Washington Post: You Stupid Citizens Are Dragging Down Obama’s Awesome Economy By Not Spending

There’s nothing more amusing than seeing the Obama Media Lapdogs spin things to protect Dear Leader. Obama will be the first president to never see a year of 3% GDP growth. And guess whose fault it is? The Washington Post’s Fred Hiatt* tells blames us

The economy’s real drag: Us

American consumers aren’t what they used to be — and that helps explain the plodding economic recovery. It gets no respect despite creating 14 million jobs and lasting almost seven years. The great gripe is that economic growth has been held to about 2 percent a year, well below historical standards. This sluggishness reflects a profound psychological transformation of American shoppers, who have dampened their consumption spending, affecting about two-thirds of the economy. To be blunt: We have sobered up.

Hiatt throws out lots of reasons, such as people saving more now than pre-recession, as well as people working to clear up old debt. Not mentioned is the reality of the jobs being created, which are low wage and often part time. These are the jobs that Democrats called “bad jobs” during the Bush presidency, and blamed him directly. People just don’t have the money to spend like they used to in the Obama economy.

The surge in saving is the real drag on the economy. It has many causes. “People got a cruel lesson about [the dangers] of debt,” says economist Matthew Shapiro of the University of Michigan. Households also save more to replace the losses suffered on homes and stocks. But much saving is precautionary: Having once assumed that a financial crisis of the 2008-2009 variety could never happen, people now save to protect themselves against the unknown. Research by economist Mark Zandi of Moody’s Analytics finds higher saving at all income levels.

In theory, it’s easy to replace lost consumer demand. In practice, it’s not so easy. Businesses could build more factories and shopping malls. But with weaker consumer spending, do we need them? More exports would help, but economies abroad are weak.

People also see the weakness in the Obama economy. They see the weak underpinnings. They know that record numbers of people have dropped out of the workforce in despair. They put money away because they know things could crash easily, since many of the same policies that helped cause the great recession have not been addressed, or are being re-implemented again. There’s unease in the jobs market by citizens.

But to blame the citizens avoids blaming the people who implement the policies that lead to the weak economy and jobs market. Can’t blame Obama though. That’s probably racist.

* the article itself had Hiatt’s name attached to it as of Monday morning. The WP changed it to Robert Samuelson at some point during the day.

Crossed at Right Wing News.

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37 Responses to “Washington Post: You Stupid Citizens Are Dragging Down Obama’s Awesome Economy By Not Spending”

  1. John says:

    People also give Obama positive job approval numbers
    Most Americans blame the GOP Congress for the bad economy waiting all their time on silly BENGAZZI!!! Investigations instead of doing their job
    How can Obama do anything with the Cingress doing nothing ??

  2. Dana says:

    Yeah, it’s all our fault for behaving responsibly! Bad conservatives, bad!

    To be fair, when President Bush was asked what Americans could do to revive a sluggish economy, he said, “Go shopping,” and, in a consumer-driven economy, he was right. Then Americans did go shopping, in part fueled by too-easy credit and sub-prime mortgages, and the results were not all that good.

  3. drowningpuppies says:

    Maybe shutting down more coal mines and putting more miners out of work, shutting down coal-fired electricity plants, blocking oil pipeline construction, spending more money on crony alt-energy boondoggles instead of maintaining and providing for national infrastructure…

    A vote for Hillary will provide more of the same.
    Thanks but no thanks…

  4. Hank_M says:

    How can Obama do anything with the Cingress doing nothing ?

    The same way he’s done everything else John, executive fiat.

  5. drowningpuppies says:

    Vote for Hillary!

    Table 3. Economic Impact of Hillary Clinton’s Tax Proposals
    Capital Investment
    Wage Rate
    Full-time Equivalent Jobs (in thousands)
    Source: Tax Foundation Taxes and Growth Model, October 2015.

