Rep. Poe: Obama's "Soviet" Policies Have "Made A Bad Economy Even Worse"

September 16, 2011 12:30 pm ET — Matt Finkelstein

Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX) is a recovering "birther" who rarely misses an opportunity to ridicule President Obama, so it's no surprise that he disapproves of the president's plan for job creation. Nevertheless, it's worth noting just how far removed from reality Poe's perception of Obama's policies is. In an interview with Newsmax, Poe blasted the president's American Jobs Act — more than half of which is tax cuts for working Americans and employers — as "junior stimulus," before launching into a rant about how Obama has a "Soviet idea of the government" that has "made a really bad economy even worse."

"His idea is that the government should control every aspect of not only our lives but of the business community, of the banks through regulation and more Washington control. ... The concept of the five year plan, the old really Soviet idea of the government controlling the economy seems to what he's doing," he said.

"And just like in the Soviet Union it has not worked and it has created economic uncertainly [sic]. People who have money are not spending it because no one knows what's going to happen next. The economy is certainly not better than it was when he took office. He's made really a bad economy even worse with his policies."

Accusing a president who has worked with right-wing members of Congress to slash spending, and actually cut taxes by more than his conservative predecessor, of embracing "Soviet" governance is ridiculous on its face. Apparently, we have reached the point where believing the government should play any role in strengthening the economy or protecting the wellbeing of its citizens constitutes socialism.

Meanwhile, Poe's 'made it worse' allegation is easily debunked. The economy was losing nearly one million jobs per month when President Bush vacated the Oval Office, and GDP was shrinking at a staggering rate. Since Obama took over, the economy has climbed out of a recession and the private sector has now added jobs for 18 consecutive months, despite a recent slowdown prompted by spending cuts and the expiration of recovery funds.