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Thursday, September 06, 2012

An ad proposal for the Republicans

Here's an idea for a Republican ad. They can take the video of Bill Clinton asking the convention if we're better off than we were four years ago and their enthusiastic response.
"Are we where we want to be today? No. Is the President satisfied? Of course not. But are we better off than we were when he took office?" Clinton asked.
After a resounding "yes" from the crowd, Clinton echoed: "The answer is yes."
Then show real people worried about the economy along with the statistics of how bad the economy still is. And then the ad can say: If the Democrats don't even understand the reality Americans are living with, how can they fix it?"

James Pethokoukis reminds us of that reality.
At the DNC wing-ding, happy times are here again thanks to the wise economic stewardship of President Obama.

Out in the real America, unfortunately, there’s a No-Go Recovery — where unemployment is high, growth slow and the debt exploding.

Are we better off today than we were four years ago? Only if you frame that question in an absurdly narrow way. In January 2009, America was in a recession; today, the economy is slowly growing. In January 2009, America was losing jobs; today, it is adding them.

But had Obama done nothing, had he not borrowed that trillion bucks, the US economy would still have recovered. Maybe even recovered more quickly.

Just ask the White House. Back in 2009, Team Obama’s economists predicted the unemployment rate today would be around 6 percent even if Congress failed to pass the new president’s $800 billion stimulus plan.

Six percent unemployment if Congress did absolutely nothing.

Instead, the jobless rate is more than 2 percentage points higher, with the stimulus, than in that hypothetical. So one might conclude that Obama’s policies have actually impeded the recovery. He made it worse.

But, hey, maybe the unemployment rate doesn’t matter — that’s why it’s being consistently ignored by Dem convention speakers. It’s just another boring number only Washington wonks care about.

That’s what White House Communications Director Dan Pfieffer said in an economic panel here — that only the elite denizens of the “Acela corridor” from New York to Washington care about monthly jobs reports, like the one coming out tomorrow.

Well, if the job numbers don’t matter, maybe income stats do. And they’re awful — even worse now than during the downturn.

According to an analysis of Census Bureau data by Sentier Research, median household income has fallen more during the three-year recovery, 4.8 percent, than it did during the 18-month recession, 2.6 percent.

As one of the researchers told Bloomberg, “Almost every group is worse off than it was three years ago, and some groups had very large declines in income. We’re in an unprecedented period of economic stagnation.”

To top (bottom?) it all off, America is also less competitive today — less able to grow quickly than it was four years ago.

Back then, the United States— financial crisis and all —had the globe’s most competitive economy, according to the World Economic Forum. In a report out yesterday, America has now fallen to seventh in its rankings. Among our biggest problems: high business taxes and inefficient government.

As it happens, those issues came up frequently at the Republican National Convention. At the DNC? Not so much.
Think about all that and then ponder what Pethokoukis reminded us of - we're now doing worse than the President's own advisers said we'd be doing if we didn't pass their stimulus bill. Then try telling the American people that we're better off.

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