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Political landscape changes with improving economy

May 25, 2013 • Business


FILE – In this May 15, 2013, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks on the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative groups for extra tax scrutiny in the East Room of the White House in Washington. The economy is clearly, if slowly, recovering on Obama’s watch and robbing Republicans of a central argument against Democrats. But the alleged misbehavior by the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies is giving the GOP something else to talk about and investigate. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alleged misbehavior by the Internal Revenue Service and other federal agencies gives the GOP something else to talk about and investigate as the economy clearly, if slowly, recovers on President Barack Obama’s watch, robbing Republicans of a central argument against Democrats.

Amid a series of recent positive economic reports, the GOP is revving up its portrayal of the Obama administration as scandal-ridden and inept, while largely abandoning the party’s where-is-the-recovery criticism.

Republicans had little choice, given that the economy has gained considerable strength over the past 18 months. Today, the federal budget deficit is shrinking rapidly and tax receipts are rising. Consumer confidence and spending are up, as are auto and housing sales. Stocks are near all-time highs.

Such improvements give U.S. policymakers some rare breathing room, even if the nearly 12 million people still out of work don’t discern the brighter picture.

While unemployment is at 7.5 Login to read more

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