Former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania turned MSNBC contributor Ed Rendell said something on Tuesday's Hardball that is going to make a lot of jaws drop.
"Even people who lost their jobs are better off" under Obama (video follows with transcript and commentary):
ED RENDELL, FORMER DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR OF PENNSYLVANIA: And look, there are individuals who are making less money than they made four years ago. There are individuals who were working four years ago not employed now. But when you ask the question, “Are you better off,” the key factor is what date are you talking about? Are you better off now than the summer of ’08? Probably not if you’ve lost your job or if you’re making less money. But are you better off than you were on January 20th of the new year 2009 when Barack Obama took office? Of course you are.
As you said, whether you’re employed or whether you’re out of work, if you had a 401k or an investment plan, you’re much better off. You’re in much better shape. And even if you’re wages have gone down, President Obama has cut taxes on working people by $3,600. So you’re still ahead of the game in spendable income. If you’re unemployed, he extended unemployment compensation that gave you significant amount of additional coverage. If your family’s on food stamps, the food stamp benefit went up as part of the stimulus.
So, it depends where you take and freeze that date whether you’re better off, and I would contend that even people who lost their jobs are better off if you use January 20th as the starting date.
This is the problem with MSNBC having contributors that are also advisers to Obama's campaign: they can say nonsense like this with total impunity.
Let's be clear: there's no way that someone who was employed before Obama was inaugurated and is involuntarily unemployed today is better off. To suggest so is the height of stupidity, dishonesty, or both.
As for 401ks, many people that have been unemployed have been liquidating such retirement accounts to live on. It's therefore no solace to such folks that stock prices are higher than when Obama was inaugurated.
To be sure, Ed Rendell is considered by people on both sides of the aisle as a straight shooter worthy of respect.
But what he said Tuesday is just beyond the pale, and he should be ashamed for shilling for his candidate with such insulting non sequiturs.