Commentary Magazine


What’s the Economic Rhetoric This Week?

A colleague asked if I could discern what the latest Obama administration message on the economy was. I confess I am stumped. The Fed Chairman goes on TV to show his “human side.” The president and one of his economic advisors are now, with a bit of hemming and hawing, declaring the fundamentals of the economy to be “sound.” And Obama is now activating his campaign followers to support his $3.6B budget plan.

So what happened to the “catastrophe”? And more importantly, where is the bank plan? No one really can say.

This all has the air of extreme improvisation and political opportunism. The economy had to be on the brink of collapse to get the stimulus plan through so that was the rhetoric then. Now, pundits and politicians are complaining the economy is too fragile to try to ram through the liberal wish list, so the economy is “better than you think.” Which is it?

One suspects the economic “analysis” has everything to do with the political agenda and not much to do with the real state of the economy. And if unemployment increases, what then? I suspect we will suddenly face “catastrophe” again — just in time for another stimulus plan. At some point the voters, not to mention investors and employers, might come to suspect this is all political spin cooked up by an administration that doesn’t really know what to do about the economy.

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