- - Tuesday, June 5, 2012


If you are wondering why President Obama and his supporters spend so much time in this election condescending to female voters, jabbering about gay marriage and contraception, or whether Mr. Obama really was born in Kenya, it is because they simply cannot talk about the economy.

And when they do, they quickly make clear why they work so hard to avoid any discussion of it.

The Obama campaign made a rare foray this past week into the economy with a television ad attacking Mitt Romney’s economic record as governor of Massachusetts. OK, stop laughing.

Of course, it strains absurdity for Mr. Obama to be attacking anybody else on their economic record. But this is a political campaign that will be determined by the economy. And, anyway, we should just be grateful that for once they are not arguing that you and I should be paying for some college student’s olympic sex life.

In the ad, Mr. Obama attacks Mr. Romney for job losses in the manufacturing sector while he was governor. He also claims that Massachusetts “fell to 47th in job creation. Fourth from the bottom.”

In his ad, Mr. Obama fails to mention that when Mr. Romney became governor, Massachusetts was dead last in job creation nationwide. But, yes, it did hit 47th on its way to ranking 30th in the nation by the time Mr. Romney left office — a considerable improvement.

But while we are talking about jobs — or the lack of them — consider this: When Mr. Obama took office in 2009, there were 11.6 million people unemployed in this country. Today, after all of Mr. Obama’s economic voodoo, there 12.7 million unemployed.

The unemployment rate when Mr. Obama took office was 7.8 percent. It was not supposed to pass 8 percent, but, of course, it did. And didn’t stop going up until it hit 10 percent in October 2009.

Since then, the rate has been dropping, though that is largely because of people simply giving up looking for jobs. If that weren’t happening, according to federal jobs data, the unemployment rate would be about 11 percent today.

And last week, the unemployment number reversed course and began ticking back up.

Understandably, job creation is a bit of a sore subject for Mr. Obama and an area where he might not be terribly reliable when it comes to judging his opponent.

But the most shocking and disingenuous attack in Mr. Obama’s ad is his claim that Romney left Massachusetts deeper in debt.

This, from the man who has single-handedly piled on such historic mountains of debt as to be — literally — beyond comprehension.

When he took office, the U.S. was struggling under the weight of $10.6 trillion in debt. Through bailouts and wild spending, Mr. Obama has amassed an additional $5.1 trillion in debt, bringing the total to $15.7 trillion.

In his first 3½ years, Mr. Obama has burned through more money we don’t have than all eight years of his immediate predecessor. It is, without question, the biggest bonfire of debt in world history.

No wonder he would rather talk about gay marriage.

• Charles Hurt can be reached at charleshurt@live.com.

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