Obama Economy Facts

Obama Economy Facts

I have an op-ed running in today’s New York Daily News.

Since the point is to provide lots of facts, below I include a sourced version of it. You can read the clean version at the Daily News or the footnoted version below.

As is usually the case with op-eds, the editors chose the title, not me. I suggested Obama Economy Facts, which is nowhere nearly punch enough for the Daily News.

Thanks to the NYDN staff for their professionalism in working with me.

Bam’s lousy economic record: Let’s just look at the facts, shall we?

By Keith Hennessey

On the campaign trail, President Obama is talking about everything except his own economic record. He attacks his predecessor – a man for whom I worked – as his advisers promise a return to Clinton-era economics.

Rather than hearing about the last two Presidents, voters may instead want the President to explain the economic realities of his own 18-month tenure and what he foresees for the next two years. To further that understanding here are some facts.

At 9.5%, the unemployment rate is 1.8 percentage points higher today than when the President took office. There are 3.3 million fewer U.S. jobs than there were in January 2009. The U.S. economy has lost jobs in 12 of the 18 months he has been office, including the last two months.

In early August of last year, the President declared that, thanks in part to his policies, the U.S. economy was “pointed in the right direction.” We have lost jobs in six of the 12 months since then, for a net decline of 52,000 jobs. The 9.4% unemployment rate when he made this statement climbed to 10.1% and has since declined to 9.5%, still higher than it was last August.

The President signed into law an $862 billion stimulus law and two health laws that will create $788 billion of new entitlements over the next decade. Combine these with countless other smaller spending bills, several of which were labeled as emergencies and therefore not paid for, and the U.S. government is $2.5 trillion more in debt than on the day this President took office. That’s $8,000 more debt for every American man, woman, and child.

Signed free trade agreements with allies Colombia, Panama, and Korea have not been ratified by Congress because the President has not submitted them for approval. For 18 months, all three have sat in his inbox.

That’s the past and present. What, then, does the President have to offer a skeptical voter for the future?

Assuming his economic agenda is enacted into law, the Obama administration projects unemployment would average 9.0% over four years of the President’s term. If you assume he is re-elected, they project unemployment over his two terms would average 7.6%.

For comparison, unemployment during former President Bill Clinton’s tenure averaged 5.2% and during President George W. Bush’s tenure it averaged 5.3%. Former President Jimmy Carter’s unemployment rate averaged 6.5%.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says the President is returning America to “the pro-growth tax and fiscal policies” of the Clinton administration. Yet the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates this administration would have the federal government spend more than 24% of the overall U.S. economy over his term, a government 25% larger than during the Clinton eraBudget deficits would average 8.7% of the U.S. economy, compared to Clinton’s average 0.4% surplus.

The President proposes more government spending, higher tax rates and more debt than his Democratic predecessor.

If Americans had devoted all their income from the beginning of 2009 to June 8 of that year, they could have paid off the government debt inherited by this President from all his predecessors. Under the President’s policies, if they were to try this in 2013, they’d have to work until Sept. 24 9.

While attention focused on taxpayer funds invested in big Wall Street banks, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cost taxpayers $291 billion last year and will cost an additional $98 billion over the next decade. The new financial reform law does not address these two firms, which continue to cost taxpayers about $2 billion each month.

If the President has his way, on Jan. 1, taxes on many successful small business owners will riseInvestors will pay higher taxes on their capital gains and dividends, and some small businesses and family farms will once again be subject to death taxes. This isn’t undoing tax cuts for the rich, it’s raising taxes on small businesses.

Tanning salons and tobacco are not the only new taxes Americans will face. Drug companies, health plans and medical device manufacturers will charge higher prices as they pass new taxes on to their customers. Health Savings Accounts will no longer be usable for tax-free purchases of over-the-counter medicationsSome workers will pay higher Medicare taxes, and some investors will pay a new 2.9% 3.8% tax.

Individuals and families who cannot afford health insurance will face a new tax, as will employers who cannot afford to provide their employees with health insurance. The President proposes to tax charitable contributions for high-income donors, American firms competing with foreign firms overseas, and, indirectly, your electric bill.

