Obama's economic record - positive or negative?


Official UE is persistently high at 8.2% with many other jobless unaccounted for.

GDP is considerably better than than the -8.9 annual rate of q4 2008 and has been positive since mid-2009.

Inflation is nearly dead as 10 yr Treasuries yield only 1.5%.

Corporate profits are at all time highs at over $100 on the S&P 500.

The US Dollar has gained strength as measured by the DXY.

Deficits are high but lower than FY 2008-09 that Bush left.

Energy prices are considerably lower than 2008 peaks.

Markets are up 80% from Jan 2009 (S&P 500 was 806 then).
So, on net, are we better off economically than in 2008?

I would say slightly positive, not overwhelmingly so. I was unemployed for much of Obama’s first year in office, then found a job at around 3/4 of what the old job paid, so I have felt the effects of the recession and recovery.

I think he did better than the alternative would have done when you look back at recent history, but while he’s avoided a total catastrophe, which is to be commended, there’s little on the upside that he can take credit for since everything has been blocked by a hostile Congress. Which isn’t to say he’d be stellar if given a cooperative Congress: you can’t say one way or the other. (Except in certain areas such as health care: if he were successful in moving more toward a single-payer system rather than the hybrid we have now, it would be better for the economy due to simplifying and cheapening health care.)

Considering the obstacles confronting him in the form of the Republican party it is nothing short of miraculous. When Mitch McConnell, the Minority Leader of the Senate, says his number one goal in Congress for the next four years, as of 2008, is to insure that Barak Obama would be a one term president, you must marvel at what has been accomplished. McConnell’s goal was not to fight for improved ealth care, not to fight unemployment, not to end successfully the wars we were and are fighting, not to reduce taxes, not to balance the budget, not to improve the quality of education in the country, not to improve the economy etc. etc. etc. Rather his goal was to make the President of the U.S. as near a failure as he was able. Given the cooperation of the Republicans, that is, no cooperation, Obama is an extraordinary president.

We’re better off how?

President Obama and his advisors assumed (as would have McCain or Clinton had they prevailed) that the system would take care of itself, just as it had in the late 80s, late 90s/early 00s and post 9/11. It didn’t.

Had the President and his team (I include the party as part of the team) spent as much time and effort on the fiscal mess in which we’re currently mired as they did on the silly healthcare solution they devised, this would be a replay of '96. Instead, we’re looking at the possibility of a replay of '92 except there’s no viable 3rd-party candidate this time. It’ll be an embarrassment and humiliation if this is even close.

Well, that it’ll be, then, because so far, no poll has really shown it otherwise. Sitting back and letting anti-incumbent sentiment do all the work didn’t work for Kerry, and it’s not going to work for Romney, and I’m sure he knows it. (Has it ever worked, really?)

I would give the President a neutral on the economy, while an overwhelmingly negative on the deficit.

When I think of what John mcCain would have done differently, the only big change would be no stimulus, so you figure we get the same result we have now, just with a somewhat lower deficit.

I agree. The very best Romney could ever hope to be is just as good as Obama on the economy, while being a pushover for his righty pals on social issues. That it will probably be close is a testament to the blind partisanship and prejudice of 30% of the nation.

You mean 50%. 30% doesn’t make for a close election. And an incumbent with a record of failure is not exactly one that gets reelected, unless we assume that 45% will vote for him no matter what because they are the ones who are too partisan.

The 30% vote more often than average. 50% of the population is the total registered percentage of registered voters who actually vote.

Can you give me an example of this?

carter, Bush 41, Ford, LBJ(he had the courtesy to get out before being offiically defeated).

The President’s approval rating is lower than Bush’s was at this stage of his Presidency. Like Bush, however, he has a lot of dead enders supporting him no matter what.

What incumbent are you referring to here? Obama? If so, can you elaborate on this?

What failures are you speaking of, and can you clarify this record of failure that you are asserting?

And, since you never answered this from another thread, I’ll try again:

What metrics are you using to determine this “record of failure”? How are you scoring his performance? How does his performance compare with our last president? Better? Worse? How so?

