Who Inherited What from Whom? Obama's Blame-Shifting Baloney

This page is devoted to the litany of Barack Hussein Obama's blame-shifting quotes attempting to spin the economic catastrophe he, in fact, "inherited" from Democrat congressional majorities under the "leadership" of Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Harry Reid (D-NV), onto George W. Bush.

On January 3, 2007, the date that the Democrat-controlled 110th Congress took office, unemployment was at 4.6 percent, and the economy was growing at three times the current rate after a record 52 months of job growth accelerated by Bush administration tax cuts.

While it's clear that Obama's socialist economic policies have done great harm to an economy that was already in serious trouble when he took office, the catastrophic economic collapse of 2008 was the direct result of historic Democrat congressional mandates regarding real estate lending practices. Those policies resulted in a collapse of real estate values beginning in 2007, which cascaded into the failure of banking and investment institutions and the near failure of the entire banking system a year later.

The timeline of that collapse is thoroughly documented in an essay by Mark Alexander written prior to Obama's election: Economics 101: Crisis of Confidence.

Typical Obama blame-shifting remarks from the '08 campaign:

"We are not standing on the brink of recession due to forces beyond our control. It was a failure of leadership and imagination in Washington."

"It would be nice to think that after eight years of economic disaster, after eight years of bungled foreign policy, of being engaged in a war that should never have been authorized and should never have been waged, that cost us a trillion dollars and thousands of lives, that people would say, let's toss the bums out. Toss the bums out, we're starting from scratch, we're starting over. This is not working."

"I believe this is a final verdict on the failed economic policies of the last eight years, strongly promoted by President Bush and supported by Sen. McCain, that essentially said that we should strip away regulations, consumer protections, let the market run wild, and prosperity would rain down on all of us."

And so we understand that we've got to provide a, a, a blood infusion into the patient right now to make sure that the patient is stabilized, and, and that means that we, we can't worry short term about the deficit. We've got to make sure that the economic stimulus plan is large enough to get the economy moving."

Typical Obama blame-shifting remarks since he took office in '09:

"When I came into office, I inherited the biggest deficit in our history. And over the last four years, the deficit has gone up, but 90 percent of that is as a consequence of two wars that weren't paid for, as a consequence of tax cuts that weren't paid for, a prescription drug plan that was not paid for, and then the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."

"I suspect that most people ... would acknowledge that I've tried real hard, and we just haven't gotten the kind of willingness on the part of Republicans to engage on a whole range of issues that I wish had happened. Part of what I think needs to happen in this election is the voters once again have to send a message, 'We want common-sense ideas. We don't want folks who are just sayin' no to everything.'"

"Instead of creating more jobs, we had the slowest job growth in half a century, and instead of widespread prosperity, the typical family saw its income fall."

"I love listening to these guys give us lectures about debt and deficits. I inherited a trillion-dollar deficit. ... This notion that somehow we caused the deficits is just wrong. It's just not true. ... If they start trying to give you a bunch of facts and figures suggesting that it's true, what they're not telling you is they baked all this stuff into the cake with those tax cuts and a prescription drug plan that they didn't pay for and the wars."

"I'm running to pay down our debt in a way that's balanced and responsible. After inheriting a $1 trillion deficit, I signed $2 trillion of spending cuts into law."

"It was a house of cards and it collapsed in the most destructive, worst crisis we've seen since since the Great Depression. And sometimes people forget the magnitude of it, you know.... Sometimes I forget."

"[I]f you look back at what their estimates were in terms of how many jobs had been lost, how bad the economy had contracted when I took office, everybody underestimated it. People thought that the economy contracted 3 percent -- it turns out it contracted close to 9 percent. ... So, the die had been cast but a lot of us didn't understand at that point how bad it was gonna get. That increases the deficit because less tax revenues come in and it means that more people are getting unemployment insurance, we're helping states more so they don't lay off teachers, etc. The key though is we're setting ourselves on a path where we can get our debt under control."

"The state of our union is getting stronger. And we've come too far to turn back now. As long as I'm president, I will work with anyone in this chamber to build on this momentum. But I intend to fight obstruction with action, and I will oppose any effort to return to the very same policies that brought on this economic crisis in the first place."

