Rooting for FailureRomney cheerleader James Pethokoukis gleefully presents what he calls "The economic chart that may doom the Obama presidency":
In his State of the Union response the other night, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels neatly summed up Mitt Romney’s (who has a roughly 90 percent chance of being the GOP nominee according to Intrade) economic case against President Barack Obama: “The president did not cause the economic and fiscal crises that continue in America tonight, but he was elected on a promise to fix them, and he cannot claim that the last three years have made things anything but worse.”Here's the chart:
In other words, the Obama Recovery stinks.
Pethokoukis describes it at some length, but the gist of it is this: the Reagan recovery was awesome, and this recovery is really shitty. That's about it.
Two things strike me about this. First, this is a tacit admission that Romney has no affirmative case to make. There's just nothing there to vote for, only something to vote against. That doesn't mean he can't win--he could, if the economy is still shitty--but it does reduce Pethokoukis and all the other Romney boosters to rooting for failure.
The second thing is the reason the recovery is weak: decent private-sector growth is offset by cuts to the public sector:
The public sector has been shrinking for the last year and a half — mostly because of cuts in state and local government, with some federal cuts, especially to the military, playing a role as well. In the fourth quarter, government shrank at an annual rate of 4.5 percent.Cuts, I hardly need point out, that were driven by Republicans. They're rooting for failure, and they're doing their damnedest to make it happen.
Over the last two years, the private sector grew at an average annual rate of 3.2 percent, while the government shrank at an annual rate of 1.4 percent.
The combined result has been economic growth of 2.3 percent.