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The graph that could defeat Obama

By Ezra Klein,

I worry that some of you missed Sunday’s mammoth exploration of whether the economy could have been in a substantially different place today. If that’s the case, read it. As an enticement, here’s the graph from the piece, which updates the chart that the administration released as part of its sales job for the stimulus:

Pam Tobey/Washington Post

Henry Blodget of Business Insider calls it “the chart that will get Obama fired.” For reasons I make clear in the article, I think it tells you a lot more about what the administration — and most forecasters — got wrong about the severity of the recession rather than what the stimulus did or did not do for the economy. But voters don’t want counterfactuals. They want recovery, and quick.

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