These facts may explain why President Obama wants to talk about somebody else.


Backup and Sources

  • Unemployment rate = 9.5% in July 2010. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Unemployment rate = 7.7% in January 2009. 9.5 – 7.7 = 1.8. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • In January 2009, total nonfarm payroll employment = 133.549 M. In July 2010, total nonfarm payroll employment = 130.242 M. The delta is 3.307 M. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Select More Formatting Options, then choose “Original Data Value” and Retrieve Data.
  • Count the months that are negative, starting with the data point for February 2009. June and July 2010 are negative. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • “Today we’re pointed in the right direction.” Presidential Rose Garden statement, August 7, 2009.
  • Count the months that are negative, starting with the data point for August 2009, the first one after this statement. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • In July 2009 (the data point for the Presidential statement), total nonfarm payroll employment = 130.294 m. In July 2010, total nonfarm payroll employment = 130.242 M. The delta is -52 K. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.(Select More Formatting Options, then choose “Original Data Value” and Retrieve Data.)
  • Unemployment rate = 9.4% in July 2009, the data point for which the President made his “pointed” statement. The rate climbed to 10.1% in October 2009, and was 9.5% in the latest report for July 2010. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • All told, CBO now anticipates that the law will increase deficits by $862 billion between 2009 and 2019. Source: Congressional Budget Office, The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020, Appendix A.
  • For the $788 B figure I included only the net deficit impact of the new insurance coverage provisions. I could have chosen a larger number to incorporate other deficit-increasing provisions. Source: Congressional Budget Office, Score of H.R. 4872 in a letter to Speaker Pelosi, Table 1 on page 5.
  • Debt held by the public on January 20, 2009: $6,307 B. Debt held by the public on August 12, 2010: $8,787 B. The delta is $2.48 trillion. Source: TreasuryDirect.
  • U.S. population = 310 M. $2.48 T / 310 M = $8,000 per person. Source: Census.
  • “The Colombia Free Trade Agreement was signed on November 22, 2006. Colombia’s Congress approved the agreement and a protocol of amendment in 2007. Colombia’s Constitutional Court completed its review in July 2008, and concluded that the Agreement conforms to Colombia’s Constitution.” Source: U.S. Trade Representative.
  • The Panama Free Trade Agreement was signed on June 28, 2007. Panama approved the TPA on July 11, 2007. Source: U.S. Trade Representative.
  • The Korea Free Trade Agreement was signed on June 30, 2007. “If approved, the Agreement would be the United States’ most commercially significant free trade agreement in more than 16 years.” Source: U.S. Trade Representative.
  • The Administration’s projected annual average unemployment rates are: 2009 = 9.3%, 2010 = 9.7%, 2011 = 9.0%, 2012 = 8.1%. These average to 9.025%. Source: Office of Management and Budget, Mid-Session Review, Fiscal Year 2011, Table 2 on page 9.
  • The same table shows projected annual average unemployment rates are: 2013 = 7.1%, 2014 = 6.3%, 2015 = 5.7%, 2013 = 5.3%. The eight-year average is 7.5625%. Source: Office of Management and Budget, Mid-Session Review, Fiscal Year 2011, Table 2 on page 9.
  • Clinton average is calculated from February 1993 through January 2001. Bush average is calculated using February 2001 through January 2009. Carter average is calculated using February 1977 through January 1980. Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • “Rather than creating a false prosperity fueled by debt and passing the bills on to the next generation, we need to restore America to a pro-growth tax and fiscal policy,” Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Remarks as prepared for delivery at the Center for American Progress, August 4, 2010.
