Monday, May 20, 2013

How Should Leftists Respond to the Economy under President Obama?

I was reading a Forbes article yesterday: Economically, Could Obama Be America's Best President?  The Dow has been doing very well lately, and some have argued that this has contributed to a growth in federal revenue that has helped to ameliorate the deficit.

I guess that my question is this: How should I, as one who is fairly left-of-center, respond to this?  I suppose that I can publicize it far and wide, heralding President Obama as a great President when it comes to the economy.  But that would be problematic.  Why?  Because people on the left were predicting that the sequester would have a negative impact on the economy, and yet the Dow has done well after the sequester.  So maybe Paul Krugman and Robert Reich are wrong.  Maybe trying to keep the deficit under control is a good thing and we should focus on doing that, rather than having the government stimulate the economy through more deficit spending. 

But not so fast!  Even though the Dow is doing well, that does not mean that Wall Street's success is trickling down to the middle and lower classes.  As conservatives like to point out, job growth is still pretty anemic right now. 

So what should leftists do: Rejoice that the Dow is doing well under President Obama, or lament that the economy is not doing well enough because the government has cut spending rather than increasing it to stimulate the economy?  Could a leftist do both?

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