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August 29, 2010

Economic Strategies: Obama vs. The People

Mort Zuckerman explains the public's perception of the economy:

There is an instinctive conclusion among the American public that President Obama's stimulus package has failed to create a sustained recovery. Unemployment has increased, not declined; consumers have retrenched; housing starts have crashed along with mortgage applications; and there is a fear that a double-dip recession may very well be in the pipeline. ...

There is another instinctive conclusion among the American people. It is that the national deficit, and the debts we have accumulated, are of critical political importance. On the national debt, the money the government has spent without the tax revenues to pay for it has produced mind-numbing numbers so large as to be disconnected from reality. Zeros from here to infinity. The sums are hard to describe; it is hard to describe an elephant, but you know one when you see one. The public knows that, shuffle the numbers as you may, the level of debt is unsustainable.

I personally think Zuckerman's done a man's work in capturing the mood of America. But is there any hard evidence that he's right? That the American people are truly skeptical of using increased debt to spend our way out of our woes?

Well, yes. Just compare what the American people are doing to what Obama is doing:

Consumers_vs_Obama_Small.gif

The public has hunkered down and reduced their debt. The Obama administration, in stark contrast, has increased the debt and projects its continued increase for at least another 5 years. It's no wonder he's polling so poorly on the economy.

Addendum: This post was inspired by the combination of this upbeat post from Calculated Risk, and this grim post from Political Calculations.


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posted by Geoff at 03:14 PM

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