President Obama Slams GOP Candidates’ Economic 'Fantasy' Policies, Says They 'Defy Logic'
President Barack Obama accused Republicans of “defy[ing] logic and any known economic theories,” telling New York Times reporter Andrew Ross Sorkin the economic platforms presented by the current GOP presidential hopefuls “are fantasy.”
“If you look at the platforms, the economic platforms of the current Republican candidates for president, they don’t simply defy logic and any known economic theories, they are fantasy,” Obama said in the interview published in the Times on Thursday.
Obama told Sorkin that not even someone “with the most rudimentary knowledge of economics” would think the GOP platform of cutting taxes for the rich and deregulating environmental protections would lead to the growth projected by conservative politicians.
Obama said his administration "probably managed this [financial crisis] better than any large economy on Earth in modern history," though he was frank in his assessment that his administration could have done a better job of promoting the recovery to the American people. Sorkin writes:
“How people feel about the economy,” Obama told me, giving one part of his own theory, is influenced by “what they hear.” He went on: “And if you have a political party—in this case, the Republicans—that denies any progress and is constantly channeling to their base, which is sizable, say, 40 percent of the population, that things are terrible all the time, then people will start absorbing that.”
Still, Obama remained firm about his administration’s overall success in navigating the economic crisis. “Anybody who says we are not absolutely better off today than we were just seven years ago, they’re not leveling with you,” Obama said. “They’re not telling the truth.”
While Obama pointed out that the economy has grown and unemployment was cut in half under his administration, he conceded that there’s still work to do. With millions of people out of the workforce, the median income of U.S. households declined under Obama. Income inequality is also at an all-time high.
Still, Obama said he hopes Americans can “puncture some of the mythology around austerity, politics or tax cuts or the mythology that’s been built up around the Reagan revolution.”
“Somehow people genuinely think that [Reagan] slashed government and slashed the deficit and that the recovery was because of all these massive tax cuts, as opposed to a shift in interest-rate policy,” Obama said. “If we can’t describe that effectively, then we’re doomed to keep on making more and more mistakes.”