Published June 06, 2011
Did you notice? President Obama has switched metaphors. He now says the economy is suffering "bumps on the road" instead of being "stuck in a ditch." For real change, he ought to switch policies.
The anemic job growth in May, when only 54,000 net jobs were added, is the latest sign of a slowdown. Unemployment ticked up to 9.1 percent and that should concentrate the presidential mind on one thing: how to get Americans back to work. Otherwise, Obama will find himself unemployed.
It's not that he hasn't shuffled the deck. Though most news organizations have not covered it, there has been dramatic turnover among his economic team. Four of the initial top people are gone -- Larry Summers, Peter Orszag, Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein.
All have been described as unhappy over various policies, with Orszag, the first budget director, defeated in his bid to get the president to focus on the national debt.
Yet, despite the exodus and lousy results, the policies haven't changed, and that reflects a fundamental truth about Obama: Supremely smug in his own worldview, he doesn't listen to anybody. He has his own "facts."
He is a statist, a believer in expanding the power and size of government. He has a chip on his shoulder about wealth and free markets, and the policies of his first two years, especially ObamaCare, are thwarting economic expansion.
In that sense, his policies are "working," even as millions of Americans aren't.