These Are Not Good Graphs
[Cross-posted at Daily Kos.]
Three days ago I saw a tweet of Obama propaganda, an allegedly sincere blast of four graphs demonstrating the very good underlying results of leadership that were being distracted from by the House lawsuit.
I am deeply disturbed and seriously unsettled, not of course with the partisan cheerleading but with the fact that the graphs represent various political disasters and flaming mistakes of horrifying scope, not accomplishments to boast of.
In an evolution of zero fun I will attempt to illuminate the truth so that the little people might possibly not be put through these catastrophes again, we can learn and leadership damn well better. I’m not out to bash Obama—I am a partisan Democrat fiercely wanting to serve and be loyal, how would that help us?
This is not any attempt at changing Daily Kos editorial policy or direction, nor a defiant thumbing of nose to those fine humans or anyone. Simply a statement of truth to horribly stupid and dangerous ideas we should never allow as accomplishments, for once justifying a 1500 word limit, not the usual 750.
Follow me below the liberal constellation of Kosomotapia into this funhouse of failure and futility, gird yourself, perils of screaming frustration and outrage lay ahead.
At the place of honor in stupidity and ass-backwardness is of course the Bush/Obama deficit graph at the top left, a terrible policy result with two amazing political dimensions.
First is the political smoke and mirror absurdity in the historical conventional wisdom attached to the major parties: Republicans are the Party of fiscal restraint and responsibility, Democrats the Party of taxation and social spending.
What absolute total infuriating twaddle. Since Reagan Republicans have been wanton fiscal idiots slashing taxes for their rich masters after stupidly bleating about deficits. Then when a Democrat like Clinton or Obama comes along all of a sudden deficits are totally the instant massive threat to the Republic and spending is cut or slowed.
Incredibly this works in the bought and furtive minds of DC institutional leadership, the Republicans spout nonsense, wreck the budget and then instantly a Democrat is expected to clean it up, oh my god, then they actually do it, Democrats act like moderate fiscal Republicans should!
Everyone acts like this is normal, conventional wisdom just got completely blasted to oblivion but like Josh Marshal says, DC is hard-wired to be a Republican town, the absurdity just rolls on, oh well.
Bad enough politics somehow get turned so backward Democrats can’t spend on social issues so desperately needed, but oh my god in the face of a catastrophically brutal recession cutting the deficit was the absolute worse thing we could do for employment!
When in recession the government borrows to spend, thus spurring needed growth and employment. Absolutely brilliant minds of serious accomplishment at every single American university educated in economics will never disagree with this screaming fundamental truth, every single econ PhD at every university knows this, yet somehow the America I live in got it stupid, got it so flamingly wrong, inflicted such terrible damage on our people when we damn well knew better!
Every time that Bush/Obama deficit graph gets displayed it’s a proclamation of utter stupidity and political failure, why not sky-write it too? Draw your own conclusion as to how Democratic Party leadership allowed this to happen, fact is it did, and the stupidity and failure of it all heavily weighs my soul and spirit down.
Below the nuclear demonstration of failure is another horribly discouraging graph for a liberal Democrat in 2014, it’s the NASDAQ stock market index since Obama took over. Yes indeed Wall Street has done so very well under Obama, that’s the precise demonstration of the failure, the rich elites with money are the only ones who have done well.
The American labor market has collapsed, where is the graph for wages? For the long-term unemployed? For our young people just entering the work force? What about the amazing productivity graphs that gave no payout at all to workers?
All this graph did in allegedly proclaiming Obama accomplishments is show how the rich have made off like bandits while everyone else is still screwed. Doesn’t do much for my political optimism, no.
Top right is another trend that is going in absolutely the wrong direction, oy another example of complete ass-backwardness. Oil production should be going down, not up, climate change is truly here right now and we have to stop burning oil. Now.
I’m completely not interested in the excuses or rationalizations or laziness, an instant goal for a real leader is to immediately stop burning gasoline in America, that’s a fine, fine start for change we have to begin.
Many minds greater than mine would put this oil production graph as the worst failure of the last six years, not something I would fundamentally disagree with. DC is a completely bought and captured town by the oil industry, they were running the place long before the banks elbowed in, and just because DC thinks this is right and justly so doesn’t make it any more wrong or dangerous.
Last in order and magnitude of failure is the ACA signup rate, the failure here is hidden in the graph, yes the implementation has not been a failure—where it has been allowed to occur—but what about the States where the ACA has been blocked?
In a really sick, correctly-termed pathological health care policy approach, huge swaths of Republican-controlled areas of the country have been denied ACA Medicaid expansion, for no good reason but political spite our little people have been suffering and dying!
Put aside the fundamental merits of ACA—which many liberals are very unhappy with—in one way it could have done very much good it was heinously blocked by Republicans. Where is the graph for how many have died since the ACA was denied, primarily in the South?
As far as missing the mark or obfuscating the truth this last graph is the least offensive, it does reach a threshold of failure by not fighting back, oh my god if your people are terribly suffering or dying when does the incredible injustice of it all demand a response?
Not only is the response not here, it’s not anywhere in the general American political culture, somehow the Republicans are maiming and killing little people Americans with a sick, terrible policy approach and CBS This Morning is completely oblivious. There are some State races where the issue comes into play, but what the Republicans have done with ACA is not generally comprehended, not hardly.
All very discouraging and disheartening, yes, and believe me how I wish there were more cheerful elements to write about. Change does happen, however, and the opportunity of 2016 is not that far away.
I think of the great political scientist and writer David Dayen, who often reminds us that the Postal Service could be such a perfect vehicle for micro-banking, our filthy universally loathed banks actually don’t like banking anymore and ignore the little people, much to their pain and detriment.
I’ll go you one better, David, not only can the Postal Service deliver crucially needed banking services to the most vulnerable among us, they can be an employment haven for our veterans too. If you’re a veteran of a foreign war and need a job there will always be one sorting or delivering mail.
So very very much to ask from a little people liberal, isn’t it? I dare one god damn red blooded American to object to this, no one will mind a little care for combat veterans who need a job and stability when they’ve served so deeply.
As we all know this is not the state of the Postal Service now, not at all, a disgracefully besieged federal agency at 20% of its potential. Is it so much to ask, Democratic President of 2016, that the little people have government work for them in the future with the Postal Service? That it performs its critical function, delivers micro-banking, and is a haven for combat veterans?
[sigh] It is not too much to ask, not hardly, and perhaps just this tiny little government dream for the little people may come to be. In the meantime the truth shall always guide us, not the failure represented in the four graphs above.