Obama's Credibility Dwindling

It’s a slippery slope for President Obama coming down the home stretch of the 2012 election. His promises are what got him into office in the first place, but “hope and change” have a less than stellar record since he took office. As he nears the end of the campaign, his initiative to strengthen the middle class just may not be sufficient to win the election.

In the coming month's the Obama Biden camp will declare that in the last four years, a McCain administration would have accomplished less, they'll blame stubborn Republicans for filibusters (specifically the American Jobs Act), and they'll "promise" they'll be better in the next term. Obama and Biden are going to stress their promises to strengthen the middle class, but at this point that may not be enough for the Independent voters.

We're going into an election where four years ago, Obama was making promises that were appealing and believable to the Independent vote. While the Obama administration has held some of those promises, his overall record has been disappointing even to some loyal Democrats. The difference in promises kept and promises broken are obvious and significant.

The war in Afghanistan and the troops are being swept under the rug by Obama's camp because that has legitimately become Obama's war, contrary to his promise to return the troops home. Instead he deployed another 140,000 troops, and there are still 90K more troops there than when he took office. It was unwise of Obama to act as if he had any clue about that situation before he took office, and make unwarranted and uneducated statements. In all honesty, it would be unwise for Romney to even say anything about it because he's in the same position Obama was in four years ago.

Obama can point fingers are the Republicans, but that gives Republicans more ammo in rebuttal. Romney will call Obama's promise to strengthen the middle class, and raise him by his failure to do so in his four years in office, and they're back on a level playing field. Now what?? The middle class isn't going to save Obama because he's running out of promises he can make that Mitt Romney can match without the failure to do so in the past term. There are only so many voters that will stay loyal to Obama, and it's going to be the Independents that are hopping the fence in hopes someone else can make the difference.

Posted by bigtex at August 8, 2012 2:55 PM
Comments
Comment #350464

What’s striking about 2012 is it can be the 1994 election the Republicans never had. Had Dole won he would have been given credit for the booming economy and Republicans would still be saying they saved us from the Clinton years! Will Romney save us from the Obama years or will Obama be around still to take credit for this economy poised to actually make gains in the coming years?

The effects of the financial crisis are finally wearing off and the recovery will actually looks more like a recovery worth talking about. The housing market will heal, small businesses will expand, unemployment will decline, and with it federal debt will shrink again. The only question is who will get credit.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 10, 2012 6:24 PM
Comment #350468

Adam,

I must agree with your assessment. The luck of the draw. However, it is not simply luck. One of the key factors in Clinton’s success was his championing of the Deficit Reduction Act of 1993. It didn’t win him any friends in either party but it was instrumental in the economic recovery and the eventual surplus of the federal budget in the years that followed. So, yes a lot of luck but also sound fiscal policy for the times.

As an aside, it should be recognized that the “victim” of those lucky circumstances was GH Bush. It is not simply that the timing of the recovery was a few months short but also that his deficit reduction programs were emulated and passed by Clinton with a great success. Very few give GH Bush much credit. However, he had the courage to promote policies that were in the best interest of the US regardless of his own party’s mania against taxes.


Posted by: Rich at August 10, 2012 8:05 PM
Comment #350472

Adam

I agree with your basic analysis. But we have to take the next step. The economy is largely recovering by itself now. The initial intervention to stop the banking collapse was necessary, but the Obama stimulus did pretty much nothing. If it cost nothing that would be okay, but it was expensive.

The lesson is that government needs to protect the integrity of the finacial system, but beyond that has only a support role. Housing is starting to come back now because prices have dropped in real terms enough to make them a decent buy again. This is something Obama resisted.

I aslo believe that Obama just is not up to the job. He has shown absolutely no talent for leadership. His talent lies in campaigning, which gave him success in politics but not in governance.

Posted by: C&J at August 10, 2012 9:43 PM
Comment #350473

Now I really have a doubt, since Obama’s credibility has dwindled so much, will he be the next president of US? Is he really not competent to the position?

Promise, actually, no one can really make his or her promises come true really, we, as ordinally people, DO we always do as we promised?

Maybe the result will show soon. Personally, I support President Obama, I like him very much, not only competent, but also kind-hearted and upright, a person of integrity.

Posted by: Roy Wright at August 10, 2012 9:47 PM
Comment #350477

Adam & Rich,
Agreed about Bush #41. He was a much better president than most people give him credit for being, especially in terms of foreign policy. That’s not to say he was above criticism. I will always be suspicious about the circumstances surrounding Bush #41 re Iran/Contra. However, he handled the implosion of the USSR about as well as it could have been handled, and he made the correct moves to restore the domestic economy, although those moves came a day late and a dollar short.