  6. Hank_M says:

    Of course the Washpo would blame anyone other than Barry extended-recession Obama.

    But blaming consumers….good grief.

    A lot of young are saddled with absurd student loans for degrees in safe-space management micro-aggression. The elderly are getting screwed by 0% interest. Many are no longer employed. And as drowningpuppies correctly points out, others are being targeted by the left to have their jobs destroyed.

  7. Dana says:

    John, obviously texting while driving again, wrote:

    How can Obama do anything with the Cingress doing nothing ??

    If what President Obama is proposing is worse than the existing situation, “Cingress” should decline to act on his proposals.

    The last time that the Democrats controlled the Cingress, their economic passage was the cockamamie “stimulus” bill, the one which was going to hold unemployment to a maximum of 8%, remember. (The CBO did project that unemployment would go to 8.5% with the stimulus bill.) Unemployment shot up to 10%, and the economy is still underperforming.

    And, of course, the very same Barack Hussein Obama who said that President Obama added $4 trillion to the national debt, “all by his lonesome,” and that it was “irresponsible” and “unpatriotic,” has added $9 trillion to the national debt, all by his lonesome, but I s’pose that isn’t irresponsible or unpatriotic.

  8. The Neon Madman says:

    Yes, it is terrible how we keep disappointing Obama. /sarcasm off

  9. Tuesday morning links

    A school that cares: Success Academy’s been awesome for our special-needs son Scripps: The Most Racist College in America Fat activist: ‘exercise and diets are constructs’ Meet the puritans who think sex is bad for women. The Puritans had

  10. Bobby Three Sticks says:

    Spoken like a loyal subject of Barack Obama.

  11. Bobby Three Sticks says:

    After yesterday, does Trump have a coherent tax plan? To put it another way, what is Trump’s tax plan today.

  12. the wolf says:

    Feel free to share what Congress has not done that would bolster employment

  13. Peter says:

    It’s hard to go shopping when you don’t have a job.

  14. MichaelG says:

    The editorial was by Samuelson, not Hiatt.

    And it’s nothing to do with Obama. It’s the usual Keynsian idea of spend, spend, spend, who cares about debt.

  15. Pettifogger says:

    Congress doing nothing is far better than doing the things Obama would have had it do. The positive things it could do, such as reduce the size of the government and reduce the regulatory burden on productive economic activity, would never get by Dear Leader.

  16. constitution first says:

    It’s called “Leadership” remember that concept?
    When Dear Leader comes up with bad ideas, like amnesty and socialized medicine, I want Congress to “do nothing” they keep bad things from becoming law. So long as Barry Mom-jeans keeps coming up with bad ideas, I want a “do nothing” Congress.
    I love the way Progressives twist language into pretzel logic.

  17. Forbes says:

    Nothing is ever so bad that building a few more shopping malls won’t fix. Yeah, that’s the ticket!

  18. Roxanne Chester says:

    As usual, the WaPo gets the analysis wrong. Lots of reasons people are saving more and spending less. More retirees for one. Another is that zero down mortgages are no longer available to MOST home buyers. Now first time buyers are back having to save before they can buy. Healthcare costs to consumers have risen dramatically. When you are paying twice what you did 4 years ago for the same insurance and you cannot use it for anything but one annual physical, it is a substantial hit to most people’s budget. Inflation may be low, but weather and food diverted to subsidized biofuel has raised the cost of groceries so even if people are spending more, they are not buying more hence no new jobs (thus economic activity) created. And then, of course, there are people like my family. My husband is about to lose his job to a unit sale. He is too expensive for the new company (and too experienced – they simply don’t need him as part of the platform). He will turn 60 just after losing his job. So obviously no new job will be on tap. Health care premiums will eat up about $15,000 extra each year for us for insurance we cannot use unless we are chronically ill (which neither of us are). Our retirement savings now has to last an additional 5 years we were not planning on and higher annual expenses than we were planning on. (Starting to regret giving our kids a debt-free college education.) How many people are just like us?? I know both journalism and tech have shed higher paid older workers in droves. Many never find work in their field again. And before tech, it was telecom shedding workers.

