From the beginning of the economic crisis back in the pre-election fall, Barack Obama has been consistent about one thing: rhetoric that maximizes whatever panic and fear might be driving it.
And here he goes again. In naming Joe Biden to head a task force on the middle class and its economic woes, Obama uses his usual inflammatory rhetoric (emphasis mine):
This [recent shrinking of the economy] isn’t just an economic concept. This is a continuing disaster for America’s working families. As worrying as these numbers are, it’s what they mean to the American people that really matters.
There is no doubt we are in difficult economic times. But “disaster?” Obama’s words are certainly not “the only thing we have to fear.” But they cannot help but add to the fear that already exists and is probably helping to drive investment and consumer spending down; they neither reassure or inspire confidence.
Obama is not a dumb man, so I can only conclude that the consistent negativity of his pronouncements is deliberate, meant to provoke a fearful response that gives him carte blanche to do whatever he thinks best. In this he is also like the doctor who gives the patient a poor prognosis, knowing that if the person gets well sooner, it may well be interpreted as due to the doctor’s fabulous intervention.