The Washington Post Doesn't Have Access to Data on the Labor Market or Government Finances

Print
Wednesday, 05 September 2012 05:12

That is what readers of its lead editorial demanding that President Obama move to the right will undoubtedly conclude. After all, it begins by telling readers:

"THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE for the next president will be putting the nation’s long-term finances on sounder footing. The failure to do so is the biggest shortcoming of President Obama’s first term [capitalization in original]."

After all, people who had access to data on the labor market would have to believe that the fact that tens of millions of people are still unemployed or underemployed is the biggest failure of President Obama's first term. These people and their families are seeing their lives ruined.

The worst part is that the devastation they are suffering is not due to their own failings. It's due to the incompetence of people with names like Alan Greenspan, Ben Bernanke and Robert Rubin and the people who have the opportunity to express themselves in major media outlets like the Washington Post. This disaster would have been 100 percent preventable, if anyone in a position of authority had been able to recognize an $8 trillion housing bubble and understand that its collapse would have a devastating impact on the economy. 

Unfortunately, in modern America, people rarely suffer the consequences of their own failures. As a result, the people responsible for this disaster have granted themselves a collective "who have known?" amnesty. Virtually all of them still hold their jobs.

The other part of the Post's story is also wide of the mark. Rather than suffering from an imminent fiscal crisis, the ratio of interest payments to GDP is near a post-war low.

alt

                                  Source: Congressional Budget Office.