Posted by: phx8 at August 10, 2012 10:09 PM
Comment #350481
The only question is who will get credit.

Hopefully the people who are responsible for it, the citizens of the United States… Not the politicians who have done nothing but make it harder for them.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 12:08 AM
Comment #350492

Rhinhold

This is exactly right. Politicians are like roosters taking credit for the sunrise.

Government is responsible for order and stability,but the people do the work.

What worries me so much about Obama is that he really thinks he is running the economy.

Posted by: C&J at August 11, 2012 8:04 AM
Comment #350500

Rich: “I must agree with your assessment. The luck of the draw. However, it is not simply luck.”

I don’t mean to say I think it’s luck. I think Clinton’s presidency played a big role in the recovery the same as Obama’s. In Clinton’s case he was around to take credit for those actions and I personally hope Obama is too since he’s earned it, despite the claims from the right.

C&J: “The initial intervention to stop the banking collapse was necessary, but the Obama stimulus did pretty much nothing. If it cost nothing that would be okay, but it was expensive.”

If it cost nothing then it wouldn’t have been stimulus, and to suggest it did pretty much nothing ignores ignores the opinion of a significant number of economists. They say the stimulus prevented a depression by slowing decline in GDP and job losses.

Rhinhold: “Hopefully the people who are responsible for it, the citizens of the United States… Not the politicians who have done nothing but make it harder for them.”

The leadership of our country gets credit or blame for the good and bad though so it’s hardly relevant to point out Obama didn’t create 4 million jobs with his own two hands but rather the American people. True, just not important in the context of politics.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at August 11, 2012 11:18 AM
Comment #350502
True, just not important in the context of politics.

Actually, it is VERY important in the context of politics. No Obama didn’t create 4 million jobs, they were created DESPITE him. Had Obama not tried to ‘create jobs’, most likely more would have been created. But that would mean you would have to be able to explain the exact things that happened that created those jobs that wouldn’t have been created otherwise. But since that is not easy to do, we just say ‘well, he was in charge’…

We don’t have a king, we don’t have a dictator, the government does not own businesses (well, didn’t USE to).

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 11:35 AM
Comment #350505

The idea we didn’t need a stimulus ignores a key, critical factor: that after late 2008, TARP, and the Fed’s actions, the key threat to the economy was the huge increase in unemployment, the enforced austerity on the economy of millions out of work.

The fact that about four million people are back to work is not a small thing for the economy, it’s crucial to the recovery. You can’t get businesses going again, hiring again, unless there is an incentive in the form of profit.

To those who say Obama’s lost credibility in terms of being able to solve the economic problems, I say “perhaps”. But let’s keep some things in mind.

There have been no major economic blow-ups on his watch, much less judgments which would seem to be the spark for the problem. There’s no failed TARP vote, no willfully letting Lehman Brother’s collapse, rather than unwind it more gracefully. Obama prevented a collapse or an extended bailout scenario for Detroit.

And really, two elements of what the Republicans themselves have done have skewed the perceptions: Their own obstructionism, and their huge efforts at propagandizing at him. It’s a circular argument, fed mostly by Republicans refusing to cooperate, and actively defaming him as a radical or an incompetent.

Put another way, what you see as his loss of credibility may just be a result of the raging antagonism of the right against him, and may likely last only as long as the focus of this rage is on him.

And to put quite a sharp point on it, nothing about the defaming of Barack Obama has added up to an increase of Republican crediblity.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2012 12:04 PM
Comment #350506
And to put quite a sharp point on it, nothing about the defaming of Barack Obama has added up to an increase of Republican crediblity.

Nor has defaming Romney/Ryan added up to an increase of Democratic credibility.

Since I am not a Republican or will be voting for a Republican, that is not my concern. My concern is making sure the truth comes out on both candidates so that those who do plan on making a choice and who aren’t already ideologically invested have the facts to make a good one.

This is the exact opposite goals of the campaigns, these days.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 12:10 PM
Comment #350508

Rhinehold-
In an age where private enterprise has utterly dropped the ball on retirement for the middle class, questions of Medicare and Social Security benefits are not idle.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2012 12:18 PM
Comment #350509

Stephen, in an age where the government has utterly dropped the ball on retirement for the middle class, examination on the failures of Medicare and Social Security is warranted.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 12:36 PM
Comment #350518

Utterly? Why can’t folks on the right get that there are only special circumstances where they can make such equivalences?

Very Simple: all that that needs to happen to ensure Social Security and Medicare move forward, is to increase a few revenues, and manage costs.

But right now, the 401k and retirement account system that was expected to make everybody comfortable in retirement is in absolute collapse. The corporations pillaged them, reduced them, got people basically gambling in the stock market and losing, and it turns out folks are going to have very little to retire on, on average.

