In repeatedly insisting that there is "nothing wrong" with the economy, Obama puts himself at odds with both the public's perception and the market's fundamentals
"There is nothing wrong with our country" except for the "broken" political system, President Obama declared at many stops on his Midwest bus tour this week. "We've still got the best workers in the world. We've got the best entrepreneurs in the world. We've got the best scientists, the best universities."
Well, fine. Presidents have to profess confidence about the country and its long-term prospects, even when the news is bleak. But in repeatedly insisting that there is "nothing wrong," Obama put himself at odds with current reality and with what most people think is true.
It's not just that unemployment and underemployment are sky-high. It's also that the economic recovery is sputtering and in serious danger of slipping into a second recession. A wide variety of polling shows that about 75 percent of Americans think the country is on the "wrong track." Consumer confidence is at the lowest level since 1980, and consumer spending is depressed. Global stock markets, which plunged again on Thursday, are more volatile than at any time since the depths of the financial crisis in late 2008. Gasoline prices are still near $4 a gallon, and gold prices have now pushed above $1,800 an ounce.
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Obama's line is eerily reminiscent of John McCain's infamous remark during the 2008 presidential campaign -- during the same week that Wall Street was imploding - that "the fundamentals of the economy are strong."