The latest jobs report should persuade all those who worry about the president’s economic policies but find him likable that enough is enough, and that policy trumps personality when it comes to deciding who should occupy the White House. Job creation remains anemic, the unemployment rate has ticked up to 8.3 percent, and the labor force participation rate continues to fall as more and more Americans choose the couch over tramping the streets looking for work. The Labor Department sums it up: Both the number of unemployed and the unemployment rate “have shown little movement thus far in 2012.” It should be clear that it is time for a change.
The president has gambled the nation’s ability to recover from this recession on policies that include high taxes, more regulation, attacks on businesses and “millionaires and billionaires,” stimulus spending that ends up largely in the pockets of members of public service trade unions and campaign contributors, and huge deficits—gambled and lost. Like other obsessive gamblers who cannot recognize failure until they are ruined, he wants to double down—make the same bet again in the hope that this time he will roll prosperity instead of more joblessness. Ideologues, like addicted gamblers, reject experience as a teacher. And when they are gambling with other people’s money, they have little incentive to change, especially if they can count on a winning personality to persuade supporters to overlook the minor matter of oncoming penury.