  • CBO estimates outlays/GDP ratios: 2009 = 24.7%, 2010 = 24.8%, 2011 = 25.4%, 2012 = 23.7%. These average to 24.65%. Source: Congressional Budget Office, An Analysis of the President’s Budgetary Proposals for Fiscal Year 2011, Table 1-2 on page 5.
  • Outlays / GDP averaged 19.6% during the Clinton Administration. Source: My post Comparing Obama Economics to Clinton economics. Note this table shows a lower average for President Obama’s average spending because it uses the Administration’s more optimistic OMB projections. For an apples-to-apples comparison here I’m using CBO numbers.
  • CBO estimates deficit/GDP ratios: 2009 = 9.9%, 2010 = 10.3%, 2011 = 8.9%, 2012 = 5.8%. These average to 8.725%. Source: Congressional Budget Office, An Analysis of the President’s Budgetary Proposals for Fiscal Year 2011, Table 1-2 on page 5.
  • Source: My post Comparing Obama Economics to Clinton economics, which uses data from OMB’s Historical Table 1.2.
  • Source: My post Comparing Obama Economics to Clinton economics. Revenues/GDP are projected to be lower during President Obama’s term because of the weak economy, but beginning in 2013 the top income tax rate will be higher than during the Clinton Administration.
  • Debt held by the public on January 20, 2009 = $6,307 B. 2009 GDP = 14,119 B. Therefore debt / GDP = 44.67%. Assuming a linear GDP throughout the year, June 8th is 44.67% through the calendar year. Source: TreasuryDirect and Commerce Department, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • I made an error here – it should be September 9th rather than September 24th. CBO projects debt held by the public at the end of CY 2012 = 11.579 T and projects 2013 GDP = 16.676 T. Therefore debt / GDP = 69.44%, getting to September 9, 2013.
  • Source: Congressional Budget Office, CBO’s Budgetary Treatment of Treatment of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (January 2010), Table 2 on page 8.
  • Source: Treasury’s “Green Book,” General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal Year 2011 Revenue Proposals, pp. 127-128.
  • Source: Treasury’s “Green Book,” p. 131.
  • Source: Treasury’s “Green Book,” p. i footnote 1.
  • Section 5000B as added by Sec. 10907 of Public Law 111-148 (H.R. 3590), “Imposition of tax on indoor tanning services.”
  • Section 701 of Public Law 111-3 (H.R. 2), “Increase in excise tax rate on tobacco products.”
  • Section 9008 of Public Law 111-148 (H.R. 3590), “Imposition of annual fee on branded prescription pharmaceutical manufacturers and importers.”
  • Section 9010 of Public Law 111-148 (H.R. 3590), “Imposition of annual fee on health insurance providers.”
  • Section 9009 of Public Law 111-148 (H.R. 3590), “Imposition of annual fee on medical device manufacturers and importers.”
  • Section 9003 of Public Law 111-148 (H.R. 3590), “Distributions for medicine qualified only if for prescribed drug or insulin.”
  • Section 9015 of Public Law 111-148 (H.R. 3590), “Additional hospital insurance tax on high-income taxpayers.”
  • Chapter 2A as added by Section 1402 of Public Law 111-152 (H.R. 4872), “Unearned income Medicare contribution.”
  • Section 5000A(b) & (c) as added by Sec. 1501(b) of Public Law 111-148 (H.R. 3590), “Shared Responsibility Payment” and “Amount of penalty.”
  • Sec. 1513 of Public Law 111-148 (H.R. 3590), “Shared responsibility for employers.”
  • Source: Treasury’s “Green Book,” p. 129.
  • Source: Treasury’s “Green Book,” throughout pp. 39-49.
  • Source: The President’s Budget would establish “emissions allowances” from an economy-wide carbon cap. A cap-and-trade is economically equivalent to a carbon tax with some of the revenues raised rebated to carbon producers. Source: The President’s Budget, FY 2011, Table S-2, footnote 3 on p. 4.

