Rep. Hensarling Piles On The GOP's Bogus 'Obama-Made-It-Worse' Claim

June 17, 2011 2:24 pm ET — Kate Conway

Rep. Jeb Hensarling

Having been confronted over and over by the reality that the current recession — the worst since the Great Depression — had its roots in the policies of the George W. Bush administration, congressional Republicans have been more or less forced to acknowledge that President Obama came into office with the country already facing a dire economic situation. That hasn't stopped them from leveling other insincere attacks on the president's economic policies, however. Lately, they've settled on the phrase that Obama "made it worse."

House Republican Conference Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) piles on with a press release attacking the "anniversary of Obama Administration's so-called 'Recovery Summer'":

Last summer, Democrats told America that our economy was recovering because of their massively expensive and unpopular agenda. This summer, we can look back at more than two years of this administration's job-destroying policies and see that President Obama did not reverse our economic crisis-he made it worse. [...]

As long as 'progress' and 'results' are code words for 'historic unemployment' and 'economic disaster,' then the Democrats are right. The economy did indeed take a turn-from bad to worse. 

President Obama might not have started this mess, but his administration's outrageous spending policies made it much worse. With unemployment at its highest sustained level since the Great Depression, new business creation at a 17-year low, and one in seven Americans on food stamps, it's no surprise that the vast majority of the nation believes we're on the wrong track - we are. 

House Republicans, who have now been in the majority for nearly six months, have failed to even consider a single jobs bill, so it's remarkable in and of itself that they have the gall to go after anyone's shortcomings on addressing "historic unemployment." But even more egregiously, asserting that policies like the Recovery Act have worsened the economic crisis is baloney.

Before Obama took office, the private sector was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs a month. The Recovery Act helped turn that trend around and has resulted in 15 consecutive months of private-sector job growth. Indeed, since Hensarling's chosen starting point of last June, the economy has gained over 1.6 million net jobs.

The economy is making demonstrable progress — and no one claimed it would have recovered completely by this time. Yet Republicans are reacting to the millions of people still out of work by wasting time attacking the president and opposing any pro-growth policies the administration tries to enact.