Mitt Romney will be in Allentown to take a cheap shot at President Obama on the closed Allentown Metalworks, which Obama visited previously to sell the stimulus. I’ll credit the Romney campaign for good political theatre, but on the substance, the premise is total crap.
What the Romney campaign is doing here is playing a silly game with causation:
1. Obama visited the Metalworks to sell the stimulus.
2. Now the Metalworks is closed.
4. We should blame Obama for the Metalworks closing.
It’s deeply stupid. Yes, the economy certainly did lose a lot of jobs after Obama was sworn into office. But did the economy lose those jobs because of Obama? Did the ARRA make the economy worse? The answers to these questions are not subjective. There’s no evidence at all to support either of these views.
So for reporters covering this event, when Romney says Obama made the economy worse, there are two very simple questions to ask:
1. When Obama took office, the economy was shrinking. Now it’s growing. In what way is that “worse”?
2. When Obama took office, the economy was hemorrhaging jobs. Now it’s gaining jobs. In what way is that “worse”?