I guess he's just a "glass half full" kind of guy
David Leonhardt is frequently cogent, but his new piece "Who Gets Credit for the Recovery?" is risible.
I agree with his implicit premise: The economy is gonna do what the economy is gonna do and political involvement will mostly be credit-claiming or blame-avoidance, but after that we part company.
The biggest problem I see is the notion that anyone is giving out "credit" for the pathetic mess that is our "recovery". Yes, housing seems to turning a corner, but let's get real.
Fewer people have jobs now than did before the crash, even though 4 years have passed and the population has grown.
Housing starts remain well below pre-crash levels.
Real GDP growth so far is lower in 2012 than it was in 2011, and the 2011 figure is lower than the 2010 figure. And, given that we were emerging from a deep recession, the 2010 figure (2.4%) stunk!
Things are so bad that Democratic loyalists are celebrating a 2% growth rate in the 3rd quarter.
Things are so bad that it took a 9.6% increase in Federal government spending to get that dizzying 2% figure.
Behold: the world according to DL: