Partisan Divide Worries Bernanke

In Economy On

“It is really striking,” he said. “The election result completely reversed people’s views of the state of the economy. Republicans who thought that we were in a dystopia now think things look great, and Democrats, the opposite. And it shows that it isn’t all based on an objective assessment of the economy.”

Mr. Bernanke’s assessment is supported by recent research: A series of new surveys and polls show direct evidence that your politics increasingly define your view of the economy.

Just this month, the University of Michigan’s monthly survey of consumer sentiment diverged in an unprecedented way: Republicans are convinced that the economy is surging, while Democrats are concerned about an imminent recession.

To Mr. Bernanke, when the economy — as well as the basic statistics that undergird it — becomes politicized, the result is bad policy.

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