A president utterly indifferent to the single most pressing issue of his day.
To help campaign workers in Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign to keep their eye on the ball, to stay focused on the public’s top concern, Clinton campaign manager James Carville coined the phrase “It’s the economy, stupid.”
Carville was right. As is precisely the case today, the centrality of economic issues was paramount in 1992.
Today, it’s still “the economy, stupid” with the federal debt now at $17 trillion, up from $4 trillion in 1992, and the economy stuck in a record-breaking slow recovery with an official unemployment rate of 7.6 percent in May, up from 7.5 percent in April.
Moreover, the 7.6 percent jobless rate doesn’t include the roughly 800,000 unemployed people officially labeled as “discouraged workers,” or the million-plus jobless workers classified as “marginally attached” to the labor force, or the 8 million partially jobless workers who are working only part-time but looking for full-time employment.
Add these “discouraged workers,” the “involuntary part-timers,” and the “marginally attached” to the official unemployment rate and the true unemployment rate in the U.S. is currently between 14 percent and 15 percent of the labor force — one in seven workers.