Memo: New Obama Strategy — Lower Expectations So America Celebrates Mediocrity

TO:              Interested Parties

FROM:       Jonathan Collegio

Communications Director, American Crossroads

DATE:       August 3, 2012

RE:           Lowering Expectations

Today, we were informed that the unemployment rate increased to 8.3% as employers added 163,000 jobs. President Obama is likely to celebrate this report as “X number of consecutive months of creating jobs.”

The problem here is that if expectations are low enough, you can celebrate anything. Literally, anything. And that appears to be Barack Obama’s latest strategy – lowering expectations to the point that we celebrate even the most mediocre of economic reports.

Because America’s population is increasing, the economy must generate 125,000 new jobs just to find room for new entrants into the workforce. But during a recovery, our expectations should be higher – to absorb not only new entrants into the workforce, but to re-absorb folks who previously lost their jobs.

In short: It is impossible to celebrate 163,000 new jobs as an accomplishment three years into a recovery – unless you have lowered expectations to the point that you do not expect to get folks back to work. Today’s jobs report only exceeds expectations if the president has exceedingly low expectations for America.

Below is a Heritage Foundation chart using BLS data to compare how Barack Obama’s recovery has shaped up in comparison to previous recoveries:

Barack Obama is presiding over the worst economic recovery in history – despite his stimulus legislation, and promises that spending $800 billion and racking up debt would get unemployment down to 5.5% by this point in 2012. Barack Obama had high expectations for America, until his solutions failed.

According to Neal Soss, chief economist of Credit Suisse: “This is the weakest recovery we’ve ever seen, weaker even than the recovery during the Great Depression…If you’re not scared by that you’re not paying attention.”

The president, Jay Carney, Stephanie Cutter and the rest of the powers that be will shamelessly sell today’s job’s report as a success – even “exceeding expectations” as some news organizations have called it.

Lower expectations enough, and you can celebrate anything – even the weakest recovery in history.