  19. Bobby Three Sticks says:

    I can fiske this completely for you, but I’ll start at the top: “More retirees for one.”

    Retirees spend. Their earning years, and thus their saving years, over.

  20. Robert What? says:

    Too true. Criticism of Obama or any of his policies – including anything he has ever done or said – is racisss.

  21. Jeffery says:

    Conservative economics columnist Robert Samuelson (not Fred Hiatt) was complaining that people are saving too much for retirement, rather than taking advantage of cheap credit and spending more.

    Samuelson’s arch nemesis, Dean Baker, points out the flaws in Samuelson’s arguments thusly:

    “This is amazing for two reasons: first, it is not true, and second if people saved less they would have even less money to support themselves in retirement.”

    The savings rate is still near historic lows with only the go-go bubbles of the tech era (late 90s) and housing boom (late 2000s) being lower in recent years. The rate in the 70s, 80s were much higher. But savings have dropped steadily since the mid 70s.

    Baker’s second point stems from Samuelson’s steady drumbeat to cut Social Security and Medicare. I guess Samuelson just prefers retirees to dry up and blow away.


  22. Jeffery says:

    Comment by the wolf

    2016-05-10 12:13:29

    Feel free to share what Congress has not done that would bolster employment

    Too easy. They didn’t enact a massive infrastructure building plan, employing millions of construction workers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, programmers, architects, manufacturers, transportation workers and all the support that accompanies a massive effort, e.g., diners, restaurants, clothing stores, tool suppliers, teachers, police etc.

    Too easy. We just didn’t have the political will. We preferred to let our citizens suffer.

    Too easy. If you can borrow money at 0% to effect full employment why wouldn’t you? Ignorance. Republicanism.

    The collapse of the housing bubble left a few trillion dollar hole in the economy. It was the time for political strength.

  23. Tom Blumer says:

    The WaPo item’s author is Robert J. Samuelson, not Fred Hiatt — and your email address came back undeliverable.

  24. gitarcarver says:

    “This is amazing for two reasons: first, it is not true, and second if people saved less they would have even less money to support themselves in retirement.”

    Except for the fact that it is true and the chart that the left leaning CEPR posts proves it.

    Ssamuelson was comparing savings vs spending before the recession and now not over history as Dean and Jeffery would have you believe.

    It is amazing what leftists will do to distort statements of others.

    Secondly,, it is amazing that the guy who says that we aren’t spending enough says that a conservative economists who says we aren’t spending enough is wrong.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  25. steveH says:

    Retirees whose retirement investments were trashed (largely by government-influenced factors), and the remainder largely depleted aren’t spending a lot on things other than necessities. As in food, shelter, utilities.

    And a lot of them, if they want to do more than just scrape by, are getting un-retired again to keep their heads above water. If they’re lucky, anyway.

  26. Steve_in_SoCal says:

    “Millions of construction workers?” Not even close. If it was such a good deal – remember, there were/are no shovel ready jobs. And what about Keystone?

    “Borrow” money at 0%?” Yes, in theory, but Uncle Sam issues bonds, which are not 0%

    Obama’s stimulus was darn near a Trillion dollars. And you’re saying based on the resounding success we should have spent/borrowed even more?

  27. Appendid the post to reflect not Hiatt. His name was attached Monday morning. Have to remove the NOSPAM from email address.

  28. Observer says:

    The Congress has denied Obama nothing. Obama’s budgets were killed off by Democrats when they held the majority. No spending program was ever denied. Taxes went up and Obamacare was passed by the Congress. Obamatons have been blaming George Bush for 6 years for the lousy economy and now say it’s Congress’ fault. Let’s try placing the blame where it belongs: liberalism and Barak Obama. Failure after failure after failure, 92 million Americans of working age, not working, GDP in the cellar, taxes up, wages flat or down, businesses leaving the country, and it’s always somebody else’s fault. I know! Vote for Hillary. The answer to failure is always more of the same.