Well, compared to Bush he’s a smashing success, but that’s a pretty low bar. Compared to Clinton or Reagan, he’s Bush’s 3rd term. He has not earned reelection.

All you have to do is look at the OP’s stats to determine that he hasn’t earned reelection. FDR and Reagan inherited much worse economies and did better with them.

Well, perhaps that and a Depression. Hint: the stimulus, while adding to the deficit, turned GDP and job creation from negative to positive.

Obama’s performance has been undeniably positive - it’s just clearly been not enough, and arguably should have been better.

You need to put ‘in your opinion’ at the end of each of your sentences. I’m not seeing too much factual information, just subjective opining really. FDR and Reagan didn’t have the same rabid, win at all costs to the nation opposition that Obama has had. I’m pretty sure the situations those two had aren’t exactly the same as now, but I’m sure you know that too.

Do you think Romney has ‘earned’ election then? Or is it just that he’s anyone but Obama? If so, what has he done to ‘earn’ being elected pray tell?

What would it have taken in your view for Obama to have ‘earned reelection’? Anything that is remotely within reason for him to have gotten done in his first term? Lay out what you would have accepted as a good job if you would please. I’d love to see where you’ve set the bar for him, and whether its actually reachable or not. I suspect its not.

Since job growth did not exceed expecations WITHOUT a stimulus, I’m skeptical that the stimulus had any effect at all.

Given predictions about economic growth over the last few years, the President’s record is substantially below expectations. His supporters can claim things were worse than expected, but when? Does four years of “unexpected” bad news mean we still are underestimating our problems, or is it evidence that the administration is part of the problem?

Lots of opinion masquerading as fact in this thread, don’t single me out just because my opinion is in disagreement with yours.

FDR and Reagan faced plenty of opposition, as did Bill Clinton. They overcame that. Obama can’t, and why should we reelect him when that challenge will get even worse after the elections, when Republicans are likely to control the Senate?

If Santorum or Gingrich had been the nominee, I would have voted for Obama or Gary Johnson. Mitt Romney’s resume makes him more than qualified to be President, and if past performance is predictive, he’ll be a solid President.

For me, the biggest problems he has caused are spending and the deficit. The economy is too complex to blame on one man and there are problems in Europe right now that clearly aren’t his fault.

However, spending has gone way up under his administration, he has no plan to cut that spending despite his promises of a “net spending cut” when he ran in 2008, and he has refused to so much as make a counteroffer to the Ryan budget, at least one that he’ll write down and have scored by the CBO.

You know what would make me consider a vote for Obama right now? A scored, 10-year budget plan with binding targets as a counter to the Ryan budget, with specificity matching the Ryan budget. Doesn’t have to exceed it, I know the Ryan budget contains a lot of assumptions, but it should at least be as specific. And it would have to reduce the deficit as much as the Ryan plan: $5 trillion over 10 years.

Without the stimulus, many many more people would have lost their jobs: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/post/did-the-stimulus-work-a-review-of-the-nine-best-studies-on-the-subject/2011/08/16/gIQAThbibJ_blog.html

The stimulus turned GDP from nearly -9% to almost 5% in one year. Once the stimulus petered out, GDP fell to much more modest, yet still positive, levels, as did job growth. Exactly what many Keynesian-oriented economists said would happen.

This was all resolved a long time ago. Only partisan salesmen would be trying to sell this argument at this time.

That’s based on a model, not empirical evidence. THe predictions about where the economy would be without a stimulus were also based on a model. Who is to say which model is the right one?

Looking at the example of Europe, is there any connection whatsoever between differing levels of economic growth and differing fiscal stimulus policies? if fiscal stimulus works, then countries that did stimulus should grow substantially faster than countries that did not.

This is a habit that needs to really be broken, this idea that liberals decide what the facts are, and any disagreement constitutes partisan hackery or outright dishonesty.

Nothing was resolved, there is no way to empirically prove that the economy was better off with stimulus, or that stimulus has ever been helpful to reviving an economy. It’s all theory, and 80 years after Keynes, it remains theory.