Do we have to draw the GOP a map?
1. This is among the most depressing developments I've seen in years. Whites in the U.S. have 20 times more household wealth than blacks, on average, and 18 times more wealth than Hispanics, according to 2009 figures just released by the Pew Research Center:
Check out the Pew study. You'll see that the only narrowing of the income gap occurred, briefly, during the Clinton administration. And note the uneven wealth destruction from the Great Recession: down 16.2% for whites, but down 53.2% for blacks, and down 65.5% for Hispanics.
2. A "spendthift Obama" is the GOP high card in demonizing him. And the MSM has buckled to the notion of Obama as a big spender. To the extent that's true, Obama and the Dem-controlled 111th Congress were softening the blow of an inherited Great Recession, with a stimulus package (continuing a Bush initiative), a bank bailout to keep the economy running (ditto), the Detroit rescue (ditto) and a huge upswing in jobless-claim payouts.
For all that, though, the total cost of new policies under Bush was $5.07 trillion, and under the comparative piker Obama just $1.44 trillion. The numbers, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, don't lie. Anyone tagging the fiscally responsible Obama as a big spender is blowing smoke.
Jonathan Cohn of New Republic explains the numbers in "The Bush Deficit."
3. Here's your compelling argument for focusing on job creation rather than balancing the budget. When interest rates (the blue line) are high and rising, that's the time to clamp down on spending, since those high rates are applied to government debt. And debt-servicing payments gobble up a great deal of government revenue.
But when joblessness (the red line) is spiking, as it began to do in 2007 a year before the onset of the Great Recession, you stimulate the economy with deficit financing that creates jobs that generate tax revenue that comes back to the government while putting food on the tables of the 15 million Americans currently with work. You don't fixate of deficit and debt because interest rates are at or near record lows.