  29. Jeffery says:

    You can’t make this stuff up.

    But you can, and do.

  30. Jeffery says:

    Ssamuelson was comparing savings vs spending before the recession and now not over history as Dean and Jeffery would have you believe.

    Baker, Samuelson and I all assumed that the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s up to 2007 occurred BEFORE the recession. Thanks for correcting our error. We’re not familiar with far-right arithmetic.

    Are you sure the Federal Reserve Economic Data dept (FRED) is left-leaning? It’s been noted that truth has a liberal bias so maybe you’re right.

    Samuelson blames the slow recovery on citizens saving too much. The evidence does not support his claim. GC tries to change the subject, as usual.


  31. gitarcarver says:

    Baker, Samuelson and I all assumed that the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and the 2000s up to 2007 occurred BEFORE the recession.

    Of course, that is not the comparison that Samuelson was making, but you go right on ahead living in your world of delusion.

    Are you sure the Federal Reserve Economic Data dept (FRED) is left-leaning?

    Who ever said FRED was left leaning?

    Reading comprehension problems again Jeffery?

    I am sure you know the CEPR is a leftist think tank, but as usual, you don’t want to admit it. If someone had used a right leaning think tank, you would have dismissed them out of hand. Instead, as usual, you won’t acknowledge the bias of the CEPR and your lies to support them.

    Samuelson blames the slow recovery on citizens saving too much.

    Samuelson says that individual spending does have an impact on recovery. He’s right. Or are you saying that companies who make products keep producing when people aren’t buying?

    The evidence does not support his claim.

    Apparently your ability to read a graph is about the same as your ability to read a pre-K book.

    GC tries to change the subject, as usual.

    How is telling the truth about your source and pointing out your lies changing the subject?

  32. Jeffery says:

    It was Samuelson who mentioned the savings rate of 1980 and 1990.

    In 1980, it was nearly 11 percent, twice today’s level.

    From 1990 to 2005, the savings rate dropped from 7.8 percent to 2.6 percent.

    Of course your objective is to mislead and confuse and change the subject.

    Samuelson blames the poor recovery on the savings rate. The evidence doesn’t support his claim. One way to keep money in their hands would be NOT to cut their Social Security and Medicare.

    Teach completely misinterpreted the essay, claiming it was Samuelson (Samuelson!) covering for Obama.

    Get some sleep.

  33. david7134 says:

    The reason for the poor economy is that we are in a depression. Real unemployment is around 15% and under-employed is far higher. Those that have money are saving as much cash as possible as the word on the street among investors is that “something” is going to happen. Then couple this with Obama spending one trillion per year to prop up the stock market and the passage of Dodd/Frank, we have a terrible economic environment. How to get out? Eliminate regulations as much as possible and cut taxes, it works every time. Yes, Jeff, I know you have some special web site that would say different and you really don’ understand what I have said. You need a course in economics.

  34. BizzyBlog says:

    […] instead caused a slow-motion recovery which doesn’t even look like one to most Americans (HT Pirate’s Cove via Instapundit; bolds and numbered tags are […]

  35. gitarcarver says:

    Thanks for proving Samuelson’s point Jeffery.

    Of course your objective is to mislead and confuse and change the subject.

    I keep wondering how pointing out how wrong you are is “changing the subject?”

    Is is that you don’t like the idea of applying the same criteria to your posts that you do to others?

    By the way, in case you missed it, Obama is the first president whose presidency will never had a GDP growth rate above 3%. Liberal policies on the economy don’t work.

  36. Jeffery says:

    Deniers gonna Deny.

  37. drowningpuppies says:

    Assholes gonna be assholes.

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