"Austan Goolsbee, CEA chair under Obama, tried to lay out a four-part test: “Everyone kind of knows they need to ask what conditions was the person handed, what did they do, what was happening elsewhere, and what would have happened if he wasn’t there?”
But those questions, Goolsbee admitted, are tough to answer. Whatever the answer is, however, it needs to take into account that the president’s control of the economy is at best incomplete. “Despite continued scrounging around in the basement,” Goolsbee said of his time in the White House, “I was never able to find the lever you flip that lets the economy grow and create jobs.”" Ezra Klein
There are a number of false ideas around that are widely accepted in the public mind. These ideas are present because the largely uneducated media people put them there. Examples:
- Politics in a democracy is a form of marketing.
- The "surge" defeated the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.
- Petraeus is a great general.
- The president of the US is commander in chief of the US.
- Government is like business and therefore a businessman is well suited to bring good government.
- The president of the US has virtually unlimited power and should be punished or rewarded for everything that happens during his/her term of office.
- The president can create jobs in the private sector, as opposed to creating them by providing money for salaries.
- Ron Paul is a racist loser who should be ignored,