The Corner

Today’s Questions for the President

The economy shrank “unexpectedly” last quarter by 0.1 percent. Yesterday, spokesmen for your administration and other Democrats blamed the economic contraction on cuts in federal spending, Hurricane Sandy, Republican intransigence in the fiscal-cliff talks, declines in exports, businesses’ uncertainty over possible austerity measures, Republicans generally, concern over possible sequestration, and undefined factors in the global economy.

Which one is it?

If uncertainty over the possibility of sequestration or austerity measures caused the contraction, what role did uncertainty over implementation of Obamacare — affecting at least one-sixth of the U.S. economy– play? What uncertainty will Democrats’ continued calls for higher taxes create going forward? 

Do you agree with the Democratic party director of communications Brad Woodhouse’s tweet that this is “the best-looking contraction in U.S. GDP you’ll ever see?” If so, why? What other economic contractions have been good-looking, even if not quite as good-looking as this one?

Peter Kirsanow — Peter N. Kirsanow is an attorney and a member of the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

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