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It’s the Unemployment

The Obama team is predicting 8.2 percent unemployment — in 2012. Well, good luck to those trying to run for reelection on that economic record. As Christina Romer puts it, “The usual relationship between G.D.P. growth and the unemployment rate has broken down somewhat. The unemployment rate has risen much more than one would have predicted.” Perhaps if the Obama agenda didn’t include massive tax hikes, a batch of new mandates on job-creators, and red ink as far as the eye can see, we could re-establish that relationship. Just saying.

But, meanwhile, Gallup reports:

The percentage of Americans mentioning unemployment as the most important problem facing the United States rose nine percentage points in the past month, from 22% to 31%, and has nearly doubled since December. As recently as November 2008, the figure was in the single digits.

This sounds like a political train wreck for Obama and incumbent Democrats. By their own estimates, unemployment will remain sky-high, causing voters to focus on this issue as the most important among many. It will drown out, I suspect, many of the Democrats’ favorite ploys — blaming George W. Bush, pushing hot-button social issues (remember when conservatives did that?), etc. At some point ( this year’s elections for starters), the party that controls everything in Washington must be held accountable for the results it achieves. It is highly unlikely that many of its members will keep their jobs so long as so many Americans have lost theirs.


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