Economy & Budget

The Real World with Barack Obama

Earlier this week, the president offered up a speech in Denver that was brimming with his boilerplate populism and divisive class rhetoric.

The president made the case that Mitt Romney’s work in private equity should disqualify him from the presidency. “What Governor Romney doesn’t seem to get is that a healthy economy doesn’t just mean a few folks maximizing their profits through massive layoffs or busting unions,” said Obama, America’s leading expert on healthy economic growth. (Actually, maximizing profits and busting unions probably would help create jobs.)

And then, showing his usual gravitas and affinity for strawmen, the president said this about Romney:

…  Well, those of us who’ve spent time in the real world – (laughter) — know that the problem isn’t that the American people aren’t productive enough — you’ve been working harder than ever.”

Of course, because those of us who’ve spent time there know that after two years of part-time work in your preferred profession you can become CEO of the entire company.

Those of us who’ve spent time in the real world know that you can become CEO without even showing anyone your CV.

Those of us who’ve spent time in the real world know that if your business fails government will send you a check to stay afloat.

Those of us who’ve spent time in the real world know that if you want to grow your business you have to max out every credit card you can get your hands on – and after that, we hit the kids’ college funds.

Those of us who’ve spent time in the real world know that if you want your business to expand and create jobs you simply blame millionaires for their success.

Those of us who’ve spent time in the real world know that if your business is failing you can blame ATMs or other technological advances for the lack of productivity.

Those of us who’ve spent time in the real world can see your wife’s salary jump from $121,910 to $316,962 per year after your husband becomes a U.S. senator – “a job that was strangely left unfilled after she stepped down to focus on her husband’s campaign.” (thanks Jim Geraghty)

Those of us who’ve spent time in the real world always blame the guy who ran things four years ago for our own failures. We can send our kids to private schools while condemning others to crappy public ones. We vacation in Hawaii and Martha’s Vineyard while preaching that everyone else should give up oil for wind.

Guess what? If you’re living in Washington, you’re not in the “real world.”

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