The Corner

Krauthammer’s Take

From Special Report with Bret Baier Friday, June 1, 2012

On unemployment numbers, released Friday, that showed the economy created only 69,000 jobs in May, bringing the unemployment rate to 8.2 percent:

The biggest number of the month is the one that came out a week ago on growth. It was revised down to under two percent. That means in all of last year [GDP grew at] 1.7 percent; the first quarter of this year, 1.9 percent. You compare it with the Reagan recovery on the eve of his reelection, we were growing six percent at that time.

And when you have a recovery this bad, there’s no way you can have unemployment dropping at a reasonable level.

And there’s a second effect. You mentioned the stock market. People always have a sense of their own [economic] well-being in part as a result of the market. Not because everybody is a big investor, but because all of us have retirement accounts. And when it grows, as it grew very strongly the first half of the year, [we] get a sense [of] what the economists call a “wealth effect.”

And now that we’ve had this real downturn in the markets [losing nearly] 10 percent, the drop is going to have a negative effect. I think you will see that hangover in terms of the perception of where the economy is headed — from the stock market, obviously from unemployment, and from the anemic growth.

I think this really puts the president in trouble.

On the political effect of the Supreme Court decision on healthcare reform:

Well, [you could construct a] three-cushion-shot interpretation of what would happen if the court overturned it — I’ve entertained it, because it’s so interesting and perverse.

But I think in the end it will be a straight shot. If it’s overturned it will be a huge setback for the president. His signature achievement. He spent a year and a half on it instead of working on the economy.

And the idea that a professor of constitutional law got it so wrong — he and his Democratic leadership — that they weren’t even aware of the constitutional issues in the most important thing he did in the Congress — I think psychologically it will be devastating.

On a New York Times report last week revealing that the US and Israel are behind recent cyber attacks on Iran’s nuclear program:

It’s beyond a problem, it’s a scandal. Leaking the details that we saw in that plan about a very, very highly secret operation, the name of the operation, how it worked, when it worked, how it leaked out, the fact that we had Israeli cooperation, the name of the secret Israeli unit. All that were missing were the Hebrew names of the Israeli agents and their street addresses in Jerusalem.

You wonder how an administration could do this — could allow all of our secrets out and jeopardize what we have done — simply as a way to boost the president in an election year. I think it is a scandal.

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