Obama offers a long, hard road that need not be taken

In accepting the nomination of his party last night, Obama proclaimed:

“I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy. I never have. You didn’t elect me to tell you what you wanted to hear. You elected me to tell you the truth. And the truth is, it will take more than a few years for us to solve challenges that have built up over decades. It will require common effort, shared responsibility, and the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.”

Just what we need, the persistent experimentation that Roosevelt pursued, and caused the Great Depression to last seven years longer than necessary.

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That was the conclusion of economists Harold Cole and Lee Ohanian, writing in The Wall Street Journal in 2009.

They argue that the country was on the road to healthy recovery in 1933 and should have returned to normal by 1935, but have the damaging policies of the New Deal that suppressed competition, set prices and wages in many sectors well above normal.

The federal takeover of health care, energy, automaking and banking have had the same effect as the policies of Roosevelt, prolonging the recession and deepening the problem of joblessness.

Today it was announced that only 96,000 jobs were added this past month, well below the 150,000 needed to keep up with population growth. The unemployment rates ticked down from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent because 368,000 people gave up looking for work. Obama’s path was just too rough for them.

52 comments on “Obama offers a long, hard road that need not be taken

  1. Steve says:

    For those who have given up looking for Obamas path is a brick wall. 40 feet high.

  2. Athos says:

    Jimmah Carter’s lost 2nd term.

  3. nyp10025 says:

    Oh gosh. Cole & Ohanian. Very discredited stuff:

    “Though not wrong in every detail, the version of events offered by Cole and Ohanian is still a shocking distortion of what happened before FDR took office in March 1933. In particular, although Cole and Ohanian are correct that the trough of the Great Depression was reached in July 1932, when the Industrial Production Index stood at 3.67, rising to 4.15 in October, an increase of about 13%, they conveniently leave out the fact that there was a double dip; industrial production was flat in November and started falling in December, the Industrial Production Index dropping to 3.78 in March 1933, barely above its level the previous July. And their assertion that deflation continued during the recovery is even farther from the truth than their description of what happened to industrial production. When industrial production started to rise, the Producer Price Index (PPI) increased almost 1% three months in a row, July to September, the only monthly increases since July 1929. The PPI resumed its downward trend in October, falling about 9% from September 1932 t0 February 1933, at the same time that industrial production peaked and started falling again.
    “The misrepresentation perpetrated by Cole and Ohanian only gets worse when they describe what happened during the period of true recovery, April through July 1933. Contrary to their assertion, deflation stopped in February 1933, the PPI hitting its low point of 10.3. Prices began to rise as soon as FDR suspended the gold standard shortly after taking office in March (not June as Cole and Ohanian mistakenly assert) 1933, the PPI rising to 11.9 in July (an increase of about 14% over February) when industrial production hit a peak of 5.95, 57% above the March low point.”

  4. Bruce Feher says:

    Anyone buying this BS is a fool and there seems to be no shortage of fools out there. Folks, if EITHER party had a clue as to what needed to be done don’t you think they would have done it by now. Get the DAMN government out of the way and unleash the people!

  5. Vernon Clayson says:

    There’s no truth in Obama, his entire life is a lie, his angry wife’s story of his and her life is a lie and I liked Bill Clinton’s lies about his own debauchery better than his BS about Obama. Clinton has aged a bit but he still can pull off that phony sincerity in speech, hell, he could have conjured up an appeal for Romney’s family values if it would have paid him more money. nyp10025 comparing the 1930s is more BS, it’s a completely different time because we are a completely different society, out of work people in the 30s actually sought work of any kind, welfare was only a desperate fallback, not a way of life.

  6. Athos says:

    Bruce, Vernon, and to a perverted aspect, even petey are framing the true question. FDR expanded the role of the federal government like NO ONE before him. His mission was to have people start to turn to DC for the solutions to their problems. And what a start! LBJ, Nixon (yes Nixon!), and Carter intensified the quest. Compassionate Conservatism (even with the BEST intentions) further aided, and now we have the “Chosen One” to seal the deal.

    And let’s not forget Congress after Congress providing a blizzard of new rules, regulations, taxes, and corruption; and the part they’ve done in our march to Communism.

    The true question is will we have a Big All Encompassing Central Planner Government or Individual Liberty and Freedom LIMITED government?

    I’m not fully on board with Mittens being the champion of the latter, but I know FULL WELL the Big Ø is the flag bearer for the former!

