Yesterday, for the first time since June 2008, the stock market closed above 12,000. According to the Associated Press, the stock increases that have occurred since March 2009 are the most rapid in more than eight decades, resulting in “one of the greatest bull markets in history”:
The remarkable run for stocks began on March 9, 2009. The Dow stood at 6,547, its lowest point in 12 years. Since then, in the fastest climb since the Great Depression, it has risen 84 percent thanks to surging corporate profits, the unexpected resilience of personal spending and a bond-buying intervention by the Federal Reserve that made stocks more appealing.
Once upon a time, conservatives of all stripes — from lawmakers in Congress to pundits across the media spectrum — loved to pin the blame for market woes on President Obama. Here’s some of the rhetoric they used:
SPEAKER JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH): “The president certainly remains popular, but his policies are becoming less and less popular,” Boehner said, citing the continuing slide in the financial markets. “Certainly the stock market hasn’t acted very well.” [Politico, 3/4/09]
FORMER GOV. MITT ROMNEY: “During Barack Obama’s presidency, you’ve seen the stock market drop, what, ten percent? That’s a pretty clear indication that some people are very very concerned.” [TPM, 2/27/09]
REP. PETE SESSIONS: Obama intends to “diminish employment and diminish stock prices” as part of a “divide and conquer” strategy. [New York Times, 5/10/09]
SEAN HANNITY: “Obama, since he’s elected, has tanked the markets.” [Fox News, 3/10/09]
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: “Yesterday the Dow fell another 4.24% to 6763, for an overall decline of 25% in two months and to its lowest level since 1997. The dismaying message here is that President Obama’s policies have become part of the economy’s problem.” [3/9/09]
LOU DOBBS: “[T]he stock market has lost 20 percent since this president was sworn in. He has his own bear market. That’s the definition of a bear market, a 20 percent decline. This is now the Obama bear market.” [CNN, 3/9/09]
JIM GERAGHTY: “Today the Dow is at 7,342, down 124 points on the day, and down 600 points in the month since Obama became president…Many factors affect stock prices on any given day, but to the extent that the market has responded to Obama’s election and taking office, it has been in one steady direction: down.” [National Review, 2/20/09]
JOE SCARBOROUGH: “Can you believe how much the markets have dropped since Barack Obama started announcing his economic policy?” [MSNBC, 3/3/09]
PAT BUCHANAN: “Two thousand points down on the Dow since Obama took office. That is a vote of no confidence.” [MSNBC, 3/3/09]
They even blamed Obama for falling markets before he was sworn into office!:
KARL ROVE: “How much of it is the market saying, ‘You know what? The economy is not in a good place and we’re looking at the future, and how much confidence should we have in the team that’s coming to make the economy better?’” [Fox News, 11/20/08]
DICK MORRIS: “Not just because he’s a radical, not just because he’s a Democrat, but because he’s going to raise the capital gains tax…It’s going to continue to tank. It’s lost 12 percent of its value in the last two days.” [Fox News, 11/07/08]
Using the stock market as an indicator of the popularity or effectiveness of economic policy is, for many reasons, quite silly. But the same conservatives who were very willing to cite falling markets in order to score political points have been silent on the market’s recent rebound.