Unethical Quote of the Week: White House Economic Adviser Austan Goolsbee

“The vice president was talking about the summer of recovery in reference to the Recovery Act, that you would see the creation of a series of infrastructure and other projects ramping up over the summer. And you did see that.”

White House Economic Advisor Austan Goolsby, when asked on “Fox New Sunday” about Vice President Biden’s proclamation in June that this would be “the summer of recovery”—a predication that has fallen embarrassingly flat, and that sounded rash and even silly at the time.

Of course, nobody but nobody really believes that Biden wasn’t talking about jobs when called this the “summer of recovery.”

I have mixed feelings about these kinds of lies by public officials. Part of me really hates them, because such transparently deceitful statements that have no chance of fooling anybody with two brain cells to rub together show contempt for the public, an aversion to admitting the truth, unforgivable arrogance, and stupidity that is frightening in anyone with public policy responsibilities. On the other hand, because they are so obviously lies, they have zero chance of fooling anyone, and better yet, they alert the public to unpleasant truths: namely, that the speakers and the people they represent refuse to be accountable for their actions, and intend to remain in power by spinning, using misrepresentations, hiding the truth, deflecting attention away from their commitments and never admitting they were wrong. They are really gifts, if you think about it.

If Goolsby were an honest, trustworthy individual of integrity, he would have said something like…

“Vice President Biden recognizes that economic recoveries are based as much on public optimism and confidence as anything else. He is always upbeat about America’s resilience, and in June he was expressing his confidence that we would emerge from this difficult economic period with the help of this administration’s aggressive policies on behalf of business and workers. The Vice President is disappointed that the recovery is taking longer than we had hoped, as are we all, but he is still confident, as he should be, that we are on the right track.”

Instead, his words were the equivalent of saying,

“I, the Vice-President and the rest of the Administration have no intention of being straight and fair with the American people, at least until the election’s over and we can start using scare tactics and gloomy predictions again to advance our agenda and keep our jobs. Nobody should trust us to do otherwise, because we think the public is largely made up of clueless ideologues who will support us whatever we do, Neanderthal Fox News viewers and drooling Tea Party drones who would oppose President Obama if his policies transformed America into Oz, and most of all, inattentive, lazy, ignorant dimwits who couldn’t win a Scrabble game against my Irish Setter.”

We should be thankful for this. It is depressing that our government feels this way about us, but thanks to the clumsy lies of people like Goolsby, at least we know it.

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