(photo credit: White House photo by Pete Souza)

182 responses

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  2. Hmmm … I was not aware that President Obama inherited a decent economy in good shape? My impression was the recession started in Dec 2007 according to NBER and the economy collapsed in 2008. Somehow I've the impression some of your blog posts (not the very interesting factual ones) are pure propaganda by omission of facts to protect your legacy as administration official. To compare the unemployment figures of Clinton, Bush and Obama is absurd.

    • Stephan, the numbers regarding unemployment are factual. Don't forget that Bush didn't exactly inherit the best economic circumstances, either, entering into office on the heels of the dot.com bust and immediately before 9/11. Admittedly, the Obama administration has been dealt a tough hand which they never hesitate to remind us, and I'm sure the electorate will take that into account, as they should. However, I think the Hennessey post was fair in projecting the unemployment rate out to the end of an Obama second term (using the administration's own projections)., which I think deals with your criticism in the best possible way. There does come a point at which the administration is going to have to take responsibiity for its own actions and the state of the economy under its watch. It sounds to me as though you are arguing this responsiblity should only commence after the end of Obama's second term? If so, and you you also argue that there can't be any comparisons, even with appropriate caveats, then I think you need to re-think who is spreading propaganda here.

      • Oh, it's pretty clear who the propagandist is here.

        Keith Hennessey knows exactly what he is doing when he chooses to write an article to lay out the facts but then fails to put any of those facts in their proper context.

        Context is everything and, without it, facts are rendered meaningless.

      • Vivian, thanks for your reply. I agree that President Obama must at some point take responsibility for this unacceptable unemployment figures. And this point is NOW. Why is this not happening? Because the President is a coward and bows to nonsensical claims coming exactly from pundits like Keith Hennessy. The deficit will kill us. Interest payment will impoverish our children. The US is in the short future bankrupt. Just read his childish Billiy Jones fables. These fables only reveal that he's very good in telling fear-mongering political fairy-tales but has a very poor understanding how the actual US monetary arrangements operate. In other words I really enjoy his factual posts how an US administration actually operates but as an economist he's lousy.

      • Hmmm if you state the recession started in Dec 2007 (it did earlier than that if one looks at the revised numbers), then how do you claim the economy was an inherited problem? Are you forgetting that there has been a Democratic congress since Bush's midterm elections.

        I really didn't like Bush as much as many other people don't… but your post is disingenuous at best. Libs cannot cry for accountability and then when things don't go their way, hide behind the excuse of the previous administration.

      • Stephen, please explain your "Economics 101" and then maybe tell us why your "Economics for Dummies" is failing the country so magnificently.

    • And I'd like to point out that the Democrats have had total control over both Houses of Congress since 2006.

    • It's not what he inherited we are worried about, it's what he has expanded on since. He was hired him to improve on our status as a country, not blow it the heck apart. Can't believe a word that comes out of his mouth, he's just a puppet on a string earning his keep from some one higher up. And it's not We the People, he could care less about the people that was put in his hands to take care of. Wake up! He owns whatever is out there now.

    • If you check Obama's voting record, he (and the democratic congress) voted in favor of everything he now wants to blame on everyone else. As we know, voting has consequences. It is time for Obama and all Americans to standup and be accountable for our own actions. Energy spent on blame is wasted and keeps Obama (and America) from making the difficult decisions confronting this country. Blame is not an American value, action is! Obama and his radical agenda is killing us!

    • What you are saying is that if a company is going bankrupt and you change CEO's and the new CEO continues to take it bancrupt that this is ok. Comon……… Engage brain please. The Stockholders would demand that the new CEO be put in place. That is what we are demanding. Barry Soetoro is not qualified to be President. it is more than evident that he is in over his head. I don't hate the man… I just think he needs to be replaced. Simple economics. If you have a broken wheel in the machine… it needs to be replaced.

    • Hmmm… interesting, too, that the Democrats have had control of Congress since then. Just sayin…

    • hey stephan, pull yer head outta yer rear. he didn't inherit anything, he ran for the job, and sadly, got it, and look where we are now.

      • Indeed, and as long as we're switching to that method of calculation let's do that for the other presidents too, and watch it go higher. Using that method we are well over 10% now and have been for a while.

    • With a Congress controlled by the Democrats for the past 6-years and the White House for the past 20 months; is it no wonder we are in the mess we are in. Come Nov 2010, the American people will see that some sanity is returned to government by voting out of office the runaway spenders; most of whom are Democrats. The so called "new economic normalcy" the Democrats are attempting to foist onto the American people is a formula for mediocrity and the American people will not HAVE ANY OF IT. By 2012, the people will have had enough of O'Bama's lies to ensure he is a one term President.

