While most myths embrace at least a modicum of reality, this one avoids that temptation. President Obama and his surrogates have repeated the “things are getting better” myth on a number of occasions and in a number of ways. In February of this year the President stated that “the economy is growing stronger. The recovery is speeding up.” A month later he again said that “the economy is getting stronger” and “better days are ahead.”

Friday’s unemployment report provided the kind of mixed results that the Obama administration and the candidate’s surrogates doubtless will spin into a broad recovery scenario. The report said job growth was up 171,000, which was higher than expected, and the 7.9 percent unemployment rate, as several news outlets reported, increased a tick from the previous month because of the way the data was collected and was — counter-intuitively! — a sign the job market is getting better. Things are looking up.

But, finding a bit of silver lining — and I’m all for optimism — is a lot different than understanding the economy we are living in, have been living in, and will be living in if President Obama is re-elected.

Americans understand they are living with President Obama’s declining economy every day and, at the very least, sense that the country is headed in the wrong direction. Our economic growth rate is at anemic levels and discouraged workers are leaving the labor force in droves. So, why tell us that things are getting better? Is it simply the old “who are you going to believe, me or your eyes” approach to persuasion?