The American Prospect
April 25, 2012
In his victory speech last night, the former Massachusetts governor offered a startlingly dishonest take on the last three and a half years of the Obama presidency.
In a sane world, Mitt Romney would be laughed out of politics for the speech he gave celebrating his final wins (Delaware, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York) in the Republican nomination contest. The centerpiece of the address was a riff on the classic formulation, “Are you better of now than you were four years ago?”
Is it easier to make ends meet? Is it easier to sell your home or buy a new one? Have you saved what you needed for retirement? Are you making more in your job? Do you have a better chance to get a better job? Do you pay less at the pump?
What’s frustrating about this is the fact that it ignores the last four years of political history in an attempt to put Barack Obama at the center of the country’s economic troubles.
But that’s ridiculous. Here’s what we know about the last four years. In 2008, the economy fell into a deep recession. The proximate cause was the collapse of the global financial system, but the process itself was long in the making; George W. Bush was a terrible steward of the economy, and his policies—along with those of congressional Republicans—yielded a decade of slow growth and sluggish job creation. Along with an out-of-control financial sector, the end result of all of this was the worst recession in more than seven decades.