It's tough to spin anything good out of this administration's handling, or mishandling, of the economy.
But spin is the name of Barack Obama's game these days. For the last week, White House staffers have been running scared from the "tax" label that was attached to the national health care law by Chief Justice Roberts. No politician running for reelection wants to be associated with the dreaded T-word in an election year so Democrats have been feverishly trying to tell us what Justice Roberts really tried to say in his decision on Obamacare.
Being White House press secretary these days is not an enviable position. Jay Carney must face the press and look into the camera each day to define the administration's position. Anyone trying to defend this president's economic policy deserves a medal.
Obama can tell a group of party loyalists that it's cold outside today and, despite 100-degree temperatures, they'll follow him off a cliff. And that's just about where he has the nation's economy tottering on a precipice.
To hear the president tell it, he single-handedly rescued us from economic Armageddon. Just yesterday, the president was in Ohio, touting himself as the savior of the auto industry and the greatest job creator in the history of mankind, let alone the Buckeye state. According to the Obama campaign, if the government had not stepped in with the bailout money, the auto industry would have collapsed. Many differ with that analysis.
"To claim that the car companies would have collapsed if the government hadn't intervened in the way it did, and to suggest that the intervention came at very little cost, is a dangerous misreading of our recent history," wrote David Skeel, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania, in a Wall Street Journal opinion last year.
This morning's weak jobs report gave Americans another dose of reality, and Jay Carney more heartburn. For a record 35 consecutive months, the unemployment rate has remained above eight percent.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Obama administration has lost 1.7 million jobs and the unemployment rate has ballooned from 7.6 when he took office to the current mark of 8.2 percent. An early promise to the American people was to get unemployment under six percent.
Four years ago, Obama stepped into the White House with zero experience in the business sector and he's obviously in way over his head as the nation's top CEO.
Obama claimed his $831 billion stimulus would "create or save" 3.5 million jobs over the next two years and that the unemployment rate would not rise above 8.5 percent. Instead it soared to 10.2 percent in October 2009.
At the end of 2010, the administration revised job forecasts and promised to have unemployment down to 7.2 percent. Since the passage of the stimulus in early 2009, the nation's employment has floundered or been in limbo.
The president is obsessed with attacking Republican rival Mitt Romney for his record in the private sector, but it's Obama's policies that have the economy spinning and employers, the real backbone to a recovery, frustrated.
Obama would be wise not to add much to his personal resume. Having compiled the worst record on jobs and the economy of any president in modern history is not the kind of achievement one can be proud of or want employers, which in Obama's case are the American people, to hear about.
By Jim Zbick