Back in the days when “Saturday Night Live” was funny, they used to do sketches about a character named “Debbie Downer.” No matter what upbeat news anyone around her shared, she would always find a way to turn it into something horrible and depressing. She would follow this by putting on a pained expression as a sad trombone went, “Wuh-wuh-wuuuuh!” Depressingly, you can’t find Debbie Downer on “SNL” anymore, but you can still catch her on C-SPAN. Except she now goes by the name of “Nancy Pelosi.”
When the GOP tax cut passed and dozens of corporations were announcing that they would share it with their workers through raises, increased benefits and bonuses of $1000 or more, Nancy took to the podium to dismiss the bill as a “tax scam” that only benefited the evil rich and to scoff that the raises and bonuses were mere “crumbs.” “Wuh-wuh-wuuuuh!” (To channel Jeff Foxworthy, if you think a thousand bucks is a “crumb,” then you just might be the evil rich yourself).
Next came word that unemployment, including black and Latino unemployment, were dropping to levels so low, their likes hadn’t been seen in decades. Nancy's response: she moaned that those numbers “mean little” to the American people, who are still suffering from stagnant wages. “Wuh-wuh-wuuuuh!” (Hate to bring this up, but the problem of stagnant wages implies that they haven't gone up in a long time, so doesn't that mean they would have been stagnant when Democrats like her were in charge? Incidentally, the newest numbers show jobless claims at the lowest level in 44 years and black unemployment at the lowest level since 1972.)
This week, Negative Nancy has a new dirge: Never mind the unemployment rate, we have to make wages rise so that we can restore consumer confidence. But wait: it was just reported that consumer confidence is at an 18-year high. “Wuh-wuh-wuuuuh!” (I should point out that government doesn’t make wages rise, other than by hiking the minimum wage too high and killing jobs. Wages rise when employers have to compete to find and keep good workers, and for the first time ever, the number of job openings was surpassed than the number of job seekers. “Wuh-wuh-wuuuuh!”)
While this is like an old “SNL” sketch, it’s also like a new “SNL” sketch in that it’s so biased it’s not funny. I like to believe that Americans want to vote for something, not just against. They want to hear some optimism, that our best days are ahead of us, not behind us; and we don’t have to accept low growth and stagnation as “the new normal.” And if things are going well under your opponent, then don’t try to badmouth good news and depress us, tell us how you can make them even better. But since the only economic plan we’ve heard from the Democrats so far has been to raise taxes back up to make them “fair” again, maybe badmouthing good news is all they’ve got.
This may be what Trump meant when he said America would do so much winning, we’d get tired of winning. Nancy Pelosi must be really sick of Americans doing all that winning. It's very bad for her business. Well, look on the bright side, Rep. Pelosi: at least you created one job…for a sad trombone player.