Grow the economy, or else

Commentary: New plan to tackle Europe's debt crisis doesn't address underlying problems

First, an expression of gratitude. Reality — new economic data and active central banks — has removed any duty to pay attention to the convention of either party.

August job data released today were poor. The meager 96,000-job gain was cut in half by downward revisions to the two prior months, and the apparent decline in unemployment from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent is a statistical quirk — the percentage of Americans at work or trying to find it fell to the lowest level since 1981.