Economic reality: Contenders can say what they want, but it's about jobs.
If there was any doubt in anyone's mind that the November 2012 race is going to hinge on who can provide the best solution to the U.S.'s economic woes, Friday erased it.
Truth is, some politicians are still going to try to turn the focus, and those who are in charge are going to make excuses.
But the bottom line is, the current economic policies, which were put in place by a Democratic president who basically controlled Congress for two years, are not working.
Obama senior campaign strategist David Axelrod can spin it all he likes, but the reality is the president has to come up with a better answer for the current economic conditions than "I inherited a bad economy."
That dog doesn't hunt. Not anymore.
Friday's jobs report was so scary because it was anemic before the White House's real numbers were released. See, what happens is the public relations wing releases the report and then the experts downgrade it to what it really means.
And this time, it was downright terrifying.
So why are employers not hiring? It is not too hard to figure out really.
Businesses are not sure what the future will bring and they are nervous about the anti-capitalism rhetoric that is flitting around Washington like fireflies on a July evening.
And that, combined with what has already happened and what they fear will happen when Obama's health care provisions kick in, makes them unwilling to take on the expense of more help. So, they get along with what they have.
And if you are not going to expand an existing business, you sure aren't going to take a chance on a new one.
So, the economy stagnates.
The presidential campaign is going to hinge on who can provide the best solutions for the economy over the course of the next few months.
Excuses will not work and neither will the blame game.
Truth is, lower taxes and common sense business regulation are what we need now. We need to send a message to business owners that there is reason to take a chance, a reason to grow.
And if we don't, or if we fall for the same old promises, we are looking at real trouble.
And that, not the spin you hear every day, is the hard, cold reality.
Published in Editorials on June 2, 2012 11:40 PM