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David Brooks: Presidents Have Little to Do with 'Cyclical Ups and Downs' of the Economy

David Brooks: Presidents Have Little to Do with 'Cyclical Ups and Downs' of the Economy

On Friday’s “NewsHour” on PBS, New York Times columnist David Brooks dismissed the notion that President Barack Obama deserves credit and/or blame for the condition of the U.S. economy.

Brooks said there were too many variables in an economy for a president to impact the cycle

“You know, there’s this — I do not think presidents have much to do with the cyclical ups and downs of the economy,” Brooks said. “There are extraordinary moments when president do have something to do with it. And the stimulus package, whether you like it or not, clearly had an impact and probably ameliorated the effect of the recession. But I don’t think over the normal course of time, presidents have an immediate effect on month-to-month or quarter-to-quarter or even year-to-year cyclical stuff that goes on.”

“There’s just so much stuff going on in the economy,” he continued. “First of all, not a lot has happened in Washington to create jobs or destroy jobs. We have sort of been stagnant here legislatively. Secondly, the thing that the president spoke about so much in his Northwestern University speech was the great surge in the energy sector, the great surge first in the production of natural gas through fracking, and then the manufacturing jobs that’s created.”

“Well, that’s not been that’s really championed by his administration or Washington in particular,” Brooks added. “That’s something that just happened and surprised everybody through immense technological advance and our ability to get natural gas and oil out of the ground. So that’s in the private sector. And so I don’t think this is sort of a Washington-organized thing. We have an economy that functions as an economy.”

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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