Did Obama bring criticism for the state of the job market upon himself?  After all, he promised his stimulus package was going to create or save millions of jobs.

Eh, I'm underwhelmed.  Bush made similar claims about the powers of his tax cuts.  That's what presidents do:  claim that they have magical powers over the economy.  Then when things get better, they take credit, and when they don't, they claim things would have been even worse without them.

Perhaps they deserve to take a beating from the voters for the state of the labor market, which is sort of irrelevant, because whether or not they deserve it, they definitely will.  But I'm as inclined to believe that presidents claim these magical powers because voters demand them, as that the causality runs the other way.

But op-ed columnists should not encourage these beliefs by writing columns demanding that the president exercise his magical powers.  That energy would be better spent making fun of the president when he makes those sort of promises, and explaining that after all, the president is not the Labor God.

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