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Debacle: Obama's War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future Hardcover

ISBN-13: 978-1118186176 ISBN-10: 1118186176 Edition: 1st

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Check out a Q&A (PDF) with the authors, Grover Norquist and John Lott, on recession recovery progress, stimulus packages, and recommendations on how to restore U.S. economic strength.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1118186176
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118186176
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #925,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Are Americans better off today than they were before Barack Obama was elected to office? Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist and economist John Lott don't think so, and in Debacle: Obama's War on Jobs and Growth and What We Can Do Now to Regain Our Future, they argue that huge increases in government spending, mounting debt, massive new regulations, and higher effective marginal income taxes are seriously hurting the country.

Exploring the ways in which Obama's economic policies have contributed to the high unemployment rate, slowed economic growth, produced dramatically higher national debt, and damaged the housing market, Norquist and Lott contend that Obama's views on spending, taxes, and regulation have worked to harm—rather than help—our recovery from the so-called "Great Recession."

Arguing that the Obama administration used the financial crisis more as an opportunity "to do big things" than to solve the country's economic problems, the book examines the players involved in the meltdown, Obama's failed attempts to put the country back on track, and much more. Rejecting the President's use of Keynesian economics as a way of giving money to wealthy political supporters rather than as a legitimate way of understanding how the economy operates, Norquist and Lott offer a fresh perspective.

The cost of Obama's policies have greatly outweighed the benefits, and Norquist and Lott have solutions for getting the country back on track. Offering a comprehensive 12-step plan that covers everything from reforming the federal tax code to reducing industry regulation, Debacle outlines a clear path to putting America back in pole position.

From the Back Cover

Praise for DEBACLE

"Debacle will end the claims of Paul Krugman and his ilk that poor, put-upon Obama did the best anyone could do with a recession he inherited. To the contrary, Lott and Norquist convincingly demonstrate that Obama took specific actions that made the recession much worse. A lot of Democrats got wealthy under Obama, but Obama's Democrats-get-rich-quick policies destroyed millions of jobs and left Americans with a massive debt hangover. Every American with a bank account should read this book."
Ann Coulter, best-selling author and syndicated columnist

"Lott and Norquist have penned a persuasive indictment of President Obama's economic record.¿ Jammed with facts and built on a mountain of carefully catalogued evidence, this is a potent resource for anyone who wants to help replace Mr. Obama in the Oval Office."
Karl Rove, former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush

"This is the book that everyone concerned about the future of America must read. Norquist and Lott serve up a depressing but sobering picture of today's economy along with a roadmap of solutions to move the country forward."
Haley Barbour, former Governor of Mississippi

"President Obama's economic policy has been catastrophic for liberty, enterprise, and the American dream—the very archetype of what not to do to end recession. Debacle documents how this happened and why, with outstanding research, facts, and clear thinking. Reading this book is like digging through the rubble of a man-made disaster: It is painful but necessary for going forward to restore prosperity and opportunity."
Jeffrey Tucker, executive editor, Laissez-Faire Books


More About the Author

GROVER G. NORQUIST is President of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), a taxpayer advocacy group he founded in 1985 at the request of President Reagan. ATR is a coalition of taxpayer groups, individuals, and businesses opposed to higher taxes at the federal, state, and local levels. It organizes the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which asks all candidates for federal and state office to commit themselves in writing to oppose all tax increases.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 64 people found the following review helpful By M. Eckstein on March 22, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read a bunch of reviews (good and bad) about this book before buying it. I really recommend doing the same thing for yourself, then reading this book and forming your own opinion. One thing that really stuck out to me was the lack of quotes and numbers in the negative reviews. That is what this book is full of- well documented direct quotes and hard numbers. Even if you eliminate everything that could have the slightest chance of being written with conservative bias there is a ton of good information to soak up.
I bought the book upon recommendation from an economist that I really respect because I wanted to understand what has happened to this country, and why, for myself. Even if you don't want to listen to the opinions of the authors (which in my opinion would be a mistake) read the book for the wealth of data and draw your own conclusions.
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54 of 66 people found the following review helpful By Douglas W. Allen on March 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Dr. John Lott is one of the best economists of his generation and has extensively published in academic and general audience outlets. In "Debacle" he and Grover Norquist walk the fine line between academic data and arguments, and general presentation. The book begins with a discussion of the financial crises and then moves into an analysis of the recovery, the stimulus, and new regulations.

Norquist and Lott are no fans of Obama, and no doubt supporters of Obama will focus on this. However, fundamentally this is a book of reason and facts. Hopefully this book will raise the level of discussion in the recession/recovery debate. One nice feature of the book is that Norquist and Lott provide much information that is not available elsewhere, or at least not well known. For example, some know of the 92 Boston Fed study on discrimination in mortgage lending that led to changes at Fannie and Freddie, but Norquist and Lott point out the data problems in this study. In so doing they trace the problems of the financial crisis back to 92 and the subsequent reactions of the Clinton and Bush administrations to increase overall home ownership. That's a much more compelling story than "Wall St. suddenly got greedy."

Norquist and Lott argue why the stimulus package was unlikely to work. Here they rely on well worked out arguments from economics made in the 60s, 70s, and 80s that pointed out the fallacies of Keynesian thinking. Governments are budget constrained and stimulus money is not wealth created out of nothing. Increased spending comes from taxes, debt (taxes on future generation), and unexpected inflation (taxes on net creditors). Keynesian thinking assumes that nothing is lost in this transfer of wealth (ie.
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36 of 46 people found the following review helpful By veripede on March 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Norquist and Lott have documented their facts carefully because readers will not be happy when they learn what Larry Summers, Timothy Geithner, Austan Goolsbee, Barney Frank and others who were personally involved in and responsible for the nonsensical, and eventually reckless, policies behind the housing crisis and recession were doing when they should have been giving smart advice. Far from helping the country, their stubborn partisan behavior actually moved us in the opposite direction. Their actions are documented. We would have been better off if they had simply been removed from the scene. Further, Obama and his advisers DID make the recession one of the worst recoveries on record. 27 months after the recovery started, the Reagan recovery had generated over 7.0 percent increase in number of jobs. What did Obama's recovery accomplish in the same time period? ZERO percent increase. The charts tell the story. Obama can only hope that few Americans will be smart enough to read this book. Those who are smart will get the message.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By SWDulan on May 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was in the trenches as a real estate broker and real estate and bankruptcy attorney watching the bubble expand. More than once, I took opportunities to call to the attention of government and law enforcement officials some of the then-routine practices that were clearly part of the problem. When the bubble burst, I expected certain specific actions to be taken. The majority of them weren't. I understood that what was done was wrong-headed. But, now, I can see more clearly, in brighter detail, just how wrong. This book is more than just important. It is necessary.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Seaotter on May 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
"Debacle", by Grover Norquist and John Lott, Jr. is a well written, thoroughly researched, informative look at Obama's failed stimulus program and the twisting of the truth that has been employed to make it appear more successful than it is. The various stimulus packages have all been extremely costly and a dismal failure. Countries across the globe hit just as hard as United States in the 2008 global recession that refused to create stimulus packages are all currently in much better shape financially than the U.S. The book discusses the regulations on business that have so crippled our economy. It looks at tax reform, Obamacare, entitlement spending (reforming Social Security), block granting welfare programs to the states and more. It gives a concise but thorough look not only at the problems facing our country but also the solutions to those problems. As the authors rightly contend, the American people are sick of government interference in their personal decisions and hands in their pocketbooks to pay for their unwise spending and want to be left alone. Having thoroughly skimmed the negative reviews, they do not make a lot sense. I highly recommend this book.
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