Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Economics is not a popularity contest

Yesterday I posted about the idiocy of NRSC endorsing Florida Gov. Charlie Crist in the Senate race against conservative Marco Rubio.

Greg Sargent, who has apparently gone from Talking Points Media to a Washington Post site, gets all snarky about Rubio's first TV ad:
Another mark of just how far to the right the GOP has moved:Barely moments after the news broke that Governor and stimulus-supporter Charlie Crist has entered the Florida GOP primary, his conservative opponent already has a new ad attacking him -- with an image of President Obama, whose performance is supported by strong majorities and by Independents. . . .
It isn’t every day that a politician seeks to turn a race into a referendum on his opponent’s support for a President with an approval rating in the 60s, but these aren’t ordinary times for today’s GOP.
Let me see if I can explain what Greg Sargent evidently doesn't understand. It doesn't matter how popular Obama or his policies are, if his policies bring disaster. Remember how high Bush's numbers were in 2002?

At this point, Obama is popular for being Not Bush. But there is a sell-by date on that commodity, and I'm betting that the Not Bush brand won't have much value on the first Tuesday in November 2010.

The biggest problem Obama will face going forward is that the deficit-spending Keynesian approach that he and the Democrats have embraced cannot produce recovery. It never has and it never will. It Won't Work and The Fundamentals Still Suck.

Greg, try to wrap your mind around what Megan McArdle is telling you about the bond market. And I'd say Megan is a wee bit on the optimistic side. After all, with trillions of dollars in new government debt soaking up so much scarce capital, what will the resulting shortage of private credit do to the already weak housing market? Unemployment is already near nine percent and will not decline soon, and without new buyers entering the market, the mortgage-default problem will likely get much worse in the near future.

None of these economic problems (and I've merely scratched the surface) can be solved by pointing to Obama's poll numbers. As it becomes evident that Obama's policies are making matters worse, that there is no magic to Hope, those poll numbers will decline, and being seen as associated with Obama's policies will be political poison.

Snark all you want. Crist is a "dead man walking" politically speaking, and Rubio is making the smart bet by vocally opposing Obamanomics.

Oh, and not incidentally, remember that promise about "tax cuts" for everybody earning less than $250,000 a year? Well, now we have the details. Just a big fat lie:
40% of the value of new "tax cuts for families" is actually new spending, not new tax cuts. . . .
Families with taxable income of $230,000 and individuals with taxable income of $190,000 will see their income tax rate rise. . . .
By limiting tax breaks for the production of domestic energy and a raft of other energy tax hikes, the Obama budget blueprint will raise American families’ energy bills by $105 billion over the next decade. . . .
Small businesses will shed jobs to pay for the higher small business tax rates. The Obama budget blueprint calls for the top tax rate to climb from 35% to 39.6%, and for the second-highest rate to climb from 33% to 36%. . . . These tax rate hikes would be devastating for small businesses, which pay taxes on their owners’ tax forms. $2 out of $3 in small business profits pay taxes at these tax rates.
Good-bye, Hope! Hello, Change!

UPDATE: Thanks to Michelle Malkin for reminding us that the recession has accelerated the impending insolvency of Social Security and Medicare.

Like the lady said, the fundamentals suck. And, as Jimmie Bise reminds us, the Obama administration is "creating jobs" in much the same way Jayson Blair "reported news" -- they're just making stuff up.


  1. Republican Floridians should be able to choose who we want as our candidate in the senate race. Instead, the NRSC has stepped in and by throwing their money and weight behind Crist they are trying to tell us who they will allow us to run. This is unwelcome interference in state politics and leaves a bad taste in a lot of people's mouths. Nobody should count Rubio out. He is exactly what we've been looking for in Florida and Crist isn't nearly as popular as people think.

  2. Charlie NarciCrist is a self serving a-hole. he's spent his time as Governor creating problems that will rear their heads in earnest after he is safely (he thinks) in the Senate. As for riding Obama's coattails to the Senate, do we really think that Obama will not campaign actively for the Democrat in the race? Just ask Arlen Specter what it's like to pull up at the table with the Democrats. If you can't beat em, join em, may be his new mantra, but he's going to end up sitting at the kid's table while the cool kids laugh at him.

  3. Yes, let's take liberals advice on how to run the party.

    Shorter Sargent: "Using The One's image is blasphemy"

    Let's face it, the Florida Senate race should be a battle for conservatives vs. the establishment GOP, as well as representing ground zero in the fight against Obama liberals.

    When the economy starts tanking, anyone associated with the stimulus package will pay a heavy political price, Crist included. Conservatives/Republicans have taken a risky gamble on this outcome, but then again so has the Left.

    And Cornyn, McConnell, all the rest can blow it out their airholes. Aiming for short-term tactical victories doesn't win the war.

  4. Also, the ad is at this point clearly aimed at Republicans. I'm going to guess that Obama's popularity is not in the 60s among Republicans, even in Florida.

    I do think that Republicans during the midterms would be well advised to target their ire at Nancy Pelosi rather than Barack Obama, especially in swing districts.

  5. I'm betting that the Not Bush brand won't have much value on the first Tuesday in November 2010.I'm hoping it's sooner than that..

    whenever the Primaries are being held.. June/July..

    At least for Florida and Penn.

  6. "Just another sign of how far to the right the GOP has moved: it attacks Obama."

    Real fine analysis, that.