President Obama Forces Republican Politicians to Eat Their Own Words


President Obama continues his new stride as he chides Republicans for their failed prognostications. Democratic politicians encouraged his silence during the 2014 elections. Imagine what could have been if Americans realized they had something to vote for. Imagine if Americans had believed that those pushing a relatively progressive agenda believed in that agenda and were willing to fight for that agenda.

Back in January President Obama chided Republicans for their newfound love for the American poor and the American middle class. On Wednesday he did more than that. The President pointed out that Republicans' lies about his policies were off-base.

Now, I want to return to the issue of the debate that we were having then because it bears on the debate we’re having now. It’s important to note that at every step that we've taken over the past six years we were told our goals were misguided; they were too ambitious; that my administration’s policies would crush jobs and explode deficits, and destroy the economy forever. Remember that? Because sometimes we don’t do the instant replay, we don’t run the tape back, and then we end up having the same argument going forward.

The president then reminded America what specific Republicans said his economic policies would do to destroy the American economy.

One Republican in Congress warned our policies would diminish employment and diminish stock prices. Diminish stock prices. (Laughter.) The stock market has doubled since I came into office. Corporate profits are -- corporate balance sheets are stronger than they have ever been -- because of my terrible business policies.

The above can be attributed to Pete Sessions (R-TX) and Mitt Romney.

One Republican senator claimed we faced trillion-dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. Another predicted my reelection would spike gas prices to $6.60 a gallon. I don’t know how he came up with that figure -- $6.60. (Laughter.) My opponent in that last election pledged that he could bring down the unemployment rate to 6 percent by 2016 -- next year -- at the end of next year. It’s 5.5 now.

The above can be attributed to Senator John Thune (R-SD) and Mike Lee (R-UT)

And right here in Cleveland, the leader of the House Republicans -- a good friend of mine -- (laughter) – he captured his party’s economic theories by critiquing mine with a very simple question: Where are the jobs, he said. Where are the jobs? I’m sure there was a headline in The Plain Dealer or one of the papers -- Where Are the Jobs? Well, after 12 million new jobs, a stock market that has more than doubled, deficits that have been cut by two-thirds, health care inflation at the lowest rate in nearly 50 years, manufacturing coming back, auto industry coming back, clean energy doubled -- I’ve come not only to answer that question, but I want to return to the debate that is central to this country, and the alternative economic theory that’s presented by the other side.

The above can be attributed to Speaker of the House John Boehner.

Because their theory does not change. It really doesn’t. It’s a theory that says, if we do little more than just cut taxes for those at the very top, if we strip out regulations and let special interests write their own rules, prosperity trickles down to the rest of us. And I take the opposite view. And I take it not for ideological reasons, but for historic reasons, because of the evidence.

We know from the facts that are there for all to see that America does better, our economy does better, everybody does better when the middle class does better and we’ve got more ladders for people to get into the middle class if they're willing to work hard. We do better when everyone grows together -- top, middle, bottom. We do better when everyone has a chance not only to benefit from America’s success, but also to contribute to America’s success. And we know from more recent history that when we stray from that ideal it doesn't turn out well. We’ve now got evidence there is a better way, there is a better approach. And I’m calling it middle-class economics.

President Obama must keep the pressure on. He must continue contrasting reality-based policies from the failed policy of trickle-down economics.

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