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Weekly Wrap: Is it still the economy, stupid?

President Barack Obama waves as he arrives to speak at a fundraiser at The House of Blues in New Orleans, Wednesday, July 25, 2012.

This week, we welcome guests Leigh Gallagher from Fortune magazine and Cardiff Garcia from the blog FT Alphaville. They're here to break down September's weird mix of the political and the economic.

On "the 47 percent" and tax returns

Cardiff Garcia: In terms of its importance to the campaign and to U.S. politics, yes, this is a distraction. But I would also say that what Romney said about the 47 percent still matters because he really mischaracterized what that group is made up of and I think that's something that'll stick for a little while that'll be part of a larger debate about the middle class and the welfare state.

On tax policy

Leigh Gallagher: It's not what's gonna get us more jobs next month, it's not what's gonna prevent us from falling off the fiscal cliff -- the urgent things facing the economy are not part of the conversation. ... But it's interesting: historically, when the economy is weak, it usually doesn't favor the incumbent. But Obama is not suffering right now.

On if this is a "good" economy

 

Cardiff Garcia:The one big exception is unemployment. Historically, this level would be pretty bad ... but if you look at pace of change and not the actual level, that's actually helping Obama. When we get to the debates, I think you'll see a resurgence of the economy as a major issue. 

For more details, listen in on the audio above.

About the author

Kai Ryssdal is the host and senior editor of Marketplace, public radio’s program on business and the economy.

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