Is Obama a bad economic cheerleader?

August 15, 2009

Dude, you’re bringing me down! Or so says economist Robert Brusca:

Obama has been saying bad things about the economy ever since he got in office. As economic data improved he focused on how bad things were, not on the improvement or the trend. When the Q2 GDP figure fell by only 1% in the quarter he said there would be many more months of recession to come. … His administration was talking about deficits and about raising taxes before the recession was even over; that was reckless.  Japan got into its lost decade of growth by fearing the size of its own fiscal debt and hiking taxes on consumers before the economy was strong enough to take it. Is that the model Obama is pursuing?

The drop in sentiment in current conditions and in expectations is a depressing end to a week of mixed numbers. The consumer sentiment and consumer spending figures are on the same page. But job market improvement usually boosts these two series.. … If June was the end of the recession we are not seeing some very bad economic sentiment for early in the recovery period. It is the first ‘in recovery’ or ‘end recession’ variable that looks uncharacteristically weak.

How could sentiment be so bad with the impact of nearly $1trillion in spending on the horizon? I think it comes back to the president’s constant smashing of sentiment every time an economic statistic improved. If the President won’t cheer for this economy who will? I think that is the lesson of this report. Confidence should be leading the improvement in the cycle not trialing it. With all the positive news someone must take ownership of the failure in confidence.

No comments so far

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see