March 12, 2013
WHICH IS WHY THEY NEED TO EMBRACE THE "BLAME" FOR THE SEQUESTER:
For Republicans, Time to Think Ahead (James Pethokoukis, March 11, 2013, National Review)
This is an economy the GOP ought to own. Posted by Orrin Judd at March 12, 2013 7:48 PMHere's a scary thought for the already demoralized Republican party: If consensus economic forecasts are correct -- and of course that's always a big if -- the 2016 Democratic nominee will appear to have a strong case for a de facto third Obama term. A new forecast from IHS Global Insight is more or less typical: The firm sees GDP growth averaging roughly 3 percent a year from 2014 through 2016. Now, that would hardly be a Reaganesque or Clintonesque boom; it would fall well short of the sort of growth normally expected after a deep downturn. But such an acceleration would make the final years of the Obama presidency the strongest since the financial crisisAnd it would be far from a jobless recovery. Unemployment in that presidential-election year would average 6.3 percent, according to IHS. A little back-of-the-envelope math suggests that unemployment could dip under 6 percent by Election Day 2016. Hitting that mark would mean the Democratic nominee, such as, say, Hillary Clinton, would able to claim that Obamanomics created a net 13 million new jobs since the labor market started to recover. Stay the course, America.At least Republicans could argue the boomlet is unsustainable, a mirage built on trillion-dollar deficits, right? Well, they could try. But the Congressional Budget Office predicts the budget deficit in 2016 will be $476 billion, down a whopping two-thirds from where it was in 2009, and just 2.5 percent of GDP. Federal debt as a share of the economy will have more or less stabilized around 75 percent of GDP (if only temporarily, before the entitlements deluge). And despite Obamacare, total federal spending as a share of the economy will be down nearly 15 percent since the end of the Great Recession. The Obama legacy: More growth, more jobs, less debt, smaller government. And universal health care.