Two days after his lackluster first debate performance, President Barack Obama's re-election hopes got a timely boost. The government's monthly jobless report for September showed the nation's unemployment rate fell below 8 percent for the first time since he took office.
If that were the
only metric that mattered, the president might credibly argue that the
U.S. economy was finally on the right track. Unfortunately for him, and
for the American people, he can't.
Economic growth, three years
into the recovery, is anemic. Family incomes are down, poverty is up.
Obama's Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, highlighted these and other hard truths in this week's second debate.
Even the September jobless numbers deserve an asterisk, because more
than 4 million Americans have given up looking for work since January
And while the nation's economy is still sputtering nearly
four years after Obama took office, the federal government is more than
$5 trillion deeper in debt. It just racked up its fourth straight
We have little confidence that Obama would be
more successful managing the economy and the budget in the next four
years. For that reason, though we endorsed him in 2008, we are
recommending Romney in this race.
Obama's defenders would argue
that he inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, and
would have made more progress if not for obstruction from Republicans in Congress. But Democrats held strong majorities in the House and Senate during his first two years.
Other presidents have succeeded even with the other party controlling Capitol Hill. Democrat Bill Clinton presided over an economic boom and balanced the budget working with Republicans. Leaders find a way.
Obama in charge, the federal government came perilously close to a
default last year. Now it's lurching toward another crisis with the
impending arrival of massive tax hikes and spending cuts on Jan. 1. (Continues)