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Should the United States fund the service program AmeriCorps? President Obama would increase its budget. Rep. Paul Ryan would eliminate federal funding for the program.

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The Insiders
Posted at 02:39 PM ET, 07/23/2012

Obama can't see his economic failures

As the economy gets worse, President Obama is not building a campaign message that will sell in October. He is chasing Romney around over tax returns, his business career and any other distraction he can create while more storm clouds appear to gather on America’s economic horizon.

As I’ve said before, pay attention to the bad news; good news has a way of taking care of itself. Well, two timely articles pointtoward more bad economic news in the near term that the Obama administration is not doing anything about. Both of these articles, one by former senator Judd Gregg in the Hill and the other by Jeff Cox on CNBC.com, suggest that we’re heading for a double-dip recession and slower job growth — or worse. Gregg argues that September could be the month that the global economy severely contracts, especially if defense spending cuts combine with tax increases to create a fiscal cliff at year’s end that pushes the United States back into a recession. Cox indicates that economists expect another U.S. and global recession by late 2012, citing evidence of low growth and earnings so far this year.

Voters already think America is in a recession, so if we do technically fall back into negative growth, it will only confirm what they believe. But the president has isolated himself and Democrats by not having a plan beyond more of the same.  In a campaign context, there is no argument that he wants to do more than just tax and spend.

His tax cut for the middle class and tax increases on the wealthy are already viewed as mere political gestures that would not have any positive economic impact, even if polls say it would be popular. If voters are frustrated now, they could be in a panic by October.

There is the potential of an economic calamity on the horizon, and the president appears clueless. As we Insiders know, in politics, bad gets worse. Unfortunately, the worse to come appears to be economic circumstances that could be worse than anything we've seen since the recession started.

Obama’s only chance lies in voters thinking he has a real plan, and there is no evidence of that being true today. The president has an ideological point of view that won't let him initiate pro-growth policies and an ego that won't let him admit mistakes.

By  |  02:39 PM ET, 07/23/2012

 
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