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July 11, 2012

Obama Talks Most About What Matters Least

Reading Robert Samuelson's column this morning reminded me of something that's been bothering me for some time. Congress hasn't passed a budget in nearly 4 years, the federal deficit has exploded under Obama's watch, unemployment is still at record levels and the country is mired in a recession that dwarfs every economic downturn since the mid-20th century by an order of magnitude:


So what does issue does Obama choose as the centerpiece of his re-election campaign? Outsourcing, which at best is responsible for a whopping 2 percent of American job losses... that is, if you ignore its positive effects:

It’s not that offshoring is a myth. No one knows its full extent, because comprehensive employment figures for international trade and money flows don’t exist. But there are estimates for some items. America’s huge trade deficit with China might have cost 2.8 million U.S. jobs from 2001 to 2010, says Robert Scott of the Economic Policy Institute, a liberal think tank. (The estimate counts jobs created by exports and subtracts jobs lost to imports.)

Although that’s a lot, the loss in any single year would have been modest, and even the total is only about 2 percent of all U.S. payroll jobs (129.8 million in 2010). Also, offshoring is not all negative for U.S. employment. Cheap imports may have boosted U.S. economic growth — and job creation — by holding down inflation and increasing both consumer purchasing power and business profits.

The larger point is that developments in the domestic economy, for good and ill, still dominate job expansion and decline. The housing boom, consumer borrowing and business optimism powered the economy and job growth before 2008; and the financial crisis, housing bust and huge loss in household wealth depressed spending and led to huge layoffs and cautious rehiring.

This is the same guy who, faced with a housing bust that erased the net worth of American families almost overnight and a banking crisis that almost melted down the global financial system, decided to pour every ounce of Smart Power he possessed on....

Health care reform. What's the other thing Obama keeps hammering away at? Raising taxes on the evil, Chinese toy loving 1% to pay for more federal spending. Never mind that the numbers don't add up:

Estimates by nonpartisan groups such as the Urban Institute and Tax Policy Center show that without any serious efforts to cut spending, tax rates on the wealthiest people earning $200,000 or more — the group targeted by President Obama — would have to rise to prohibitive levels of between 77 percent and 91 percent just to bring the yearly budget deficit down to manageable levels of around 2 percent to 3 percent of economic output.

Obama's latest attention-raping distraction irrelevancy is this ridiculously dishonest ad about... [gasp!] Mitt Romney's stance on abortion:

The ad goes too far, however, with its claim that “Romney backed a law that outlaws all abortions, even in cases of rape and incest.”

First of all, there was no actual law for Romney to back. Rather, the Obama campaign points to an answer Romney gave to a hypothetical question posed by an audience member during a November 2007 Republican presidential candidates debate sponsored by CNN (during Romney’s first run for president).

Again, pay no attention to the fact that the President has exactly zero power to overturn Roe v. Wade. What you should focus on is Romney's hypothetical answer to a question about what he would do if something that isn't going to happen, happens.

We do not know about you folks, but we find it comforting to know that despite all the problems facing this country, the President is focusing the white hot laser beam of truthiness on imaginary problems and "solutions" that can't possibly improve the economy by more than a trivial amount.

Posted by Cassandra at July 11, 2012 08:07 AM

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Economy, eschmonomy. What's any of that got to do with polls of likely voters? The office is its own justification. What's he got to look forward to once he leaves it, particularly if he leaves in disgrace after one term?

Posted by: Texan99 at July 11, 2012 04:09 PM


I'm about to heal the oceans and I need QUIET so I can focus....

Posted by: Barack Obama at July 11, 2012 04:50 PM

He has to run on irrelevant things, because he can't run on a record of positive achievements. But he knows if you tell a big enough lie and tell it long and loud, a lot of people will believe it. To sad, for our country.

Posted by: Oh Hell at July 12, 2012 08:30 AM