An economist and professor at the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland is warning that the numbers are closing in on Barack Obama, and he should offer Republicans in Congress a deal now to address the economy.
The commentary by Peter Morici also urged House Republicans to join Obama in compromise for the benefit of the nation.
The issue of the numbers arose this week at the daily White House news briefing with Press Secretary Jay Carney, when Les Kinsolving, WND's correspondent at the White House, wanted to ask for an explanation.
Carney, however, did not allow Kinsolving to ask the questions.
He had wanted to ask: "USA Today reports that in February of 2009 the president said: 'If I don't have this done in three years, there's going to be a one-term presidency.' But USA Today did not report what he meant by 'this.'"
A fact-check article by ABC News raised the same question earlier this year.
The article by Devin Dwyer noted the Obama statement and said, "While there is no doubt the U.S. economy continues to struggle, an examination of the context of Obama's 2009 comments to NBC's Matt Lauer suggests his 'proposition' might not have been as sweeping as Republicans make it out to be."
Dwyer explained that Obama was answering questions about the Trouble Asset Relief Program.
"Look, I'm at the start of my administration. One nice thing about the situation I find myself in is that I will be held accountable. You know, I've got four years. And, you know, a year from now I think people are going to see that we're starting to make some progress," Obama said. "But there's still going to be some pain out there. If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition."
Dwyer wrote that the underlying conflict in the dispute is "whether the economy has 'turned around.'"
"There is indeed still plenty of 'pain out there' that Obama referred to three years ago."
The column cited problems with unemployment, foreclosures and the fact that "there's still a net loss of 1.7 million jobs since Obama first took office, when things were on the slide."
Kinsolving also had wanted to ask about a statement in a column by Thomas Sowell, who wrote, "A February 2010 meeting in which Congressman Ryan politely but devastatingly schooled Barack Obama on the utter fraudulence of the stats that the Obama administration was using to claim that Obamacare would reduce the deficit."
Ryan was blunt, pointing out that Obama's budget counted $500 billion in additional taxes and $500 billion in cuts in Medicare as the $1 trillion that Obamacare was supposed to be costing.
Ryan pointed out that the income, however, was over 10 years, while the spending allowed for by Obama was for six.
"The real cost of 10 years is $2.3 trillion," he warned.
See Ryan take on Obama and Obamacare:
Sowell wrote: "Paul Ryan is thoroughly familiar with both the facts and the fictions in the federal government's budget. In recent years, the fictions have grown much bigger than the facts. But, as Congressman Ryan reminded the president, hiding spending is not the same as reducing spending.
"If this year's election is going to be decided on the basis of hard facts, the Obama administration is doomed. But the Obama campaign is well aware of that, which is why we are hearing so many distracting innuendos and outright lies about such peripheral issues as what Mitt Romney is supposed to have done while running Bain Capital – or even what is supposed to have happened at Bain Capital, years after Mitt Romney was long gone."
He continued: "When Ronald Reagan ran against President Jimmy Carter back in 1980, he asked the question that should be asked of the voters when any president is seeking re-election: 'Are you better off than you were four years ago?'
"Four years later, when Reagan ran for re-election, he implicitly asked and answered that same question in a campaign commercial titled 'Morning in America,' which listed the ways the country was better off than it had been four years earlier. Don't look for any 'Morning in America' ads from Obama. 'Mourning in America' might be more appropriate."
Morici wrote that without a compromise by January, $100 billion in tax hikes and $400 billion spending cuts take effect.
"With our economy growing by only $300 billion annually, such a shock would thrust it into a prolonged contraction."
He noted the failure of Obama's $767 billion stimulus makes another move unlikely. He said even if Obama wins re-election, the House probably still will be Republican.
He continued: "The Great Recession was caused by manifest structural problems in the economy: a wide trade gap with China and on oil; banks that had forgotten how to earn profits through sound lending; failed financial regulations and skyrocketing health are costs. President Obama's policies have mostly exacerbated those problems."
Morici said compromise is needed now to stabilize whatever economy will be left after the November election.
"With many Americans slipping from the middle class, businesses may simply downsize for a permanently smaller U.S. economy, and families will own fewer vehicles, appliances and electronic toys. Unemployment in the range of 15 percent easily could become the new normal," he wrote.