"None of them knew the color of the sky" is the first line of the Stephen Crane short story "The Open Boat" about four men crowded in an overloaded dinghy on rough seas. The men are so intent on preventing their small boat from getting swamped, none of them has time to look up.
Much the same way, Ed Schultz is so busy shilling for Obama, he can't see the writing on the wall. (Audio after the jump)
Schultz said something on his radio show Friday that bolstered his well-earned reputation for ludicrous claims, describing the economy in such glowing terms that I consider it my obligation to warn readers against consuming any hot beverage while listening to what Schultz said (audio) --
CALLER: I'm really worried about 2014, you know, off-year election and Democrats are already, you know, singing the song, they're not going to come out to vote, they're not going to come out to vote. Well, I can see why.
SCHULTZ: Well, I think they are going to come out to vote. I think that, you know, this, in an off-year election in 2006, the Democrats took the House. Nancy Pelosi became the Speaker of the House. Now, there's been a lot of gerrymandering since then but, I mean, if you look at the historical chart, it's true, off-year elections aren't the best for Democrats. But Democrats, and the conditions of the country have changed a great deal. And I think that most fair-minded Americans don't feel like President Obama has been handled, been handed a fair deck, that he's had to overcome an awful lot of things. And the conservatives have been wrong on a lot of things. They've been wrong on the economy. They have not partaked (sic) in helping the economy and we've got 40-some odd months of private-sector job growth, 48 months. You got 8 million jobs added since the Great Recession, since January of 2009. Those are numbers. You've got an automobile industry that's turned around. Those are absolutes. And so, and you got corporate profits that are through the roof. The president has not gone after Wall Street nowhere near what most people thought. So the Republicans, and now the Republicans and the conservatives are wrong on health care. Look at the numbers. Look at the numbers! Look where we were, listen to the rhetoric of October and where is it now? You know, they need a helluva lot more than Karl Rove going on Fox playing around with a whiteboard trying to figure out where the country is. I'll tell you where the country is. The country's in line to make health care better and this is only a start. This is a great beginning. This is a really, a fantastic recovery and it just goes to show that the president knew all along where the country was. The president knew all along what the mood of the country was and what change was going to be about.
Since you love numbers so much, Ed, allow me to cite a couple more -- a 2.8 percent growth rate for the economy in 2012 ... followed by 1.9 percent in 2013. That's a slowing, not growing, economy. But by all means, keep touting this as a "fantastic" recovery. And don't let the guffaws that follow bring you down, really.
In a Feb. 6 post at the Heritage Foundation, Curtis S. Dubay and Stephen Moore rightly describe economic growth last year as "anemic." Moreover, this is "an alarmingly slow rate of expansion this far into the recovery, especially considering the economy has never had a breakout year of exceptional growth since the recession ended," they write. "Growth during the recovery has averaged 2.3 percent annually compared to over 4 percent during the average post-World War II recovery."
An actual "fantastic" recovery? The one that occurred 30 years ago, after a double-dip recession and the jobless rate spiking over 10 percent. But "at this stage of the post-1982 expansion," Dubay and Moore write, "the economy averaged 4.9 percent annual growth, with seven quarters exceeding 5 percent. In 1984, growth sprinted forward at a 7.3 percent clip, while the fastest growth rate for the current recovery has been 2.8 percent in 2012. (emphasis added) During the first four years of the post-1982 recovery, the economy created 11.6 million jobs. The current recovery has created just over 6 million."
Which is why few Democrats running for office this year will boast about the epic Obama recovery. The phrase itself would first have to enter the lexicon, at least beyond the environs of MSNBC, and without air quotes when stated.
On the bright side, have you noticed that fewer liberals are spouting their nonsensical claim about food stamps and jobless benefits as the most "stimulative" forms of spending? Perhaps they've decided, a la Schultz, that the economy is just so darn robust that it can't take more "stimulation."