Economists on both sides say this is one of the weakest recoveries since the Great Depression. New York Times economic columnist Paul Krugman, one of President Obama’s early supporters, said, “This is still a terrible economy.”
The overall economy barely grew by 1.7 percent in the second quarter, down from 2.0 percent in the first three months of 2012. Business economists have lowered their forecasts to 1.5 percent or lower for the year. The Federal Reserve Board says it will keep its interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future because they expect the economy to remain in a weakened condition for several years to come.
Most Americans do not follow the economic data that diagnose the economy’s ups and downs. They know what their economic circumstances are. Yet political pollsters and reporters doing voter canvassing tell of interviews with people who say they have been out of work for months still say they are voting for Mr. Obama.
Most get their economic news from the nightly network shows, but the people who produce these programs bend over backward to report as little as possible about the levels of economic deprivation that characterize Mr. Obama’s presidency.