There's a giant secret that Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have been keeping from you: the economy is actually looking pretty great. Seriously, it is. In the past month, we've seen things like Consumer Confidence soar to the highest been for months, Consumer Sentiment reaching a level we haven't seen since 2007, and economists are even predicting a rise in GDP numbers.
Now, we understand the Romney strategy of badgering us about 12 million jobs and telling us that we were a lot better four years ago: you're in a bad place, elect me, and I will be your economic savior and lead you into the promised land of 12 million jobs.
What doesn't make as much sense is why Obama has basically kept mum on the economic goodness, like the lowest unemployment rate since 2009, that the last few months have brought. Apparently that Obama strategy is supposed to change with a little over two weeks to go according to Buzzfeed's Zeke Miller. "He saved us from the brink of disaster ... It's about time he took some credit for that," one Obama aide told Miller.
That said, here's a cheat sheet on the types of things the president should be shouting from Ohio to Florida and all the swing states in between, and yeah, it's the type of stuff Republicans would like you to kindly ignore until November:
September 25, 2012: Feeling Confident "The Conference Board said Tuesday that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to 70.3. That's up from 61.3 in August, which was revised higher," reported the AP's Anne D'innocenzio. She added, "And it's the highest reading since February, when employers added 259,000 jobs and many thought the recovery was strengthening." Confidence in the non-econ world is sort of gimmicky, but in economics confidence is treasured because it predicts spending and spending drives the economy. Though 70.3 is still off from the magic number of 90, which signifies a healthy economy, it shows an upward lift.
October 5, 2012: The Magic 7.8 Percent Unemployment dropped to a historic low today, and turned Jack Welch into a economics truther. As The Atlantic Wire's Dashiell Bennett reported, "The unemployment rate plunged to 7.8 percent in September, its lowest level since Barack Obama took office in 2009."
October 11, 2012: When People Started Paying Attention to the Jobless Claims This stuff comes out every week, and we were always told that the magic number for the claims is anything under 400,000. On this day, that number was 339,000 and the lowest this report has seen in four years. This did not make Jack Welch apologists very happy.
October 12, 2012: Consumers Want to Spend Like It's 2007 "The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan's preliminary October reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment came in at 83.1, up from 78.3 the month before, and the highest since September 2007," reported Reuters's Edward Krudy. Essentially what the Thomson Reuters/UM survey meant, and not to be confused with Consumer Confidence numbers from September 25, is that the Americans they polled were feeling pretty great about purchasing goods, like 2007 great, like pre-bottom-falling-out-of-the-economy-great.
October 12,2012: Economics Expert Lohan Endorses Romney "I think unemployment is very important for now, so as of now I think (my vote) is Mitt Romney," said Lindsay Lohan to a group of reporters. "So, as of now, Mitt Romney. As of now," she added. If Lindsay Lohan is your canary in an economic coal mine, we worry about you. Seriously.
October 20, 2012: Don't Call It a Comeback. "Through Friday, since Mr. Obama’s inauguration — his first 1,368 days in office — the Dow Jones industrial average has gained 67.9 percent," reported The New York Times's Jake Sommer. He added, "That’s an extremely strong performance — the fifth best for an equivalent period among all American presidents since 1900."
October 21, 2012: Let's Call It a Comeback "Gross domestic product rose at a 1.8 percent annual rate after expanding at a 1.3 percent pace the prior quarter, according to the median forecast of 66 economists surveyed by Bloomberg ahead of Commerce Department data Oct. 26." reported Bloomberg's Shobhana Chandra. Yes, we can't predict the future or what the actual GDP numbers will look like in four days, but we'll take 1.8 over 1.3. any day of the week (even though we'd rather have something in the 2s). What economists are banking on is consumer spending which Chandra reports is to have increased at a 2.1 percent annual rate—this would make sense with all those confidence and sentiment numbers, and thanks to things like the demand for the iPhone 5 and strong retail showings from stores like Target.
Essentially, should the American people pick Romney, he will have inherited an economy that isn't anywhere near as bad as the clunky piece of garbage Obama inherited in 2008. And although it isn't in pristine condition, it's not as bad as he and Republicans are making it out to be.