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Jay Carney: Economic contraction due to threat of sequestration cuts, which is of course the fault of Republicans

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By Doug Powers  •  January 30, 2013 04:39 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

First, some brief background from an AP story this morning about the “unexpected” economic contraction:

The U.S. economy posted a stunning drop of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter, defying expectations for slow growth and possibly providing incentive for more Federal Reserve stimulus.

The economy shrank from October through December for the first time since the recession ended, hurt by the biggest cut in defense spending in 40 years, fewer exports and sluggish growth in company stockpiles.

Today Jay Carney, spokesman for the president who has been in office over four years, naturally put all the blame on Republicans:

White House press secretary Jay Carney laid the blame for a surprise economic contraction squarely at the feet of congressional Republicans Wednesday, saying economic threats during the “fiscal cliff” negotiations had prevented important defense spending.

“Our economy is facing major headwinds, and that’s Republicans in Congress,” Carney said.

The Commerce Department projected Wednesday that the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012.

Carney said that was partially attributable to the threat of sequestration, which would implement across-the-board spending cuts if a long-term deficit deal is not reached.

And of course wherever there’s an untruth to be advanced, the Dems can always count on Nancy Pelosi to take that ball and run with it:

“Today’s disappointing GDP report is a direct result of the economic uncertainty created by House Republicans’ strategy of obstruction and manufactured crises. The looming sequester contracted growth throughout our economy and at the same time, created uncertainty over the fiscal cliff and House Republicans’ refusal to negotiate a comprehensive fiscal agreement likely also pushed our economy into negative territory.

“There is no reason to see anything but positive numbers in the future – as long as we reach across the aisle and find a balanced solution to bring down our deficit, grow the economy, and strengthen the middle class.”

The White House, Pelosi and others are claiming the Republicans own the sequestration cuts. However, the idea to throw sequestration into the mix was in fact proposed by the White House (and for what it’s worth, the “fact checkers” have agreed on that point as well). So Carney and Pelosi are lying again, but you knew that because their lips were moving.

Carney also said this today: “We continue to be poised for positive economic growth and job creation.”

Mock-worthy indeed. But I don’t blame the White House — they really inherited a mess from the previous administration.

For some reason, whenever Carney says the economy is poised to take off sometime soon, I’m reminded of the old Highland Appliance “any second now” commercial:

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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