During a campaign swing through Ohio last week, President Barack Obama insisted June unemployment figures were "a step in the right direction."
Presumably, Obama still thinks "the private sector is doing fine," as he commented last month.
Good heavens. How out of touch can a president be?
Government figures show that in June, the nation's unemployment rate remained stuck at the same 8.2 percent it was earlier this year. Some new jobs were created, but not nearly enough to improve the unemployment rate.
When campaigning for the presidency in 2008, Obama claimed he had all the answers. Why, if he didn't have the recession beaten in his first term, he would be a one-term president, Obama boasted.
Words can come back to haunt. The June unemployment number is actually higher than the 7.8 percent rate when Obama took office in January 2009.
But there has been growth in one sector of the economy - the federal government. Since Obama took office, the number of federal government civilian employees has increased by 123,000, or 6.2 percent since former President George W. Bush left office, according to the Office of Management and Budget.
Obama's defenders insist most of that growth has been in national security, justice and veterans' affairs. But recall that the war on terrorism began in 2001, long before Obama took office. Civilian employment to account for that conflict had seven years to grow before Obama entered the White House.
At the same time Obama and liberals in Congress were increasing the federal bureaucracy's size, local and state governments were slashing employment by about 635,000 jobs.
But Obama is not finished. Thousands, probably tens of thousands, of new employees will be needed for the federal government to administer the new health care law.
The federal government, then, is taking giant leaps in the right direction, at least as Obama defines it. Growth in Washington, financed by higher taxes and a gigantic national debt, is his goal. In achieving success there, the president certainly is doing fine.