"The reason they still support me is because they understand what an incredible mess had been made as I was coming into office, and we've been spending the last three years cleaning it up. The good news is that the economy is starting to strengthen. We've seen some positive signs. The unemployment rate has ticked down."

"Over the last decade, we became a country that relied too much on what we bought and consumed."

"Normally ... the way politics works is if the overwhelming majority of the American people aren't happy with what you're doing, you start doing something different. So far that hasn't happened in Congress -- and the Republicans in Congress in particular."

"From the moment I took office what we've seen is a constant ideological pushback against any kind of sensible reforms that would make our economy work better and give people more opportunity."

"All these ideas [for jobs] are ones that have been presented to Congress. We'll be putting out several other additional ideas. We've got to do it, unfortunately, at a time when money is tight. George Bush left us [a] $1 trillion deficit."

"In the past, raising the debt ceiling was routine. Since the 1950s, Congress has always passed it, and every president has signed it. ... Bush did it seven times."

"It turns out that our problem is we cut taxes without paying for them over the last decade; we ended up instituting new programs like a prescription drug program for seniors that was not paid for; we fought two wars, we didn't pay for them; we had a bad recession that required a Recovery Act and stimulus spending and helping states -- and all that accumulated and there's interest on top of that."

"Now, my administration has a job to do as well, and that job is to get this economy back on its feet. That's my job, and it's a job I gladly accept. I love these folks who helped get us in this mess and then suddenly say, well, this is Obama's economy. That's fine. Give it to me."

"[The recession] started long before I took office. ... [Republicans] figure you're going to forget, because you're angry. This election isn't about anger, it isn't about fear. This election is about a choice, and the stakes couldn't be higher."

"[Republicans] are fired up. They are mobilized. They see an opportunity to take back the House, maybe take back the Senate. If they're successful in doing that, they've already said they're going to go back to the same policies that were in place during the Bush administration. That means that we are going to have just hand-to-hand combat up here on Capitol Hill."

"If you are concerned about debt and deficits, the other side is not presenting any serious ideas."

"The problem I've seen in the debate taking place in some Tea Party events -- I think they're misidentifying who the culprits are here. As I said before, we had to take emergency steps last year but the majority of economists will tell you the emergency steps we take are not the problem long term. The problems long term are ... [w]e got two tax cuts not paid for, two wars not paid for, an aging population, we all demand services, but taxes have actually substantially gone down."

"You can't have Republicans running on fiscal discipline that we're gonna reduce our deficit, that the debt's out of control, and then borrow tens, hundreds of billions of dollars to give tax cuts to people who don't need them."

"Unfortunately, over the last decade, we've not done what's necessary to shore up the foundations of our own prosperity. We spent a trillion dollars at war, often financed by borrowing from overseas. This, in turn, has short-changed investments in our own people, and contributed to record deficits."

"Imagine our economy is a car. And these guys, I don't know what they [Republicans] were doing. I don't know whether they were on their BlackBerry while they were driving, or they were doing something else irresponsible. They drive it into the ditch. And so me [sic] and Sherrod and Mary Jo and Steve and Ted and a whole bunch of folks, we're all putting our boots on, and we go down into the ditch. And it's muddy down there, and it's hot, and there are bugs swirling around. And we're pushing on the car, trying to get it out of the ditch, putting our shoulder -- shoving it, pushing it."

"I know that sometimes people don't remember how bad it was, and how bad it could have been."

"It is a little odd getting lectures on sobriety from folks that spent like drunken sailors."

"Before I was even inaugurated, there were leaders on the other side of the aisle who got together and they made the calculation that if Obama fails, then we win. That was the basic theory. They figured if we just keep on saying 'no' to everything and nothing gets done, then somehow people will forget who got us into this mess in the first place and we'll get more votes in November. That will make people pretty cynical about politics."

"People should learn that lesson about me because next year when I start presenting some very difficult choices to the country, I hope some of these folks who are hollering about deficits and debt step-up because I'm calling their bluff. We'll see how much of that, how much of the political arguments that they're making right now are real and how much of it was just politics."

"After [Republicans] drove the car in the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back. No. They can't drive. We don't want to have to go back in the ditch."

"Every day we don't act, the same system that led to bailouts remains in place, with the exact same loopholes and the exact same liabilities. And if we don't change what led to the crisis, we'll doom ourselves to repeat it."