Presidents sign the bills that control the economy.

Via John Cole, this editorial cartoon (original source – Steve Greenberg):

Of course this is too blunt to be accurate. There is the additional guilty party, the Congress. It’s more reasonable to suggest that their guiltier, but the nature of our political system produces the marketing message conveyed in this cartoon. Better to just take the message that politicians lie.

Take the beauty of divided government as the better lesson. It’s not perfect because you can see the results of divided government under Reagan, Bush, and Bush. Maybe they would’ve been worse with unified government. Maybe not. I don’t want to speculate here. So I’ll just suggest that pre-W Republican fiscal partisanship controlling Congress and a philandering Democratic fouling the White House are approximately what America needs forever more. Petty distractions from the task of legislating. Maybe we’d no longer need to believe in the same change every four, eight or twelve years.