  7. Vernon Clayson says:

    Athos, take him or leave him, Mr. Mitchell is a voice of reason, nyp10025 is at best a mocking echo who surely sees even the red in a sunset as a sign of the progressives success. We all fool ourselves if we believe that Obama alone is guiding this ship, rich and powerful people pull his strings; he has dozens of czars that are the lobbyists for those rich and powerful people and their interests, they give Obama and also the corrupt Congress and the media their script. Individual liberty is a myth, we only have a small measure of liberty after we comply with the laws, rules, and regulations that govern us. It is entirely beyond me how Obama, basically a common street hustler that we still have no official credentials for, has any support at all against Romney, a seasoned experienced politician and businessman that we have full knowledge of, it’s like Eisenhower planning D-Day against the wisdom and experience of a military recruit on his first morning in basic training…not that Obama would ever have qualified for American military training.

  8. Obama could not get a security clearance, Vernon.


  9. Vernon Clayson says:

    With what is known of him he couldn’t get hired in the most menial job in a government office at any level. And to add some levity who in the hell would he list for references, Harry Reid, that’s a laugh, Harry would have nothing to do with Obama in any circumstance after his presidency ends. I had a top secret clearance in the Air Force a long time ago, it was exacting and I’m sure it’s even more stringent now, where would they start with him? I suppose they could start with his books that seemed to be record enough for government leaders at state and federal levels but books sure don’t meet military standards. Four years and counting and we still haven’t seen any official record of anything he claims.

  10. Milty says:

    Additional excerpts from David Glasner’s blog “Uneasy Money” regarding the Cole and Ohanian piece in the WSJ (partially quoted above by Nyp):

    “Nevertheless, not everything Cole and Ohanian say is wrong. They properly criticize New Deal policies that slowed down the spectacular recovery from April to July 1933 to almost a crawl. What stopped April to July recovery almost in its tracks? The answer is almost certainly that FDR forced his misguided National Industrial Recovery Act through Congress in June, and by July its effects were beginning to be felt.” Does Nyp concur with this statement of Mr. Glasner’s? If so, can we correctly infer that he has no issue with Mr. Mitchell’s statement that “the country was on the road to healthy recovery in 1933 and should have returned to normal by 1935, but have the damaging policies of the New Deal that suppressed competition, set prices and wages in many sectors well above normal”?

    At another point in his blog entry, Mr. Glasner decries the NIRA’s policy of “forcing up nominal wages in the face of high unemployment.” Does Nyp concur with Mr. Glasner’s statement? If so, does he also repudiate the position in the 2012 Democratic Party platform that calls for an increase in the minimum wage, even with unemployment still above 8%?

    Can Nyp explain the difference between Mr. Glasner’s denunciation of the NIRA and Mr. Mitchell’s denunciation of “The [current] federal takeover of health care, energy, automaking and banking”?

    Mr. Glasner states that “monetary policy can be effective with little or no fiscal stimulus.” Does Nyp concur with this? If so, has he ever been opposed to any recent federal stimulus plans?

  11. Milty says:

    “I won’t pretend the path I’m offering is quick or easy. I never have.”

    A week before taking office, President Obama’s economics team projected that the unemployment rate today would be around 5.0% if Congress passed the $700B stimulus package that he proposed.

    Putting aside the question of “Are we better off today than we were four years ago?” another question would be to assess the promises made by this administration during the period 2009-10 when the same party controlled both house of Congress along with the Presidency and ask ourselves, “Why should we give this man another four years when he hasn’t come close to delivering on the promises he’s made in the past four years?”

  12. A one-term proposition, Milty?


  13. Athos says:

    Excellent point of view, from your link, Tom. I agree.

  14. IBD reached a similar conclusion today, Athos.


    But while everyone was picking apart these and other flaws in Obama’s speech, they overlooked the most frightening line of all. That was when Obama promised that he’d pursue “the kind of bold, persistent experimentation that Franklin Roosevelt pursued during the only crisis worse than this one.”

    That promise might have made liberal hearts swoon. But as Amity Shlaes explained in her outstanding history of the era — “The Forgotten Man” — it was precisely FDR’s “bold, persistent experimentation” that was largely to blame for the length, depth and severity of the Great Depression.

    Convinced that the government had to do something, FDR tinkered and experimented, she said, figuring that if he didn’t “get it right the first time … maybe he’d get it right the second time.” But the very arbitrariness of FDR’s actions, she found, made it impossible for businesses to make plans. And so, as FDR’s bold experiments increased, business activity decreased and markets froze.


  15. Milty says:

    Oh my God, no, you’ve linked to an article that quotes Amity Shlaes. Nyp’s probably already going hysterical. I can’t wait to read his response to this one.

  16. His head will explode.


  17. Milty says:

    One of the interesting parts of Ms. Schlaes’ book concerns the tax evasion trial of Andrew Mellon, a rich businessman who had been the treasury secretary under Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover.

    The FDR administration brought charges against Mellon for failing to pay sufficient taxes. However, Mellon broke no law. He was put on trial merely for being rich. The funny part is that FDR himself paid a whopping $31 in federal income taxes in 1932.

    Sound similar to a certain senator from Searchlight attacking a presidential candidate and demanding to see his tax returns?

