President Obama famously said on Friday that the private sector was “doing fine,” and what we really need to be concerned about is government workers. Inconveniently, The Washington Post had a story yesterday that makes the president look as ill-informed as he actually is:
The recent recession wiped out nearly two decades of Americans’ wealth, according to government data released Monday, with middle-class families bearing the brunt of the decline.
The Federal Reserve said the median net worth of families plunged by 39 percent in just three years, from $126,400 in 2007 to $77,300 in 2010. That puts Americans roughly on par with where they were in 1992.
Obama supporters will trot out their defense, which is that the economy is like the weather and the president can’t really do anything about it. Plus, he’s got all those obstructionist Republicans nipping at his hindquarters all the time. But blogger Clayton Cramer points out that Obama has had advantages that no Republican has had:
They had control of both houses of Congress from January of 2007 to January of 2011, the Senate from January of 2007 to the present, and the White House since January of 2009–and they still can’t fix this economy.
“Fixing” the economy isn’t really something any president can do. The president isn’t the master of the economy, after all. But there is much that a president can do to harm the economy or prevent its resurgence, and these things (adding layers of costly, time-consuming regulations, issuing edicts from the EPA, the FCC, the FDA, and the USDA that make life harder for businesses, refusing to listen to entreaties for tax relief) the Obama administration has done enthusiastically.
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