For starters, they’re both factually challenged, or, in other words, they have some degree of difficulty telling the truth. In his address last evening to the Democratic National Convention, former President Bill Clinton came down from his post-presidential pedestal in an effort to bail out Barack Obama. This is the same Barack Obama that he allegedly told the late Senator Ted Kennedy “would have been carrying our bags a few years ago,” during an effort to secure the Senator’s endorsement of Hillary in the 2008 Democratic primary. The seemingly disingenuous nature of the former President’s now ringing endorsement of a man he racially slurred just four years ago aside; his speech was a pack of lies, distortions and misinformation. In other words, President Clinton’s speech to the DNC in Charlotte was too much like his own presidency.
In an effort to cover over the Obama Administration’s complete failure to lead on the economy, President Clinton tried to distort the economic indicators right along with the Romney-Ryan plan. For Example, Mr. Clinton claims that the Obama Administration is responsible for creating 4.5 million new jobs since President Obama took office in January, 2009. The problem with this alleged “fact” is that it simply isn’t so. Economists on the right and the left agree that the United States had to create 4.7 million new jobs from January 2009 to the present just to keep the unemployment rate stable at the already astronomically high rate of over 8%. This is due to population and workforce participation growth since the President took office. In order just to absorb new high school and college graduates entering the workforce, the US economy would’ve had to have created 4.7 million new jobs over the past three and a half years. This means that, even if we take the assertions of Presidents Clinton and Obama at face value, the US economy has created 200,000 less jobs than would be necessary just to keep the unemployment figures from getting worse than they are already.
But even still, the Administration’s claim of creating 4.5 million private sector jobs is just patently false on its face. The reason: the President’s claim of 4.5 million new jobs is counting job figures only from January 2010 to the present, which excludes his entire first year in office. This is because Obama maintains that job losses through 2010 are all Bush’s fault, even though President Obama promised that the Recovery Act (a.k.a. Stimulus Package) he signed in February, 2009 would halt job losses. If 2009’s total number of net jobs lost is added to the 4.5 million jobs supposedly “created” from January 2010 to present, the net jobs gained figure is a pathetic 300,000 during the President’s tenure. So, the figure of 4.5 million cited by Presidents Clinton and Obama, as well as Elizabeth Warren, Michelle Obama, and all the talking heads at the DNC, is a complete and utter fabrication; it’s like living in fantasyland where facts don’t matter.
Thus, if the real number of net jobs created under President Obama, 300,000, is held up against the 4.7 million jobs that America would’ve have to have created since January 2009 just to keep the unemployment rate steady, the country has 4.4 million less jobs relative to the size of the working population than it did when Barack Obama took the oath of office. So, right from the start President Clinton’s parroting of President Obama’s talking points is a pack of outright lies on the economy and unemployment. With such an abysmal record on the economy and employment, it’s no wonder that President Obama has unilaterally issued an executive order gutting the work requirement from the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. That’s because there are two ways to get people off of unemployment rolls, thus reducing the reported unemployment figures: a.) they get a private sector job in a robust economy, or b.) they sign up for open-ended welfare benefits with no work requirement attached. With the President’s obvious failure to lead on the economy, the only way to bring down high unemployment before the election is to shift these suffering folks to the welfare rolls.
President Clinton tried to cover President Obama’s flank on this issue as well, even going so far as to claim that the Obama Administration strengthened the work requirements of the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. Only in the alternate universe of Obamaville can someone claim that overturning a provision in a bill is actually the way to strengthen it. Go figure. But, at least Presidents Clinton and Obama are consistent in their living in an alternate universe; that’s because they apply the same warped logic to the President’s gutting of Medicare by over $700 billion to fund the massive Medicaid expansion included in Obamacare.
Messrs. Clinton and Obama have both claimed that the Obama Administration strengthened Medicare by cutting costs and saving the $700 billion the President cut from Medicare earlier in his term. The problem with this assertion is that the President’s healthcare plan cut $700 billion from Medicare so it could be transferred to pay for provisions of Obamacare. Thus, they are claiming that cutting $700 billion from Medicare to fund Obamacare made Medicare more solvent. In what world? Oh, that’s right, the world of Barack Obama’s alternate reality where facts can’t be allowed to confuse good rhetoric.
My friends, I was truly disappointed in President Clinton’s address to the Democratic National Convention last evening in Charlotte. Not so much because I thought President Clinton was some sort of political moderate as he tries to portray himself, but because he has done so many good, bi-partisan things since leaving the presidency. Mr. Clinton has worked alongside both former Presidents Bush in aiding disaster relief efforts, responding to natural disasters and raising money for many worthy causes. This was a welcome change in the actions and character of President Clinton that I was, frankly, heartened to see. All of these glimmers of hope that President Clinton had moved past some of his flagrant lying and political pandering came crashing down with his speech in Charlotte last evening. I guess it proves the point that once someone gains a comfort with twisting the facts to their own political advantage, it’s hard to break the bad habit.
I just hope the American people see through President Clinton’s attempts to cover for President Obama’s utter failure to lead on the economy, or to stand for American values since becoming president nearly four years ago.