When the US Department of Commerce released their sucky Gross Domestic Product Reportnumbers this morning — which show that our economy contracted slightly during the last quarter of 2012 — White House Press Secretary Jay Carney didn’t bother waiting for the GOP’s blame games to begin. Instead, he fired the first pot shot, and laid the blame on the Republican Congress’s doorstep where it belongs:
“Consumer confidence overall has been rising, and consumer spending has been rising, but there’s more work to do, and our economy is facing a major headwind … and that’s Republicans in Congress,”
Actually, Carney showed great restraint in referring to the GOP’s flatulent gusts as a “major headwind,” considering the far more colorful language he could have accurately employed. According to Faux News, House Speaker John Boehner (R-@sshole) flung his malodorous cow pie into the fray by putting the blame on Obama’s defense cuts — as though continuing George W. Bush’s immoral and ruinously expensive wars could possibly do anything but further damage our economy. The Republicans sure know how to put the “gross” in our GDP.
Boehner’s spokesman Brendan Buck responded:
“These arbitrary, automatic cuts were a creation and demand of the White House in 2011 … Twice the House has passed legislation to replace them with commonsense cuts and reforms. If there was any uncertainty late last year about the sequester, it was because the Democratic-controlled Senate, per usual, never lifted a finger to pass a plan to replace it.”
Um … Commonsense cuts and reforms? You’ve GOT to be freaking KIDDING me. Despite ample proof that supply-side economics and austerity do not work — 30 years of tinkering with corporate welfare, tax breaks for the rich, deregulation, and public spending cuts have created a hollow-eyed, hollowed-out middle class — the Republicans keep promoting the same old crappy policies.
After 11 straight quarters of slow but continuous growth since spring, 2009, even this slight -0.1 % drop feels discouraging. And, as much as I hate to admit it, the Boner’s partially correct, at least in a technical sense. Defense cuts DID contribute to the current slow-down. According to Jeffrey Bartash from Marketwatch:
“The fourth-quarter retreat mostly stemmed from lower inventories and a plunge in military spending. Spikes in those two categories had given growth for the third quarter an exaggerated pop, and economists expected them to be reversed.