The ‘Obama, taxes, job loss’ narrative gets the Goolsbee white board treatment

Roughly since Obama took office, the Tea Party has led the charge in tying the president to higher taxes and job loss. Democrats have been utterly ineffective in making the case for two main facts of the Obama era, which are that (1) taxes for almost all Americans have decreased and (2) job loss has demonstrably lessened every month since inauguration day.

Two weeks before the midterm elections, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee has decided to give the facts a try. He is mounting a white board and YouTube campaign to combat the Tea Party and Fox News and hundreds of millions of dollars in pro-Republican 527 group campaign advertising. Good luck Austan!

Steve Benen at the Atlantic Monthly describes an imaginary Sunday morning talk show interview based around the Goolsbee white board with an imaginary Republican Senator named Smith:

“Sen. Smith,” the host would ask… “you said the stimulus would fail, and continue to believe the stimulus has failed. But here’s this chart that seems relevant. Here’s where things stood when Obama was inaugurated. By your logic, Sen. Smith, we would have expected to see the trajectory fall even lower, or at least stay the same… The questions, then, are (1) why do you consider success a failure; and (2) why do you want to go back to the policies that lead to these declining red columns over here on the left side of the chart?”

The problem: In our politics, there are no facts, just interpretations and spin. The honorable imaginary Sen. Smith’s answer would no doubt be that the upticking numbers under Obama represent merely a natural economic swing and offer evidence that even Obama’s misguided policies can’t hold back the market. Indeed, he would say, under a new-style fiscally responsible Republican leadership, those upticking job numbers would be even higher– because we’d get government out of the way of the private sector, etc.

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About the Author

John Tomasic

Writer, editor, teacher, web wrangler. He has worked for art, business, culture, politics publications, five universities and a UN war crimes commission. @johntomasic | 720-432-2128 |

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