Editorial: Obama, Romney bad on economics

Nov. 1, 2012 at 5:41 PM
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NEW YORK, Nov. 1 (UPI) -- U.S. presidential candidates are making economic arguments that have "experts in the field longing" for the election to be over, a top economic analyst said.

Alan Beattie, international economy editor of the Financial Times, said Thursday President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney did their best during the campaign to hide the point that their potential impact on the economy is far less than they would like voters to believe.

"Herds of peaceably grazing policy wonks have been left shaking their heads in dismay," at the trail of deceptive statements made during the campaign, he said.

There are statements that are outright blunders, such as Romney's recent claim that Chrysler was moving Jeep production to China and this was somehow President Obama's fault -- a "widely derided claim," Beattie said.

He said the president pretending "foreign direct investment is a zero-sum game," was a blatantly misleading tactic.

"Mr. Obama has propagated his own myths," Beattie said.

The No. 1 falsehood perpetrated during the campaign falls into the category of politics-as-usual, Beattie said -- the claim that presidential power is somehow less than absolute.

It turns out, Beattie says, the economy does not catch a cold if the president sneezes, and the president does not have a magic wand that can cause prosperity to settle quietly over the land.

Campaigning, he said, includes the understanding that it is unwise to "destroy an implicit pact to maintain the myth of presidential omnipotence."

The end result, no matter who wins the election, is that "most likely, we'll be back here again in four years' time, with the challenger accusing the incumbent of selling out to China and letting jobs be shipped overseas and the incumbent, by accepting the premise of the attack, ensuring another debate about the global economy that takes place at an oblique angle to reality," Beattie wrote.

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