    • Why don't you tell the complete story. You are right and the shit did hit the fan in 2007. This was after the Democrats took over both houses of Congress and Obama was a democrat. The democrat had full power and the only power Bush had was to VETO, but he tried to be friendly with the Dumb ass congress. Now people like you are still blaming Bush for Obama's dirty work and unreliability to be a president. Really he never had a real job, Did he!!!! I am sure there is no other recourse for stupidity but to blame Bush.

    • Gee… The President proposes and the Congress disposes. Who took over Congress in 2007? Was it the Martians or the Venusians or was it….the DEMOCRATS. They turned a 4+billion deficit into a 1.3 TRILLION deficit. Stephan, you are an economic illiterate. The Obameister is a nice guy, but he is in WAAAAAAY over his head!!!

      Enjoy until 2 Nov 10

      • How can anyone believe those number, it may have been a 4+billion ..if you don’t include 2 small thing that W failed to include in the deficit….The Iraq and the Afghan war

    • He didn't inherit a good economy. To spend like he is in the situation we are in is stupid. Bush Administration should have let AIG fail. To have The Frank/Dodd Financial Reform Bill taken seriously is a joke in itself. The two morons that helped create and hide the housing crisis are the authors of a ridiculous bill that will do nothing to stimulate growth. The new changes actually will do nothing to benefit consumers. It will add to the price consumers pay.

      Our representatives are either stupid or know exactly what they are doing and it is their way of back door taxing. When the banks taxes go up, it is passed on to their clients by way of new fees or higher fees.

      Here's an idea… Stop spending and stimulate growth! Create incentives for businesses to grow. Encourage investing. Re-establish the idea that hard work and risk taking is what created wealth in this country and it is what will create wealth and high standard of living in the future.

      The middle class is is getting squeezed constantly. Lets be realistic forget about parties here and realize that socialist policies have never worked anywhere in the world and they won't here either.

    • I agree with you….if you completely…… forget all of the problem that Obama inherited from our former president…then that article may have some validity to it.

  3. Mr. Hennessey,

    I don't think you are correct that the new Medicare tax on some investors is 2.9 percent. It is in fact 3.8 percent under Public Law 111-148 (HR 3590) section 4111:

    SEC. 1411. IMPOSITION OF TAX.

    `(a) In General- Except as provided in subsection (e)–
    `(1) APPLICATION TO INDIVIDUALS- In the case of an individual, there is hereby imposed (in addition to any other tax imposed by this subtitle) for each taxable year a tax equal to 3.8 percent of the lesser of–
    `(A) net investment income for such taxable year, or
    `(B) the excess (if any) of–
    `(i) the modified adjusted gross income for such taxable year, over
    `(ii) the threshold amount.

  4. Wow Keith – it's always good to show "facts". Yes your numbers are correct but the total lack of context is pretty stunning. You're typically reasonable balanced but this smells like a hit job. You know that the reason that the government's spending as a percentage of GDP is due to the economy shrinking following the financial crisis, not huge outlays in govt spending. You know that after a severe financial crisis economies take longer to get going. You know that the debt is increasing because of a reduction in revenue not because of runaway spending. You know all this but you don't balance the piece at all with other facts that may get in the way of the Republican narrative that Obama is spending our way to bankruptcy.

    • If you take in less you should spend less……How about a budget? There is none. Facts are facts Bud. Sorry. I've never spent my way to riches.

    • "You know that the debt is increasing because of a reduction in revenue not because of runaway spending"

      Seriously? You were almost making a reasonable point until that absurd little gem. If you can't see that this administration is engaged in runaway spending (bailout after bailout, health care boondoggle), then you're too dumb to be commenting here. Go back to your reality TV, cupcake.

    • reduction in revenue should mean no more government spending not more.
      obama is over his head he's not qualified for the job

    • These were the bullets……as he mentioned. He stated where you can see the long version. Liberalism IS a "disease"…..and you ARE infected!

