Throughout America’s history, presidents have gladly accepted the credit when economic times were good, and have been stuck with the blame when times were bad. But each one has learned that the president’s power to affect the U.S. economy directly, by executive action alone, is limited. The president is the commander in chief of the powerful U.S. military, but he can’t exactly bark orders at the nation’s sprawling free-market economy, let alone the global forces that interact with it.
Election 2012: Can a President Fix the Economy? - Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition - WSJ
AUSTAN GOOLSBEE: I think the world vests too much power, certainly in the president, probably in Washington in general for its influence on the economy, because most all of the economy has nothing to do with the government.