Here’s a chart. It shows changes since the second quarter of 2009, which was both the bottom of the recession and the earliest point at which you can plausibly say that Obama had any influence on actual policy. …we’ve had a lot of cutbacks in government ““ mainly at the state and local level, but federal aid could have avoided that. This isn’t a picture of an economy hobbled by Big Government; it’s a picture of an economy hobbled by premature austerity. The Hobbled Recovery, by Paul Krugman

FACTS ARE STUBBORN things. One fact on the economy is incontrovertible. Pres. Obama chose a paltry stimulus, then bought into austerity and refused to make the pitch and the case for another economic boost.

It’s about what leaders are supposed to do. They lead, even in headwinds, against relentless partisan opposition, refusing to let someone else define the right course. Instead, they take their own principles and plan to the people and make the case to “follow me,” here’s the road Democrats have laid out before that’s worked.

Weak economic growth is very bad news for our country, regardless of your partisan leanings.

The austerity coming from the Republican side of the aisle will make it worse. Just look across the pond.

But that argument won’t be enough to re-elect Barack Obama and perhaps it shouldn’t be. He had the power, the Congress and the people behind him when he came into office and he had a lot of capital to burn. What he chose to do is compromise with himself and ignore progressive economic policy, with what we’re seeing today the result.