Rush Limbaugh: Obama Reached Back In Time To Create Bad Economy Before He Even Took Office

Rush Limbaugh: Obama Reached Back In Time To Create Bad Economy Before He Even Took Office

So what is up with giant bloviating bag of gas Rush Limbaugh lately? Oh, just some painfully easy-to-mock made-up economic history wherein Clinton did bad things, Bamz caused bad things to happen BACKWARDS IN TIME just by being black, and George W. Bush was a white knight that tried to fix it all with regulators, who are apparently cool under Republican regimes but not under Democratic ones. You know, same old.

First up from the feverdream clusterfuck angerbear brain that lives inside Limbaugh's soft skull is the notion that Bamz did not inherit a bad economy but instead caused all the late 2008 job losses just by getting hisself elected and probably by being black. It is indeed a True Fact that job losses accelerated like crazy in the last few months of Dubya's tenure thanks to a myriad of complex factors, but one of them was probably not "let's shed employees and tank the economy because we figure that with the black guy in office, something bad is bound to happen." And, if it was, Rush baby, that just kinda says that people that would do that are terrible terrible people, not that Obama somehow reached back in time to fuck with job creators.

Apparently Rush recycles this genius claim every year or so:

Rush Limbaugh falsely claimed that job losses in 2008 were a reaction to President Obama's election in November of that year. In fact, the U.S. economy began losing jobs in February 2008, and the pace of job losses began to accelerate prior to the election.[...]

Limbaugh encouraged his listeners to "[g]o back and look at the monthly unemployment numbers" to confirm his claim. But the numbers debunk Limbaugh's attempt to blame Obama for job losses that took place even before he took office.

People that are much bigger nerds than we are have already created many charts and graphs with many pretty colors that make clear what anyone with a functioning brain stem knows: Bamz has grown the economy even after inheriting the nightmare hellscape that marked Bush's final months. Sorry not sorry, Rush.

Rush's other favorite hobbyhorse, rode hard in this excerpt, is that George Bush was magically not responsible for any of the aggressive lending policies that may have contributed to the subprime disaster. In Rushland, those things started with Bill Clinton, persisted under Shrub no matter how valiantly he tried to regulate it, and then somehow magically became attached to Bamz as a president because Bamz supported it as a senator. Or something. Sounds like a solid theory, except for all the places where it falls apart because the Bush-era strong like ox regulations were about as real as the Easter Bunny:

Derivatives were unregulated: Derivatives had become a uniquely unregulated financial instrument. They are exempt from all oversight, counter-party disclosure, exchange listing requirements, state insurance supervision and, most important, reserve requirements. This allowed AIG to write $3 trillion in derivatives while reserving precisely zero dollars against future claims.

The SEC loosened capital requirements: In 2004, the Securities and Exchange Commission changed the leverage rules for just five Wall Street banks. This exemption replaced the 1977 net capitalization rule’s 12-to-1 leverage limit. This allowed unlimited leverage for Goldman Sachs [GS], Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch (now part of Bank of America [BAC]), Lehman Brothers (now defunct) and Bear Stearns (now part of JPMorganChase–[JPM]). These banks ramped leverage to 20-, 30-, even 40-to-1. Extreme leverage left little room for error. By 2008, only two of the five banks had survived, and those two did so with the help of the bailout.

The federal government overrode anti-predatory state laws. In 2004, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency federally preempted state laws regulating mortgage credit and national banks, including anti-predatory lending laws on their books (along with lower defaults and foreclosure rates). Following this change, national lenders sold increasingly risky loan products in those states. Shortly after, their default and foreclosure rates increased markedly.

Can you just imagine Rush pulling at what little remains of his hair, trying to get around this pile of facts before taking some deep zen breaths and just reminding himself that it doesn't matter what kind of fact-free gibberish he spews, there will always be people dumb enough to believe it. Secret of his success, people.

For fuck's sake. The excerpt is only 2 minutes long. You can listen to the whole thing. We did. Several times.

[Media Matters]


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