Saturday, May 22, 2010

Rush Limbaugh On The Economy

Would someone please wake Rush Limbaugh up?

Friday, Limbaugh remarked

They're never going to run out! Now, I have to ask a question again. We're a year and a half in for all intents and purposes. We've spent $700 billion on TARP, the Toxic Asset Relief Program. We've purchased General Motors and Chrysler. We have spent close to a trillion dollars "creating jobs." None of it has worked, from our perspective. There is no good economic news.

He must have slept through the early part of this week when General Motors

posted its first quarterly profit in three years, and it's not exactly chump change. The General just announced it managed to rake in a net income of $865 million during the first quarter of 2010. According to The Detroit News, the change in direction is thanks largely to GM's rebound here in North America. The company's domestic operation pulled down a $1.2 billion profit for the first three months of the year thanks to a slimmer debt load and the sale of Saab to Spyker. During the fourth-quarter of 2009, GM posted a $3.4 billion loss.

Likewise, things are looking up internationally. The Detroit-based automaker also returned a $1.2 billion profit from its global efforts as well. That marks a $500 million increase compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. This is all good news for those eying when the fresh-from-bankruptcy manufacturer will start selling stock once again.

But then, Rush may have slept through the entire year, inasmuch as

CBO estimates the Recovery Act is responsible for between 800,000 and 2.4 million jobs through the end of 2009. The White House Council of Economic Advisers, meanwhile, puts the number of direct, indirect and induced jobs at 1.5 million to 2 million. Those figures are drawn from a macroeconomic model based upon the percentage of funds spent.

Private economists seem to agree that the stimulus package stimulated jobs, as CNN reported in April:

President Obama's stimulus package saved jobs — but the government still needs to do more to breathe life into the economy, according to USA TODAY's quarterly survey of 50 economists.

Unemployment would have hit 10.8% — higher than December's 10% rate — without Obama's $787 billion stimulus program, according to the economists' median estimate. The difference would translate into another 1.2 million lost jobs

Given the positive effect upon employment of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 and the good news from General Motors, Limbaugh obviously lied when he claimed "there is no good economic news." But more importantly, he stated "none of it has worked, from our perspective."

And it has not. This is the same host who immediately prior to his earlier comment claimed

By the way, this happens to extend these unemployment benefits through the election. "Through the end of the year" means "through the election." We know that this does nothing to inspire people to go out and look for work. We've read you the sad stories of people who say, "You know what? I'm not going to take that job. Why go to the trouble of heading it up and drive to work and pay parking and all? No, I'll just sit here and accept my unemployment checks. Yeah, call back in six weeks. Maybe when the benefits run out at some point for me then maybe I'll be interested but I'm not going to start looking for a job until my unemployment benefits run out." The problem is when they run out, here comes Obama to the rescue.

In Rush's world, they're all lazy, the unemployed. They're not rich, they don't own businesses, most of them don't play golf, and some don't even vote Republican. They "just sit here and accept unemployment checks." Why do some Republicans such as Rush (who has compared the President of the United States to Adolph Hitler) hate Americans so? Given the contempt Limbaugh holds for most of the citizens who have lost their jobs in this extraordinary recession largely created by the financial industry he pimps for, none of it really has worked from his perspective.

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