On the question of whose economic argument is better, there were, not surprisingly, two schools of thought.
Of those who favor the president, Tokho made the most persuasive case:
When President Obama took office the country was in the midst of the second worst economic failure in history. The nation had lost 1.9 million [jobs] in the final four months of 2008, more than 500,000 in December alone and more than 2.6 million for the year as a whole. The Dow began 2008 at 13338.23, and by Thanksgiving it had lost nearly half of its value, falling to 7449.38. Two of the big three U.S. automakers were facing bankruptcy. More than 30 banks, including investment banking giant Lehman Brothers, had failed.
Since that time, despite the stated goal of [Sen.] Mitch McConnell of doing everything in [the GOP’s] power to make President Obama a one-term president, and the conservative media proclaiming him a failure on the economy less than 90 days into office, the president has halted to economic collapse, added more private sector jobs in less than four years than Bush added in eight years, saved GM and Chrysler, and returned the Dow to more than 13,400. I’d say that is a pretty good start at cleaning up Bush’s economic disaster.
On the Mitt Romney side, this from Tinymont best summed up the case against the president:
I’d remind you of Obama’s campaign promise in ‘08 to “cut the deficit in half” (It was 10 trillion then). In fact, he grew it by an additional six trillion in 4 years.
Then there’s the issue of unemployment: Obama said that if he couldn’t get it under 8% that he would be a “one-term president” (his words).
What makes you think that after three-and-a-half years of this miserable failure on the employment front things are going to get better?
Now we have “QE3” — Obama has instructed the Fed to pump $40 billion into the economy (buying mortgage-backed securities) every month until jobs are finally created. Given that the past massive injections of fed cash into the economy — you know, QE1 and QE2 — have not exactly created an employment explosion, the Fed may be buying those securities forever.
4 years of failure are enough.
It’s time for a change.
As for the Romney agenda, Merecadans argues:
Romney wants the US to expand our way out of our economic morass. Freeze or cut government spending while holding the line on tax increases. This will allow our economy to create the required private sector jobs without substantially cutting government programs.
Obama is the exact opposite. He wants to expand government spending at the expense of increasing our debt. In fact, if Obama had his way we would substantially increase taxes and take the money from the very people that create private sector jobs. In essence it is a choice of doing something about our economic problems (Romney) or maintaining the status quo (Obama). Status quo is not working. Time to make a change.
Both campaigns are doing a worse job on this issue than are Right Turn readers. The message for the average voters is certainly a muddle at this point. I’d make the case that Romney has the better economic argument — you can’t spend, borrow and tax your way to prosperity — but has yet to deliver it in a compelling way that shows how all Americans would benefit. Time is scarce. He better get cracking.