Much has been made of Barack Obama’s comment Friday morning that the “private sector is doing fine.” The mockery is well-deserved.
The president's comment this morning has the potential to be one of those remarks that penetrates deeply into the electorate, well beyond those who keep track of the day-to-day contours of the presidential campaign. The private sector, of course, is not doing fine. GDP growth is 1.9 percent—and slowing. The private sector is adding jobs at a rate that barely outpaces population growth—and slowing. Major corporations are sitting on their cash rather than spending it, consumer confidence is down, so is productivity—no president should be satisfied with this private sector performance.
Pick your cliché—tone deaf, out of touch, etc—they all work.
Beyond that, the president lamented the end to the expansion of the public sector the same week voters in Wisconsin and, somewhat surprisingly, California made clear that they approve of efforts to reduce the size of that sector.
“Where we're seeing weakness in our economy have (sic) to do with the state and local government, often times cuts initiated by governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government,” Obama said. “And who don't have the same kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in.”
Wisconsin governor Scott Walker tells THE WEEKLY STANDARD that Obama’s comments reflect a fundamental misunderstanding of the economy.
“There are two very different views in the country,” Walker said. “The current administration seems to think that success is measured by how many people are dependent on the government. I think success is measured by how many are not.”
He added: “We will restore more freedom and more prosperity for all Americans if we see the private sector flourish so more people can get a job and control their own destiny.”