Republican presidential front-runner, Mitt Romney, was campaigning in a Tampa coffee shop where he delivered some remarks about the economy:
“It’s been a failure in the last several years to get America back on track again. It’s taken longer to get Americans back to work than it took during the Great Depression. This is the slowest job recovery since Hoover.”
Nice try, Mitt. An analysis by PolitiFact shows that Romney fell somewhat wide of the mark. As it turns out there were at least two, and perhaps as many as four, recessions that experienced slower recoveries. Amongst these were recessions overseen (and caused) by George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Now Romney and the rest of the GOP pack would like to go back to the policies that produced recoveries that were even slower than the one we are suffering through now.
I’m pretty sure that’s not what America wants, but whether or not they learn about the failures of the past that the GOP embraces will be determined by how thorough and honest the media is in reporting these facts.
PolitiFact goes into great detail in their analysis. They even explain the possible reasons that the present economic weakness has been so frustratingly enduring:
“Part of this likely stems from the severity of the recession (which most experts agree is the worst since the Great Depression) and part stems from a long-term trend toward relatively jobless recoveries. The first seven recoveries on our list averaged a jobs bounceback of more than 8 percent; the final five averaged 2 percent.”
By every standard of measure, the Obama administration is performing fairly well relative to historical comparisons, despite not achieving the results we all desire as rapidly as we would like. At least we are no longer in the vertical plunge the previous administration had cast us into.
The economy, as usual, will play a major role in the upcoming election. The challenge for Democrats is to tell the story of this recovery’s progress, even though to many voters it may not feel like there has been much. And the first line of attack is to call out the falsehoods and misrepresentations like the one Romney tried to pass off in Tampa.