From the YAL Twitter comes a link to this article, which notes that roughly ten months after taking office, the Obama administration still regularly resorts to blaming its predecessor for the country’s economic woes.
This sort of blame shifting is hardly surprising in politics in general, let alone the modern politics of blatant irresponsibility (AHEM — for very different reasons — Mssrs. Sanford and Bernanke), but what is a little odd is how well the White House is getting away with it:
They inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, or the economy turned out to be worse than they thought. Which is it? It can’t be both — unless your brain is completely addled by the Obama charisma.
Which indeed? I’d say that it can be both, but would add that that conclusion does neither Obama or Bush 2 any favors. It’s true that Obama inherited an awful economy because of years of horrific monetary and fiscal policy, but it’s also true that it turned out worse than predicted because…well…because he continued the exact same horrific monetary and fiscal policies.
This is yet another example of how meaningless is this “change” we’ve got ourselves. And though I disagree with this article that “[i]t can’t be both” the fault of the Bush administration and an unexpectedly slow recovery, it’s no exaggeration to say that these excuses are stretched to breaking point and the White House “in full campaign mode — maybe because it needs to mask the shortcomings of the Obama presidency.”
Nonetheless, Obama is right about one thing: The blame for our economy should be spread around. There are a (large) number of people who should share it: Greenspan, Bernanke, Bush, Obama, Paulson, and Geithner, to name a very few. That spreading should just be a little more even-handed, and little less partisan, or, to borrow one of Obama’s own favorite campaign promises, a little less based on “cynical and divisive politics.” Bipartisanship shouldn’t just be for getting bills passed. It should also be for admitting total failure.Published in