October 19, 2012
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 2009.
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 13-figure shortfall.
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.