“It’s also important to keep in mind that the president—and politicians generally—have limited control over economic growth. Though Obama and other contenders tout job numbers or GDP growth during their time in office, ultimately those indicators reflect more about the normal ups and downs of the business cycle than any one politician’s economic prowess.”
I’ve been waiting for some media source to say something like this for years. It is one of the most understandable of things that the public, politicians (at least those of the party out of office) and presidents seem determined to deny.
The president doesn’t have enough influence over the economy to make it obey his will. All the forces of the government, including the Federal Reserve cannot make it do what they might want it to do (even if there were agreement among all parties to the conversation about what is desirable).
Whether we like it or not, we live in an international economy which is “free market,” because all the other players, whatever their internal economic systems, are free to respond in what they see as their own best interests, to whatever we do.
Politicians would have you think otherwise; when there is good economic news the party in power is quick to take credit for it; when there is bad news, the opposition party is quick to point it out. There is not enough truth in most of these assertions to take them very seriously but many among us do.
This kind of talk deserves not just a grain of salt but with a block of salt, no matter which side is talking.