When Rudy Giuliani recently attacked President Obama’s patriotism, the former mayor thought he could clean up his mess by making additional dumb comments. Eventually, the New York Republican was defending his ugly thesis by saying Obama had been “influenced” by communists “from the time he was 9 years old.”
At this point, it seems the how-to-be-a-good-communist lessons just didn’t stick. If the president is a hyper-liberal opponent of capitalism, he’s executing his plan very poorly.
The last time the tech-laden Nasdaq stock closed above 5,000, Bill Clinton occupied the White House, America Online had agreed to buy Time Warner for $165 billion and beloved “Peanuts” cartoonist Charles Schulz had died in his sleep.The index closed slightly above that level on Monday, unofficially ending Monday at 5,008.10, up 44.57 or nearly 1 percent, as investors celebrated an interest rate cut in China and upbeat economic data. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 also advanced.
Some of this interest, I’ll concede, is the result of people liking round numbers. In a practical sense, Nasdaq 5000 isn’t more exciting than Nasdaq 4999.
But the numeric milestone nevertheless offers an opportunity to pause and consider the big picture. Since President Communist took office, the Nasdaq index has nearly tripled. The same is true of the S&P. Looking back over the last several generations, Wall Street gains under Obama are far stronger than under Reagan, and rival the bull market of the Clinton era.
I’m reminded of Matt O’Brien reminiscing about “the worst op-ed in history.”
On March 6, 2009, former George W. Bush adviser Michael Boskin offered whatever the opposite of a prophecy is when he said that “Obama’s Radicalism Is Killing the Dow.”Now let’s set the scene. Obama had been in office for less than two months at that point, and in that time, stocks had admittedly fallen a lot as markets worried that the big bank bailout known as TARP wouldn’t actually be enough to save the banks. It got so bad that Citigroup briefly became a penny stock.Boskin, though, didn’t think that this once-in-three-generations financial crisis was to blame for the market meltdown. Instead, he blamed it on Obama for … talking about raising taxes?
It’s easy to forget, but in the first few weeks of the Obama presidency, with Democrats scrambling to address the economic crisis they inherited, Republicans actually had the gall to tell Americans to blame the White House for the crisis on Wall Street.
As we talked about a while back, Karl Rove and Lou Dobbs explicitly made this argument. So did Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Fred Barnes. For a short while, it was one of Mitt Romney’s favorite talking points, too. Even John Boehner got in on the larger attack.
Each of them were spectacularly wrong, and as best as I can tell, none of these figures have made any effort to explain their mistake.
Just to be clear about this, I’m not suggesting a soaring stock market is necessarily proof of a strong economy – it’s not, and there are far more important metrics – and suggesting that the president is solely responsible for the direction of market indexes is wrong.
That said, a little consistency would be nice. Conservatives shouldn’t say a falling stock market in early 2009 is proof that Obama’s agenda is a dangerous failure, and then ignore a rising stock market as irrelevant.