News junkies are, more and more, eschewing the traditional news cycles in favor of social media, particularly using Twitter to gather news in real time.
Media organizations can push news as it happens (or, perhaps more often, simply as it gets written and sufficiently edited).
So when I open my account this morning and find tweet after tweet about the horrible indicators for the economy, I knew that perhaps, finally, the impending 2012 Presidential Election may get the focus it needs.
In other words, things may be getting so desperate, so precarious with our financial systems, that we can’t help but talk about it.
Barack Obama defeated John McCain in 2008 due in large part to the fact that many people associated McCain with the Bush-era policies which had plunged us into debt.
As the housing bubble burst just weeks before the election, people believed McCain, as an entrenched member of the political establishment, was more to blame for the free-falling economy.
Obama was a clean slate. It was easy to argue he’d have a better chance to turn this around. After all, he hadn’t caused it in the first place.
But here we are nearly four years later and Obama’s fingerprints are all over an economy that hasn’t recovered to the degree which Candidate Obama promised it would.
The first news item in my Twitter feed this morning was from Business Insider,
“CHART OF THE DAY: Retail Sales Growth Is Freefalling, And Goldman Has Slashed Its Q2 GDP Number http://read.bi/ND93NL“
You don’t need to see the chart or read the Goldman details to know this is ominous news. Retail sales are considered one of the benchmarks of a growing economy.
There’s two key components to retail sales. First, people have to have money. If people don’t have money, they can’t buy things.
Second, people have to have the money and choose to buy things because just having money doesn’t actually help the economy.
If we had a country of millionaires, but everyone was living in a one bedroom apartment and taking the bus, the economy would be a disaster.
So, if our retail economy is struggling, but people are investing, maybe it’s a sign of positive growth to come. After all, these things take time to trickle down.
Seeing Goldman coming up short of projections makes the retail numbers look worse. If people aren’t investing, whether in the market, or in new capital projects, our economy is in trouble.
How does this relate to Obama?
The next two tweets in my timeline help explain. The first is from Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus.
Stand against Obama paying off his donors with your tax $ – http://is.gd/M59x3I Pls RT
Next were a host of tweets all with similar themes, and all part of Mitt Romney’s new campaign.
Obama = Political payoffs and middle class layoffs. http://www.mittromney.com/news/press/2012/07/obama-record-political-payoffs-and-middle-class-layoffs
What the Romney camp is explaining is that billions of dollars in government loans and subsidies were handed out to people sympathetic to the Obama campaign.
Donors received plum government jobs or appointments and were helped to make millions with government help. This, all happening in the midst of the worst economic period in a century of American history.
Obama is attacking the rich, but what about the people he helped make rich? Why aren’t they creating new jobs? Why aren’t they paying more in taxes?
To his credit, Mitt Romney has tried to stay on message during this campaign. It has been the Obama campaign running misdirection plays, a sign that the left feels exceedingly vulnerable to the point it had to accuse Mitt Romney of being a felon last week (a claim that has been established as false).
If Romney can stay on message and more importantly, if the media helps out and does a little bit of actual reporting (I get it, people are sick of hearing about how bad the economy is, but when it’s this bad, you can’t ignore it), it could be the boost the right needs to start getting this country back on track.
It starts with creating a job opening in the White House.