  18. Show us your tax returns, Harry, so we can see if you are paying taxes.


  19. Athos says:

    Harding was the best president in the 20th century. AND Andrew Mellon was a huge part of that success.

  20. Steve says:

    Harry only wants the Romney tax returns so HE can figure out to pay as little as Romney does!

  21. nyp10025 says:

    That is probably right. We all would like to pay as little as Romney does. For instance, how did he manage to put $21 million in an IRA?

  22. Steve says:

    Hey! Romney pays a bunch MORE that I do!

  23. nyp10025 says:

    makes a bit more as well, although no one knows for sure, since he won’t release the sorts of financial information that every presidential nominee releases.

  24. Milty says:

    Bain Capital is a good investment, Nyp. If you don’t believe me, go ask the people who run the Nevada Public Employees Retirement System.

  25. Romney has released closed to the same as most modern candidates.


  26. nyp10025 says:

    that is completely untrue. Let’s go to the record. Bob Dole released 30 years of returns. John Kerry released 20 years. Bill Clinton and George Romney (hmmm) released 12. George W. Bush released nine, Al Gore eight. Obama and Hillary Clinton released seven years. Dukakas released six.

    Then again, none of them had Swiss bank accounts and Cayman Island shell corporations.

  27. Steve says:

    With only one exception, all of those examples, Nyp, are government made persons.

    Only government can provide good things….message is clear.

    I will take the private sector career successful person over the government made person with happy aplomb.

  28. Rincon says:

    If Romney subscribes to trickle down economics, which I think he does, then his tax returns are moot. If his taxes are low, it’s merely because he’s taken advantage of the kinds of policies that he advocates.

    As for Obama’s liberal policies failing to create new jobs, I don’t support many of them, but couldn’t the same argument be used to claim that 8 years of Bush-Republican policies destroyed more jobs than Obama is failing to create? With this logic, Bush and the Republicans look much worse than Obama and his Democrats. These arguments may have some validity, but why are they being employed so selectively.

  29. Athos says:

    It’s all about cradle to grave government dependence (then who cares what the IRS has on you!) vs individual responsibility, smaller LIMITED government, freedom and liberty (where it’s NONE of the governments BUSINESS what I make!)

    And why do you leftist Utopians ignore the Polousy/Reid take over of Congress in 2007 coinciding with the beginning of the recession?

    Same trick with Slick Willy getting all the credit for a robust economy AFTER the Republican take over in ’95.

    Republicans spend money. Democrats spend money on steroids! We need politicians that won’t spend (and steal) our money.

  30. Milty says:

    Remarks by FDR’s Treasury Secretary Morgenthau to the House Ways and Means Committee in 1939:

    “We have tried spending money. We are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work.”

    “I want to see this country prosperous. I want to see people get a job. I want to see people get enough to eat. We have never made good on our promises.”

    “I say after eight years of this Administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started. … And an enormous debt to boot!”

    I sure hope I don’t have to listen to Tim Geithner making similar remarks in 2015.

  31. Athos says:

    If and when any justice is done in this country, Turbo tax Timmy will be in jail. Along with Corzine, Holder, Reid, Pelousy, Rangel, Reid, ah shucks. It’s too late and there’s too many to list tonight.

  32. nyp10025 says:

    I think I understand Steve’s point: If you have Swiss bank accounts and Cayman offshore investments you shouldn’t have to disclose your finances if you are running for President. However, if you aren’t a super-rich guy, you must disclose.

  33. George Bush and Jimmy Carter three and Gerald Ford none.


  34. Steve says:

    If one is a successful person, then yes its a good thing and should be applauded not mocked, Nyp.

    In fact Romney may be the first successful person to decide a leadership role in politics is worth all the crap that comes along with the effort. The crap like you and your libby friends are handing out on a regular basis and the crap the conservatives gave him too.

    Thing is Romney is a smart, private career success. For as long as I can remember its been career politicians who climb to the top and as long as I can remember people I have talked with have all said the same things. We need a person from outside government but anyone smart enough to make it in the private sector is also smart enough to know its a rock throwing contest and he (or she) would be the main target. So, being successful, why bother?

    We finally have one who has a skin thick enough to take the crap and make the run.

    So, yes, all the good and the bad, I will vote Romney.

  35. Vernon Clayson says:

    It’s all humbug, the progressives demand tax returns from their opponents and ask nothing of Obama, his books which may or may not have been written by him, provide all they need/needed to know about him. Where do I find the seven years of Obama’s tax returns that nyp10025 says he released? Where do I find his birth certificate, draft registration, social security application, school records, his citizenship papers and his application to practice law?

  36. nyp10025 says:

    You find his tax returns and birth certificate on the internet.
    The other stuff you will find in the same place where you find equivalent documents for Romney. Have you looked there yet?

