“With four simple words — ‘Give it to me!’ — President Barack Obama took possession of the economy,” the Associated Press reported in July 2009. But after three years of high unemployment and slow economic growth, the president who once staked his future on the success of his economic record is doing everything he can to skirt responsibility and blame others for the mess his policies have created. Instead of “owning” the economy as he once promised, President Obama is pointing the finger at anyone and everyone but himself. Here are just a few examples:
- Congress: “Reeling from last week’s dismal employment report,” President Obama “continued his election-year strategy of pinning the blame on Congress,” The Hill reported in June. Trouble is, it’s members of the president’s own party that have failed to act on the more than 30 bipartisan, House-passed jobs bills that are awaiting action in the Democratic-led Senate.
- Republican Opposition to a Small Business Tax Hike: In a recent weekly address, “President Barack Obama blamed Republicans” for a looming tax hike that is already making it harder for small businesses to hire. But in fact, House Republicans are the only ones that have passed legislation to stop all of the tax hikes on American families and small businesses that an independent study says puts 700,000 jobs at risk, and economists warn will further impede already-sluggish economic growth.
- ATMs and Airport Kiosks: President Obama said “structural issues with our economy,” are to blame for sluggish job growth, pointing specifically to ATMs and airport kiosks as the reason the economy is barely keeping afloat. In a guest post on the Speaker’s blog, an ATM refuted the president’s claim, highlighting several of the president’s failed economic policies that have cost jobs and made it harder for small businesses to hire.
- American Job Creators Going “A Little Soft”: According to President Obama, it’s not his administration’s onslaught of excessive regulations or failed ‘stimulus’ policies that are to blame for America’s economic rut –it’s Americans. In an interview last year, President Obama faulted American job creators, saying they had gotten “a little soft” and lost their “competitive edge.”
- Ubiquitous “Headwinds”: Economic growth stagnated to its “slowest pace in a year,” the Commerce Department reported last month, the most “sluggish” the economy has been this long into a so-called “recovery.” “We’re going to have some continued headwinds over the next several months,” President Obama said in reaction to the report. The president has made the same excuse “more than a dozen” times, dating as far back as June 2010.
- European Troubles Migrating by Air and Sea: “It’s Europe's fault in part, President Barack Obama told supporters…as he explained the sluggishness of America’s economy to heal itself,” The Chicago Sun-Times reported in June. President Obama likened Europe’s troubles to a “cloud that’s coming over from the Atlantic.” That wasn’t the first time he trotted out that excuse. Nearly one year earlier, President Obama said problems in Europe “have lapped onto our shores” and created “headwinds for our economy,” part of the “run of bad luck” the president said was to blame for his disastrous economic record.
- High Energy Prices: “President Barack Obama said…the U.S. economy was still fighting its way back to full health and was not yet growing or creating jobs fast enough, blaming high gasoline prices…for the lag,” Reuters reported in June. Absent from the president’s remarks, of course, was any mention of his role in driving up gas prices by blocking American energy production, shutting down energy producers with excessive red tape, and rejecting the Keystone XL Pipeline.
- Arab Spring & Earthquake in Japan: Reacting to a jobs report last year, President Obama used the Arab Spring in the Middle East, oil prices and the earthquake in Japan “to explain the disappointing number of jobs created” in the prior month, Real Clear Politics reported at that time. Since then, the Obama economy has continued to sputter and the unemployment rate has remained above eight percent for 42 straight months.
- Inheriting a Bad Economy: President Obama “says recovery is taking a long time because he inherited such deep economic trouble upon taking office in 2009,” but more Americans “blame President Obama than anybody else” for the weak economy, according to a recent survey by The Hill. “What is clear — and virtually impossible to dispute – is that the American public broadly dislikes Obama’s handling of the economy,” The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza said in response to a separate Washington Post/ABC News survey showing Americans continue to reject the president’s economic policies.
- The Dog? President Obama hasn’t yet blamed the dog for eating the robust economic recovery he promised when he signed the trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ into law, but with excuses running short and solutions from the president running even shorter, it’s only a matter of time.
While President Obama has tried desperately to shift blame for the faltering economy, House Republicans have been relentlessly focused on advancing solutions under the Plan for America’s Job Creators that will help the private sector create jobs and get our economy back on track. President Obama ought to stop coming up with more scapegoats and excuses, and call on Senate Democrats to pass the bipartisan, House-passed jobs bills they are blocking, and work with Republicans to stop the looming tax hikes that have small businesses “putting off new hires.” Learn more at jobs.gop.gov.