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Republicans Can't Admit Truth About Economy

By now most would agree one of the biggest factors relating to President Obama’s reelection will be the state of the economy come November. Perhaps that’s why so many on the right continue to insist the economy is worse now than when Obama took office. If they admit things are better they lose one of their arguments. But are things better?

As absurd as it is to have to answer that question at this point in time, the answer is yes. But how can that be? The right will tell us unemployment is trash and debt is record high. We're doomed! Those things are true of course (well, except for the doomed part). They're just not the only measurements of the state of the economy.

So here is in no particular order, a list of some economic measurements in pretty graph form that are better now than when Obama took office:

Some will point out that Obama has little or nothing to do with these measurements improving. That's not the argument though, is it? Is the economy better now than when Obama took office? Yes, it is. We can see all the ways it is.

Yes, debt is bad, employment is improving but needs more time, and the housing market is still struggling a little. As the economy continues to improve though so will those three things.

Sadly we're in the middle of another jobless recovery. The rest of the economy has improved slowly month over month but jobs got left behind. That's a concept lost on Republicans apparently for having slept through Bush's jobless recovery. Now without swift job growth the whole economy is ruined.

It took over four years to decline from a high of 6.3% back down to near the 4.3% pre-recession level. In a little over two years unemployment has gone from 10.1% in October 2009 to 8.5% in December 2011. It's going to be two more years probably before unemployment returns to a decent rate and another two after that before it's at pre-recession levels.

Now it's just a matter now of who is in the White House to take credit for that improved job situation. If it's Obama then Democrats will say it was Obama's actions and Republicans will say the economy recovered on it's own despite Obama. If it's Romney then Democrats will say it was Obama's actions and Republicans will say Romney turned the economy around.

Posted by Adam Ducker at January 19, 2012 9:01 AM
Comments
Comment #334764

Look Adam your going about this all wrong. You are suppose to compare Obama’s recovery record to the ‘80’s and Reagan not the more current and relevant Bush recovery for starters. Secondly the conservatives like to nuance things a bit here and say it could have been better except Obama policies got in the way of the recovery.

Posted by: j2t2 at January 19, 2012 10:36 AM
Comment #334766

j2t2:

I hear they revised some of those figures above too. That means they’re fudged, right?

Posted by: Adam Ducker at January 19, 2012 10:47 AM
Comment #334767

Well they are government figures right?

Posted by: j2t2 at January 19, 2012 11:23 AM
Comment #334785

“It took over four years to decline from a high of 6.3% back down to near the 4.3% pre-recession level. In a little over two years unemployment has gone from 10.1% in October 2009 to 8.5% in December 2011. It’s going to be two more years probably before unemployment returns to a decent rate and another two after that before it’s at pre-recession levels.”

This is the fallacy of linear thinking. As you get closer to full employment, each small step of gain becomes harder. It is much easier to reduce from 10 to 9% than from 9-8%, for example. When you get down to around 5% it hardly moves at all.

This means that the comparison is not valid. At the rate that we are climbing out of the Obama doldrums, it will take much longer and the achievement of the 10.1-8.5% in the course of more than two years looks less impressive when you recall that in the Reagan era during the same amount of time, the rate went from a high of 10.8% to 7.3%.


I agree that the next president will get credit for the upswing. This happened for Clinton.

But I also agree that the recession mostly is ending because recessions end. I don’t credit the stimulus with this. The models on which the stimulus was based predicted recovery years ago.

I think of this like Obama in January predicting his program would bring warm weather within a month. Then when it finally actually gets warm in May, he claims it is his efforts, only a little delayed.

Posted by: C&J at January 19, 2012 8:04 PM
Comment #334792
I agree that the next president will get credit for the upswing. This happened for Clinton.

Only in the minds of revisionist conservatives C&J who think Reagan walked on water. Unless of course it was Carter that solved the issues of the 80’s :)

Posted by: j2t2 at January 19, 2012 11:00 PM
Comment #334795

C&J: “…when you recall that in the Reagan era during the same amount of time, the rate went from a high of 10.8% to 7.3%.”

Reagan had a booming housing market. That helped most of all. Nothing much Obama can do about that. It’s like asking Obama why he can’t drive the car as fast as Reagan did without noticing the flat wobbly tire that he has had to put up with from day one. That he’s even kept it on the road is the success story.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at January 19, 2012 11:54 PM
Comment #334832

Adam

I know, nothing is Obama’s fault. He faced the worst situation since the Civil War or maybe since Valley Forge.

Housing is a problem. But some Obama inspired activities helped keep it that way, like the bogus robosigning controversy.

Get rid of Obama and things will improve.

Posted by: C&J at January 20, 2012 6:26 PM
Comment #334859

C&J: “Get rid of Obama and things will improve.”

Obama’s swift actions shortened the recession and sent us toward recovery sooner. Because recoveries take many years and because this has been a jobless recovery, it leaves you open to suggest without basis that Obama made the recovery slower somehow since we’re not booming like Reagan in ‘83.

You write “housing is a problem” but you still won’t admit how significant housing has been to speeding up recoveries in the past. This has been a key drag on the economy under Obama.


Posted by: Adam Ducker at January 21, 2012 8:12 AM
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