In 2008, presidential candidate Barack Obama ran, not against the promises of Republican nominee John McCain, but against the policies of second-term president George W. Bush. In 2012, Obama apparently plans to run against Bush once more.
Obama sure doesn’t seem to want to run on his record, since the economy is still in terrible shape after three years of his leadership. Instead, it appears he’s going to campaign on the conceit that Bush left him with a much worse economy than anyone—he, economists, Nostradamus—predicted. Obama now would have us believe that his policies prevented an economic slide the likes of which would have made 2010 look like boom times.
That’s a very interesting campaign platform, because even a cursory look at the trajectory of unemployment rates and economic growth in the months following the country’s recessions of the past 50 years shows that the downturn that started in December 2007 is singularly deep, protracted, and devastating. If Obama’s right, and our economy would have been much worse had he not enacted his resuscitating policies, then our country narrowly dodged a plunge to a standard of living on par with that of the 1960s. read more »