As unemployment soars and his signature health care plan pushes millions of Americans into greater financial hardship, President Barack Obama is attempting his most audacious feat of persuasion yet: convincing the American people that the economy is getting better.
But the president is getting a tough reception for his claims about reviving the American economy, and the claims themselves don’t bear up to scrutiny.
On Tuesday, Obama will deliver remarks at the Wall Street Journal’s CEO Council’s annual meeting. The address will be one of several verbal expeditions the president has made recently into the relentlessly hostile territory of America’s private economy, which has stagnated throughout his presidency.
In his weekend address Saturday, the president assured Americans, “[W]hile our carbon emissions have been dropping, our economy has been growing. Our businesses have created 7.8 million new jobs in the past 44 months. It proves that the old argument that we can’t strengthen the economy and be good stewards of our planet at the same time is a false choice. We can do both. And we have to do both.”
Obama is also holding a closed Oval Office meeting with Secretary of the Treasury Jack Lew Monday afternoon.
In two on-the-road speeches last week, the president also touted a putative economic recovery that has been driven mostly or entirely by technocratic planning and is threatened mainly by Republican recalcitrance.
“We rescued and retooled the American auto industry; it saved more than a million jobs,” Obama said Thursday in a speech at the Cleveland, Ohio facility of ArcelorMittal, a maker of “sustainable steel” that is headquartered in tiny Luxembourg under CEO Lakshmi Mittal. “We bet on American ingenuity and American workers. (Applause.) And assembly lines started humming again, and automakers started to make cars again.”
Obama declared himself wowed by ArcelorMittal’s positronic technology, telling the audience, “I was looking around this factory, and there’s a whole bunch of computer stuff going on.”