  5. I just unsubscribed to your economic newsletter since I find your op-eds and blog entries to play fast and loose with the facts which only diminishes your credibility.

    Here's a piece of friendly advice … in future, you might want to refer to the President of the United States with something more respectable than "Bam's" – this puerile reference does nothing to enhance your arguments.

    • Check out the first few paragraphs. Mr. Hennessey didn't write the title of the article, that was the Daily News' doing. I've never seen Mr. Hennessey refer to President Obama as anything other than the President or President Obama.

      But I do agree with some of your sentiment. I subscribed to this blog because of its detail/specificity. (Example: the post on the phrase "too big to fail." Is it those banks couldn't fail? That we didn't want them to? Awesome.) This post, compared to previous posts, is severely lacking in detail.

      • Thanks for pointing out to me that Hennessey didn't choose the title. I apologize to Keith Hennessey for blindly assuming that he was responsible for the headline. I should know better.

        However, his latest op-ed is still written entirely out of context which, for me, reflects poorly on his overall credibility.

    • I tried to negotiate the title with the editors. Like most editors, however, they reserve the right to assign whatever title they want. Unsurprisingly, a paper like the NYDN chose a punchy title. I skimmed a few past titles and they use "Bam" fairly frequently for the President. I could have withdrawn the op-ed but chose not to, so you can hit me for that decision if you like.

      In my own writing I always refer to public officials by their formal titles, thus "The President" or "President Obama." I think their public service deserves that respect.

      • I've no problem with the title. Part of the media game. My problem: you stick to your suggestion that you are presenting solely Obama Economy Facts?

    • Liz. I wonder how concerned you were about the respect shown the President when GWB was President…

    • You are right. Although I certainly hope you were one who was respectful to the "former" and referred to him as Pres. Bush and not the derogatory names most lefties used.

    • We still treat your President with more respect than the Dems treat Mr Bush. You Libs have no high ground. You are now reaping what you sowed during Bush's terms.

      • I'm terribly sorry, but I treated Mr. Bush with respect whenever I refered to him. Now, just because I may have made a few comments along the lines of "King George" or "Dubya" butwhen I see "Obama = Murder" and "NoBama" signs every last place I look, it doesn't look to me like your statement has any validity to it at all.

        And as for the "libs" and "cons" go, personally, I thought we were all Americans anyways, so if You say NoBama, thats all on you, but if I say "Our Children Is Learning" (thank you Mr. Bush) then you have no room to complain.

  6. I liked it. As my college training was in Economics, it is evident that our current president is clueless in how to "restart" the economy. When the Secretary of the Treasury bashes big oil because of global warming you know the president's cabinet is political and not professional. The big O should get some professional talent and lead forward – not toward a gov't takeover. What steps should he take? – Not in any order – Fix death taxes by having a reasonable exemption and a moderate rate for $$ above (that way we can plan) – Lift depreciation for all corporations – allow a first year write off of all cash invested in capital projects (if that would happen all corporations would be motivated to hire and grow) – reverse his healthcare takeover and set it up so that users of healthcare are motivated to control costs.

  7. Obama is not president of The United States. He is the President of Democrats, union mobsters, Illegal Democrats, Terrorists, and outright traitors. He and the Democrats are doing everything they can to destroy the remnants of freedom and capitalism and establish a one party Marxist/Fascist nation

    • Jack, what happened? Did I miss some recent developments. What particularly leads you to the conclusion that the US is on the way to become a one party Marxist/Fascist nation?

    • Traitors? Since when are Democrats Traitors? Democrats are Marxists and Fascists huh?

      Well I think most conservatives are dumb red neck bible thumping maniacs, but you don't hear me spreading poisonous, generalizing, SLANDEROUS things like that on the internet now do you?

      Perhaps you might want to rethink your stratagem and learn a little tact my friend. I think I speak for Democrats everywhere when I say that I would gladly give my life for this country, so be wary of what you say, because my patriotism noes no bounds.

      • I don't think ALL democrats are socialists, but I do believe this administration is leaning hard that way, and democrats would do well to perhaps take note so they are not left without their own party. Speaking of dumb . . . your patriotism, which I appreciate, should be 'knows' no bounds – We all have our 'dumb' moments, don't we?

