That's a lot of merchandise to push.

1) Take this "Great Recession" business.

Remember the "misery index"? The term, popularized by former President Jimmy Carter, used to mean inflation plus unemployment. Unfortunately for John Kerry, by the time he ran for president in 2004, the misery index stood at 7.4 midway into the election year, the same as when George W. Bush won the presidency in 2000. What to do? Change the definition. Kerry invented a new misery index, one that included only high-rising costs like college tuition, health care and gas prices.

Similarly, "bad economic times" used to mean, above all, high unemployment. Within a year of Obama's presidency, unemployment climbed to 10.2 percent. Within three years of Reagan's presidency, unemployment reached 10.8 percent. Under Obama, inflation has been — at least so far — rather modest. Early in Reagan's presidency, inflation reached 13.5 percent. Rather than describe this era as the "Great-Recession-turned-around-by-Reagan's-pro-growth-policies," many pundits and scribes dismiss this period of extraordinary growth as the "me decade" or the "decade of greed."

2) "There is no disagreement," said then-President-elect Barack Obama, "that we need action by our government, a recovery plan that will help to jump-start the economy."

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