  37. nyp10025 says:

    For Thomas Mitchell, “most modern [presidential] candidates” = Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush.

  38. Rincon says:

    Athos said that “Republicans spend money. Democrats spend money on steroids”. I have to take issue with that. I think they’re equally bad. Let’s look at the record:

    Federal government spending increased by 10% a year under Reagan, 7.5% a year under G.H.W. Bush, 3.7% a year under Clinton, and 8.4% a year under G.W. Bush. Although Obama’s term isn’t finished, he will go down as spending a huge amount. The debate is whether it was justified because of the recession, but it does have to be considered a special circumstance.

    From 1989-1995, the Democrats dominated Congress and government spending rose 4.7% a year. From 1995-2007, the Republicans dominated Congress and government spending rose 6.1% a year, which is 29% greater than under the Democrats.

    I’m not saying that the Democrats spend any less, but with these numbers, I find no evidence at all that Republicans spend less than Democrats.

  39. Athos says:

    Point well taken, Rincon. I am a registered Republican (surprise!) There is no small amount of shame in how my party has distorted the “small, less intrusive” government in favor of their brand of essential “goodies” (as long as someone else pays for ’em)

    Nixon gave us the EPA for goodness sake! And Jorge had his medicare plan B whatever free drug giveaway (goes with the compassion gobbly gook). SMALLER GOVERNMENT! STARVE THE BEAST THRU LOW TAXATION!

    ‘Course, that don’t work, they just print up more.

    Term limits? How about opening 2 big stores in every capitol? One sells tar. The other sells feathers!

  40. Rincon says:

    Athos, it’s too bad that I read your other reply first, saying that my “revisionist history” is straight from the Communist playbook. I thought you were disputing my facts and so, asked you for the alternative. In truth, I suspect that we are in agreement on more than we realize.

    I’m sure that I have more liberal goals than yours, but I prefer to use conservative methods to attain them, minimizing the power of government needed to accomplish the mission. I have a minor, but illustrative example if you’ll bear with me.

    You may recall that the Feds recently banned incandescent light bulbs. Ban them??? Give me a break. They’re just light bulbs. Problem is, just as with the old building I used to rent with one inch of insulation, people often need a nudge to do the smart thing (If that wasn’t true, we would be a slimmer nation).

    As with the insulation, those old bulbs were costing us a fortune in the long run, but were cheaper short term. I’m all right with the government promoting the use of CFL bulbs, but why not just tax the incandescent bulbs so they cost a tad more than the CFL’s? That reduces the human stupidity factor in bulb purchases, but allows freedom for those that object to the CFL’s.

    So, liberal goals with conservative means. Not perfect perhaps, but better than the Democrats.

  41. Steve says:

    Get LED’s Rincon. More cost efficient and no Mercury gas.

    Ebay has a bunch of good choices. Beats the prices at the home store.

  42. Rincon says:

    I may buy my first LEDs, but I’m having trouble finding what I need – a 150 watt equivalent. Do you know of any that are that bright?

  43. Steve says:

    Divide by ten, usually comes close. 15 watts in your case. Look for warm white. Comes closest to the yellow we are used to.


  44. Steve says:

    Are you looking for outdoor security lights? I found 2, 10 watt spots were fine, equal to 100w halogens I used to have.


  45. Rincon says:

    Thanks for the info. I plan to use them to illuminate a sign. It now has standard sockets for incandescent bulbs. I have CFL’s in it now, but the bulbs are a pain to change because it’s about 30 feet high. Efficient long-lived bulbs would be very welcome, but anything less than a 150 watt equivalent would be too dim.

  46. Steve says:

    I would try them as the CFL’s wear out. Keep in mind the kelvin temperature cannot be guaranteed but will mix from a distance. Kind of like LED billboards do.

  47. Steve says:

    Couple pictures of my LED spots.

    I used to have 100 watt halogens in place of these. I got about one year from the bulbs on average. These have been up for three years and not one climb on the ladder for service. I have replaced 200 watts consumption with 20 watts. The money is noticeable. The ladder gets used in other places.

    Since then I have slowly replaced almost all my interior lighting with LED, its not perfect and I will be changing some of the lamps but overall its been a very good move. They run cooler than CFL and way cooler than incandescant or halogens. A good thing in the desert but a bad thing in cold climates. The savings makes up for it after the initial costs. You will probably run into a few failures in the numbers you plan on using to light a sign but over time it will pay off.

  48. Rincon says:

    I think I’ll buy one and see how it fits in. Thanks Steve.

  49. Steve says:

    Don’t just look at my finds, use them as a starting point, Rincon.

    Know this, when things work for all of us (conservatives, liberals, environmentalists, at all) the path is a good one.

  50. […] Foundation fellow Stephen Moore has an interesting — and all too familiar — lede on one of his two columns posted online […]

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