      • I actually caught that right after I posted. I'd had a beer or three before I Stumbled this. XD

        Touche sir. Touche.

      • Dallas said, "Well I think most conservatives are dumb red neck bible thumping maniacs, but you don't hear me spreading poisonous, generalizing, SLANDEROUS things like that on the internet now do you? "
        You just did!

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  9. There are 3.3 million fewer U.S. jobs than there were in January 2009. The U.S. economy has lost jobs in 12 of the 18 months he has been office, including the last two months.

    Yes. But the U.S. economy lost jobs in 14 of the final 18 months that Bush43 was in office, including the monthly peak job loss in January 2009. There were 4.0 million fewer jobs In January 2009 than there were in 18 months earlier in August 2008.

    What is your point?

    • His point is that George W Bush and the Republicans are no longer in office. That President Obama promised unemployment below 8% if we passed his stimulus plan..and that President Obama has gotten almost everything he has wanted from the Congress controlled by his party and look where we are. We are in a zombie economy, because NO ONE, not businesses, not investors and not individuals have any confidence that his policies or his philosophies will do anything to help the economy. The government can really do little except GET OUT OF THE WAY and they have done just the opposite because of their ideology.

    • And at which point during Bush43s presidency did the democrats take over both houses? 2007, that same timeframe mentioned in both of marmico’s posts. I’m not saying he shouldn’t take some of the blame. Bush was a progressive, not at the level of Obama mind you but neo-cons are progressives too. I think all this spending we’ve had over the last 10 years needs to stop in both parties. This has been building up over a decade and has been on steroids the last 3 or 4 years.

    • Point is Bush is not in office blaming stuff on Clinton. Point is, that not matter what it is that Obama screws up (which seems to be a continuous trend), he will never be man enough to accept the blame for his failures. He will forever find someone else to blame it on. It took Bush two terms to get to the point you describe above, Obama has managed his failure in the jobs market in less than half of his first term. But wait….maybe that was Bushes fault too, or maybe, Clinton, or maybe George H, or maybe, Reagan, or maybe, Ford, or maybe Lincoln…..Hell, anybody but himself. Point taken?

    • Maybe the point is that all this has happened since the Democrats took control of Congress in 2006?

    • which was caused by the Democracts who controlled Congress & the Senate for the last 24 months of Bush's term

    • That's weird…the last 18 months Bush43 was in office is when the Democrats had control of Congress.

  10. At 9.5%, the unemployment rate is 1.8 percentage points higher today than when the President took office.

    At 7.7%, the unemployment rate rose 3.0% percentage points during the last 18 months of the Bush43 regime.

    So what's your point?

    • There's no point. That's the point. Like said in my first comment this is pure and simple propaganda by omission of facts from someone who has a problem to overcome his trauma to have worked for the previous administration and was part of a economic disaster. Although there's no reason for this kind of thinking. This disaster was looming since the 80s and democrats + republicans have their share.

      I think Keith can and should be playing in the same league like Bruce Bartlett and not be the echo of some defunct neo-classical economists and their republican political slaves, who don't get anything beside tax cuts are always good and deficits are only no problem as long as we need them to go to war against some foreign savages.

      • Imagine if the same amount of $$ that were used in the stimulus was used in tax breaks for expansion of business and rebates for the middle class? What do you think the job market would be like if they would have done that instead? Yes, Bush was in office during the first stimulus and I questioned his sanity then. I don't question Obama's sanity. I think he knows exactly what he's doing. When we stop voting for Politicians who can't think "real world" solutions and can only think in broad economic system replacement (ie Marxism), and start voting in people who understand business – then (and only then) will we pull ourselves out of this hole.

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  12. What an excellent article, with figures backed up by hard facts and statistics that cannot be argued with.

    Great job.

    • Hmmm … You should read marmico's comments. These are neither hard facts nor statistics that cannot be argued with. This is pure and simple propaganda by omission of facts. End of story.

