Howard Fineman: Obama's Economic Policies 'Saved The Day'

Despite unemployment sitting at 9.5 percent and over 3 million jobs lost since this President was inaugurated, Newsweek's Howard Fineman says the economic policies enacted by Barack Obama "were good ones and smart ones and saved the day."

Chatting with MSNBC's Keith Olbermann on Friday's "Countdown," Fineman was nicely set up by the shill asking the questions.

"Does anyone -- can anyone actually believe that the Democrats had then done nothing and had maintained that status quo that the current economic situation would be better instead of worse?"

With the ball positioned nicely on the tee, Fineman chunked a drive into the water on the left (video follows with transcript and commentary):

KEITH OLBERMANN: Time now to call in our own list political analyst, Howard Fineman, senior Washington correspondent for "Newsweek" magazine.

Howard, good evening.


OLBERMANN: Despite what Senator DeMint claims there, in the downturn that started two years ago or more and Republicans policies were in place because there was a Republican executive in chief. Does anyone -- can anyone actually believe that the Democrats had then done nothing and had maintained that status quo that the current economic situation would be better instead of worse?

FINEMAN: No. I don`t think anybody can claim that, and when Barack Obama took action initially, and when he started making decisions or putting out the idea that he would make decisions even before he was inaugurated, Keith, you tend to forget, he had a firm hand there early on. He had Larry Summers advising him. They knew they were going to pump more money in with Ben Bernanke right away.

Any fair-minded observer would say in those first months, those first key months, Barack Obama`s leadership and the decisions they made, which actually had their roots with Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke in the previous administration, were good ones and smart ones and saved the day.

You know, it`s an old American motto, an old Navy motto: Don`t just stand there. Do something. That`s practical American strategy -- and that`s what Barack Obama did in the early days, and he was rewarded with very high poll numbers at the beginning for doing that.

Indeed he was, for shills like these assisted the President and his Party in making the case that these policies if enacted would put a ceiling of 8 percent on unemployment and would indeed save the day.

As it's become painfully clear to most Americans that they were sold a bill of goods, the President's approval rating is at an all-time low and the Democrats are looking at huge losses in the upcoming midterm elections.

Regardless of such unpleasant realities, folks like Olbermann and Fineman continue to spin a yarn about how great these policies were.

With this in mind, let's look at the data then and now to see just how that day was saved by the man folks like these shamelessly helped get elected.

In January 2009, there were 133.5 million Americans on non-farm payrolls. As reported Friday, there are currently only 130.4 million, over a 3 million decline.

The unemployment rate in January 2009 stood at 7.7 percent. Today it's 9.5.

If that's what Fineman thinks is saving the day, I can't imagine what failure would look like.

Yet, even this isn't a full picture, for the Democrats took over Congress in January 2007. As such, their policies have been in place now for over two and a half years.

In January 2007, unemployment stood at 4.6 percent, which means that under a Democrat-controlled Congress, unemployment has more than doubled with almost seven million jobs lost.

If shills like Fineman and Olbermann want to blame this exclusively on former President George W. Bush, maybe they should reread the Constitution to learn that the legislature in our government creates budgets.

The last budget Bush signed that was created by a Republican Congress had a deficit of only $160 billion.

By contrast, the 2008 fiscal budget penned by Democrats had a $459 billion deficit. Only two Republicans voted for this in the Senate. Not one Republican voted for it in the House.

As for the 2009 fiscal budget, the second created by this Democrat-controlled Congress, it produced a $1.4 trillion deficit. Once again, only two Republicans in the Senate voted for it with NONE in the House.

To put this in even greater perspective, the final budget created by a Republican-controlled Congress and enacted by Bush called for $2.7 trillion in spending.

By contrast, a Democrat-controlled Congress with a Democrat President have authorized $3.7 trillion in spending this fiscal year, a staggering 37 percent increase in just three years.

Yet shills like Olbermann and Fineman want Americans to believe that our financial woes were all caused by Bush, and that the current President and his Party have absolutely no responsibility for the condition of today's economy.

Makes you sick, doesn't it? 

Economy Unemployment Budget Personal Finance Recession 2010 Congressional Bailouts MSNBC Countdown Newsweek
Noel Sheppard's picture