The reason the economy is doing so poorly is too little government spending, as Paul Krugman and others who understand contemporary economics have argued for years.
And just in case anyone doubts it, here is a some data published last month by the Wall Street Journal:
The Labor Department’s establishment survey of employers — the jobs count that it bases its payroll figures on — shows that the government has been steadily shedding workers since the crisis struck, with 586,000 fewer jobs than in December 2008. Friday’s employment report showed the cuts continued in April, with 15,000 government jobs lost.
But the survey of households that the unemployment rate is based on suggests the government job cuts have been much, much worse. … It marks the largest decline on both an absolute and a percentage basis on record going back to 1948. …
The unemployment rate would be far lower if it hadn’t been for those cuts: If there were as many people working in government as there were in December 2008, the unemployment rate in April would have been 7.1%, not 8.1%.
Back to you, Obama for America re-election team. Oh, wait. Anyway, more starkly, Scott Brown has been voting against jobs programs for Massachusetts residents as fast as he can, and Mitt Romney wants to lay off even more police, firefighters, and teachers, which of course will make the economy even worse, although it may result in lower taxes for the very richest of the 1%. (Hat tip for this trip down last month’s memory lane: The Big Picture.)