      • Perhaps so Stephan. But thankfully the voters get to decide that on November 2 and I think they will with gusto..

  13. Pingback: 3% think Glenn Beck is Jesus Christ | The Church of Jesus Christ

  14. @JenBee – I second that! If we’re pointing fingers for the economic mess, it’s the Democrat-controlled Congress that’s really to blame. Also, Clinton’s economic policies played fast and loose with the housing market – we’re paying for his mistakes, only there was a decade-long delay for it.

  15. The Dems have to acknowledge their share in this debacle. I still remember Pres. Bush warning about the mortgage problem and the Dems saying what problem? They refused to rein in the bad loans the banks were required to make. The Dems had control of Congress the last two years of Pres. Bush and must bear most of the responsibility for this. Just wait till the new taxes hit. We haven’t seen nuthin yet.

  16. You people crack me up!!! It’s not about Obama v. Bush or Democrat v. Republican. It’s about our country and the future of it. Are we moving in the right direction? Is this administration making the right decisions? Think about your children and their future. Does it look bright to you? Personally, I say no, no and no! Bush failed, Obama’s failing and something needs to be done. End of story!!!

  17. Why is it that whenever an article is written that has at least some shred of truth to it and is backed by references, the left cries foul. Every time I start a debate, it ends with “You just don’t get it”, when I cite historical references and current trends and facts. I want someone to explain to me how Bush put us here – Carter and Clinton did more to cause the housing bubble (by allowing people that couldn’t afford homes get them) than Bush did. Bush tried to warn us – Barney (not the purple dino, but similar) said all was ok… and how Obama is pulling us out. Think about this.. if everyone is going to be working for the government, who’s going to be paying taxes?

  18. Statistics are important, comparisons are important, but it was take a fool to believe we are better off with Obama as President of the United States. Just look at one number, the unemployment rate! No need to slice and dice that! I voted for the guy, now I have to live with it!

  19. Why is it that whenever an article is written that has at least some shred of truth to it and is backed by references, the left cries foul. Every time I start a debate, it ends with "You just don't get it", when I cite historical references and current trends and facts. I want someone to explain to me how Bush put us here – Carter and Clinton did more to cause the housing bubble (by allowing people that couldn't afford homes get them) than Bush did. Bush tried to warn us – Barney (not the purple dino, but similar) said all was ok… and how Obama is pulling us out. Think about this.. if everyone is going to be working for the government, who's going to be paying taxes?

    • John. Please don't confuse the left with facts. No matter how much you try, they are so blinded by ideology and their idolatry for this President, that no argument no matter how factual or logical can pierce it. Just be happy that we still have elections in this country and if the polls are correct the people will firmly say "enough" on November 2 and hopefully it is not too late.

    • I find it amusing that the when the left cries fool, the right does the same.

      We need more than a two party system. Republicans and Democrats will never see eye to eye on everything, and most people don't just land in one group or the other, rather riding the line.

      I associate with Dem's, but I see your point of view John. But you have to understand, people don't want to believe they made the wrong choice. I voted for Obama, so I have no room to complain about the state of things.

      But rather than piss and moan about all this, why don't we try and find a solution instead of blaming a man who is doing what he thinks is best? Sure, okay, yeah, he screwed up. But lets face it, who truly IS qualified to run one of the most powerful countries in the world? I wouldn't want the responsibility, and seeing as neither of your names have been on the ticket, I'd wager you didn't either.

      Lets try to resolve the issue instead of pointing fingers, hmmm?

    • Thank you John, I see you know your politics and don't lie about them as the Demo-dumb ass congress

  20. @@wj_chicago
    Breakthaking head in the sand. Chicago, the facts about spending are clear. Certainly a flat GDP (not shrinking) and lower revenues contribute to the deficit, but anyone can look at the numbers and see that spending in FY07 (the last budget produced by congressional republicans) was 2.7 Trillion. FY2011? $3.8 Trillion. In anyone’s world that’s a 40% increase…and of that almost $1.5 Trillion is borrowed..39% borrowed. So facts are facts and the facts are that deficits AND spending have risen very rapidly under Democrat Congresses

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