could bring down the unemployment rate to 6 percent by 2016 — next year — at the end of next year. It’s 5.5 now. (Applause.)
And right here in Cleveland, the leader of the House Republicans — a good friend of mine —- he captured his party’s economic theories by critiquing mine with a very simple question: Where are the jobs, he said. Where are the jobs? I’m sure there was a headline in The Plain Dealer or one of the papers — Where Are the Jobs?
Well, after 12 million new jobs, a stock market that has more than doubled, deficits that have been cut by two-thirds, health care inflation at the lowest rate in nearly 50 years, manufacturing coming back, auto industry coming back, clean energy doubled — I’ve come not only to answer that question, but I want to return to the debate that is central to this country, and the alternative economic theory that’s presented by the other side.
Because their theory does not change. It really doesn’t. It’s a theory that says, if we do little more than just cut taxes for those at the very top, if we strip out regulations and let special interests write their own rules, prosperity trickles down to the rest of us. And I take the opposite view. And I take it not for ideological reasons, but for historic reasons, because of the evidence.
We know from the facts that are there for all to see that America does better, our economy does better, everybody does better when the middle class does better and we’ve got more ladders for people to get into the middle class if they’re willing to work hard. We do better when everyone grows together — top, middle, bottom. We do better when everyone has a chance not only to benefit from America’s success, but also to contribute to America’s success. And we know from more recent history that when we stray from that ideal it doesn’t turn out well. We’ve now got evidence there is a better way, there is a better approach. And I’m calling it middle-class economics.
For the first eight years of this century, before I came into office, we tried trickle-down economics. We slashed taxes for folks at the top, stripped out regulations, didn’t make investments in the things we know we need to grow. At the end of those eight years, we had soaring deficits, record job losses, an economy in crippling recession.
In the years since then we’ve tried middle-class economics. Today we’ve got dramatically lower deficits, a record streak of job creation, an economy that’s steadily growing.
President Obama demonstrated why Republicans are going to have a difficult time selling their ideas as good for the economy. None of the Republican ideas have changed. The same ideology that killed the Clinton economy by leading to an economic collapse is still being touted by the GOP today.
Obama’s rebuttal to the Republicans can be summed up as we’ve been there, done that, and all we got was a lousy recession.
It was nice to see this president taking a small measure of credit for the growing economy. A consistent criticism of the Obama White House has been that they have not taken enough credit for their accomplishments. President Obama went beyond reminding people of what he has achieved. The president also contrasted his economic record with what came before him under George W. Bush. The Bush economic record is still relevant because Republicans are putting out budgets that are based on the same ideology that Bush failed with during his time in office.
Obama delivered a heaping spoonful of bitter reality to the Republicans. Every single one of their predictions were wrong. The Republican economic ideology is a failure, and Obama’s successes demonstrated once again that middle-class economics will always triumph over the great trickle down fraud.