Why election coverage is focusing on the wrong issue

Here’s a good big-picture piece from the Post:

Every president faces two painful, immutable truths about the economy: First, he has far less influence over it than voters think. Second, even when his actions make a difference, it is often not felt until after he’s left office, and not always in the expected way.

Consider the two most successful presidents of recent decades. Ronald Reagan is often credited with sparking an economic renaissance by defeating inflation and deregulating the economy. But it was Jimmy Carter’s appointment of Paul Volcker as chairman of the Federal Reserve that spelled the death knell for inflation (not to mention Carter’s reelection bid), and the deregulation of airlines, trucking and railroads all began under Carter’s watch.

Similarly, the economic boom during Bill Clinton’s presidency was kick-started by an extended decline in long-term interest rates, which began with the budget deal George H.W. Bush signed in 1990 at great personal cost. And if you want to go really big-picture, the technology bubble that gilded Clinton’s second term can be traced to investments in computer-network technology that began under President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s.

via Why a President Romney would have Obama to thank for an economic recovery – The Washington Post.

Exactly. And when you consider the amount of money floating around out there waiting for the “uncertainty” to die down (Reason #431 for having shorter elections), you can see how much potential there is for the economy to keep revving up in the next four years, no matter who wins.

So here’s a question: Why are we focusing so exclusively on the economy in this election?

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