Today, I came across a variation of the employment chart below in an Obama campaign ad. In this ad, the old adage holds: There are “lies, damned lies, and statistics.” In this campaign season, this truism will likely apply to both parties.
If the chart above is the Obama administration’s distortion of its record – after all, no one can credibly claim that all is well with American employment — the chart below will likely be the right’s version of reality. This version is also a distortion. After all, President Obama did inherit an economy in free fall.
The Democrats will argue that the economy would have been worse without Obama’s policies, while Republicans will argue that Obama’s policies hampered the recovery. Both the charts and the narratives have some elements of truth, but each taken in isolation is a distortion of reality. After all, that’s what politics is all about, isn’t it?