If grade-schoolers were more worldly wise, a decent playground insult these days could be: "He's slower than the Obama recovery." Or maybe, "Your mamma's uglier than the last jobs report."
On Friday, the Labor Department reported that a dismal 88,000 jobs were created in March. That figure might be revised upward later, as previous jobs numbers have been. But there is no mistaking how bad it was. Even The New York Times offered no positive spin.
The Times reported that the unemployment rate was declining because more of the unemployed are giving up entirely. It even pointed out that "(r)elatively low-wage sectors like food services and retail have accounted for a large share of the job growth in the last few years."
The labor participation rate is 63.3 percent, the lowest it has been since 1979. The year after that was the year the nation rejected Jimmy Carter in a landslide for a President named Reagan, who offered a way out of the malaise. Yet today we accept high unemployment and snail's-pace growth in part because Reagan's party continues to be outmaneuvered by a President constitutionally incapable of governing, but born to campaign.
This is not the Bush economy. It is, as Obama said it would be by now, the Obama economy. And it is a dreadful one. Under him, it is likely to remain that way for years to come.