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Re-Elect Me; It Could Be Worse

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.

The Obama Administration and their allies know that regardless of any other issues, the election will revolve around the economy. Ultimately, it always does, which is why James Carville is famous for so eloquently stating “It’s the economy, stupid.” So how do Obama and his Chicago henchmen convince us that we should let him run the world’s most important country when the economic picture looks meager? They’ll insist that even if you think things are bad now, it could have been a lot worse.

This case was laid out by Zachary Karabell in The Daily Beast. Mr. Karabell may not be well known to the general public, but he fits the predictable leftist profile of an overbearing expert allegedly able to analyze these matters. Having been educated at Columbia, Harvard, and Oxford, Karabell hit the academic trifecta. He holds a PhD and has written several books which – trust me on this – nobody outside the far left of the political spectrum has ever read.

In his column titled “Why Things are Better than We Think”, Karabell tells us why we are so deeply confused about what our eyes and bank accounts are telling us. Karabell starts by conceding that some of our concerns are real, in particular the country’s severe unemployment and underemployment. He also admits that the international financial crisis remains problematic, and that growth in America will not meet the level that we have historically experienced.

Then Karabell insists that despite all this, the Obama Administration has created an economic environment that is quite healthy. He claims that while our 2% growth rate is relatively weak, it is – is his words – “real,” unlike the growth of the Clinton and Bush eras, which he argues was based on “bubbles.” He then declares that despite our “structural” jobs problem, America boasts several success stories (including Silicon Valley), and counsels us to remember that in a country of over 300 million people, most people are still doing reasonably well. He reminds us that every major economic indicator is up, and that the nation has not experienced the liquidity crises that we now see in Europe. Of course, all of these arguments come with little digs at left-wing bogeymen like banks and Wall Street.

You now have it straight. All you have to do is lower your expectations – along with those of your children’s future – and step in line to reelect our beloved President. These people are certainly worthy of an A+ for creativity, even though they clearly deserve an F for factual content. Who would have ever thought that a President would inform the citizens of America that their standards for personal success – like having a job and being able to provide for their family without government assistance – are this Administration’s excuse for inadequate and incompetent leadership?

Let’s take a look at some of these statements:

1) We have no structural jobs problem. We have an invasive government that has thwarted the normal response to an economic downturn. The meager job growth isn’t due to a “mature” economy; after all, why did job growth explode from 1983-1989 without a bubble? We had a mature economy then – the best in the world.

2) That many of us are doing well justifies a national euphoria runs contrary to economic reality. A free market economy succeeds if we all succeed, but with so many Americans hurting, everyone suffers. Our housing prices suffer, our investments suffer, and our earnings suffer. The idea that we can blissfully leave millions of people behind demonstrates the left’s sheer ignorance of the free enterprise system.

3) The fact that we have liquidity in our system, as opposed to the Europeans, is only because in coordination with the Obama Administration, the Federal Reserve has printed immense sums of money that will eventually damage our economy with nasty inflation.

4) Several economic indicators are indeed up, but compared to prior recoveries, the increases are pitiful. Up 0.2% is certainly better than down, but it’s a long way from 1.5%

Karabell joins other Obama apologists (most notably Paul Krugman of the New York Times, who writes weekly of expansive government solutions) in defending the abysmal record of the last three years. They can continue to make these claims, because as Americans, they have the right to argue any economic and political theory. It is our job as citizens not to be deluded by such anti-American rhetoric and demand better.

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