Obama inspires an economic mini-downturn? 

What started the economic downturn that has been so apparent in the economic statistics that have been coming out this week? A thought, inspired by Daniel Henninger’s column in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal: it was Barack Obama’s shameful April 13 speech at George Washington University, in which he failed to make any serious budget proposal and launched cheap shot attacks on Paul Ryan (who at Obama’s invitation was in the audience) and other Republicans.

That sent a signal to markets that the supposed Edmund Burke aficionado in the White House had decided to leave off governing until November 2012 and launch into full-time campaign mode completely. It also sent a signal that the Democrats’ Mediscare campaign might just be successful, in which case it makes no sense to launch a new business, hire new employees or invest in new enterprises. Job creation suddenly came to a juddering halt, and Mark Hemingway reports in the Weekly Standard blog that half of the puny 54,000 new jobs created in the month just measured by the Bureau of Labor Statistics were created by McDonald’s.

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Michael Barone

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