Time-Traveling Rick Perry: Obama Policies Have Us 'At The Precipice Of Defaulting'

August 25, 2011 3:10 pm ET — Alan Pyke

Pivoting away from a question about his relationship with President George W. Bush on Laura Ingraham's radio show this morning, Rick Perry seemed confused about the basic laws of time and space. "Our country's in jeopardy," Perry said. "People come up to me and they're scared. They know that the country is standing at the precipeer [sic] of possibly defaulting" because of "the debt that's been created."

PERRY: Look I got great respect for the Bushes. I don't think there's a more honorable man, better man, than George H. W. Bush, one of the finest men I've ever met in my life. [...] I'm not George Bush, I don't try to be. I respect him, I consider him to be a friend, we've talked to each other a couple times in the last— his birthday was July 6th. But you know, here's the issue. Let's quit worrying about whether or not you particularly— Our country's in jeopardy. I mean, there are people, when I travelled across South Carolina, New Hampshire, and Iowa last week, Laura, I mean, people come up to me and they're scared. They know that our country is standing at the precipeer [sic] of possibly defaulting. I mean, the idea, the debt that's been created, and this $14+ trillion debt, and our kids are gonna have to pay for it. They're ready for some leadership. They're ready for somebody to stand up and say, Mr. President your policies have failed, and we need new leadership in this country. We need someone with a vision, that will get America back working. And let me tell you, you can argue a lot of things about me, I get that, but you cannot argue that we have not created in the last decade, the job creation Mecca of America.


We were at the precipice of a possible default on U.S. debt, but that ended three weeks ago when Congress and the White House agreed to raise the debt ceiling. Perry's confusion also makes it worth pointing out the actual cause of that near-default (Republican hostage-taking) and its immediate effect (S&P's downgrade of the U.S. credit rating because hardline GOP members refuse to compromise or govern responsibly).

Later, Perry said that he's running because he won't "sit on the sideline and watch our country be destroyed economically by a president who has been conducting an experiment on the American economy for the last two-and-a-half years." That's a creative, if unoriginal, way of blaming Obama for the recession that was already a year old when he took office. It also stands the last decade of American history on its head. The Recovery Act's mix of tax cuts and conventional stimulus spending is about as far from experimental as a policy could get.

It was George W. Bush who 'conducted an experiment on the American economy,' by deepening the debt with massive supply-side tax cuts and putting anti-regulatory ideologues in top financial regulatory posts just as Wall Street was turning into Las Vegas. Bush's right-wing experiment produced the most stagnant economic decade since World War II. And if Democrats had not successfully prevented Republican mad scientists from privatizing Social Security, the financial collapse that rounded out the Bush years would have been even worse for retirees.

If Perry wants a promotion, he should bone up on the basics of how we got here.