So, it’s often going to be social security, or destitution, Medicare, or no healthcare at all. The problems with Medicare and Social Security are solveable. The other system’s just fallen short.

But that was the point anyways, to be brutally honest: Social Security came about in the wake of another great gutting of middle class wealth, the Great Depression. People wanted the assurance that if they worked hard, if they paid into the system, they’d have at least a floor underneath their feet, and a roof over their head in old age.

And now, that’s basically all most have left. Without it, people I know would be in dire shape.

But still, the ideologues want to throw it all away, and force people to rely on what has already failed them entirely.

This is the main problem with your political philosophy is that it asks people to put faith in institutions, even as you remove the safeguards that obligate them to keep that faith. And so far, I don’t think I’ve seen the promise of the market policing itself fulfilled.

So, I am not enthusiastic about your implied alternative.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2012 1:23 PM
Comment #350521
Why can’t folks on the right

Go talk to someone on the right and ask them then.

all that that needs to happen to ensure Social Security and Medicare move forward, is to increase a few revenues, and manage costs.

LOL, right. That’s how you resolve a Ponzi scheme…

‘Managing Costs’ means fixing prices, which has side effects you choose to ignore.

People wanted the assurance that if they worked hard, if they paid into the system, they’d have at least a floor underneath their feet, and a roof over their head in old age.

And if it were voluntary (and run by a non-governmental non-profit agency) I would be 100% behind it. But forcing people who do not want to limit the return on their money to be a member of it is totalitarian.

Without it, people I know would be in dire shape.

Because it was there. Knowing it is there encourages people to be more ‘daring’ with their retirement plans instead of doing more appropriate investing/saving.

So, I am not enthusiastic about your implied alternative.

And I know I cannot rely upon Medicare (as more and more doctors are rejecting the price fixing it requires to save) and Social Security (which WILL be bankrupt before I get anywhere near collecting it). So I’m not enthusiastic about the definite status quo.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 1:39 PM
Comment #350526

Ponzi schemes promise gargantuan returns on small investments, and never discloses that essentially present investors are paying out the dividends to previous ones.

And nobody is ever told. The reason such schemes are unstable is that you have to pile up more and more dupes to pay for it. Nothing so frantic is necessary for Social Security. If you lifted the cap on Social Security taxable income, you’d have your problem solved.

So, really, this is just a buzzphrase used to scare people. You should have more pride in your intellect than to rely on such an erroneous argument.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at August 11, 2012 2:58 PM
Comment #350550

“And I know I cannot rely upon Medicare (as more and more doctors are rejecting the price fixing it requires to save) and Social Security (which WILL be bankrupt before I get anywhere near collecting it).”

Rheinhold,

Neither doctors or hospitals are rejecting Medicare in any significant way. That is a fallacy. Go to Medicare.com and review the doctors in your area that accept Medicare assignment. You may be surprised that the vast majority, including major group practices, e.g., Wellstar, etc., accept Medicare.

As for Social Security, it might be helpful if one of the key assumptions of the Greenspan Commission (90% of earned income would be subject to taxation) was adhered to. Since 1983, income has become skewed resulting in less than 90% of income taxed for SS. The Greenspan Commission fully understood the baby boom issue and future demographic problems. It accommodated those problems in its calculations. A simple adjustment today to subject that 90% to taxation would solve a substantial amount of the problem.


Posted by: Rich at August 11, 2012 7:06 PM
Comment #350562
Neither doctors or hospitals are rejecting Medicare in any significant way. That is a fallacy.

Mmmm, not so much

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2010-06-20-medicare_N.htm

The number of doctors refusing new Medicare patients because of low government payment rates is setting a new high, just six months before millions of Baby Boomers begin enrolling in the government health care program. Recent surveys by national and state medical societies have found more doctors limiting Medicare patients, partly because Congress has failed to stop an automatic 21% cut in payments that doctors already regard as too low. The cut went into effect Friday, even as the Senate approved a six-month reprieve. The House has approved a different bill.

• The American Academy of Family Physicians says 13% of respondents didn’t participate in Medicare last year, up from 8% in 2008 and 6% in 2004.

• The American Osteopathic Association says 15% of its members don’t participate in Medicare and 19% don’t accept new Medicare patients. If the cut is not reversed, it says, the numbers will double.

• The American Medical Association says 17% of more than 9,000 doctors surveyed restrict the number of Medicare patients in their practice. Among primary care physicians, the rate is 31%.

The federal health insurance program for seniors paid doctors on average 78% of what private insurers paid in 2008.

“Physicians are saying, ‘I can’t afford to keep losing money,’ ” says Lori Heim, president of the family doctors’ group.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services says 97% of doctors accept Medicare. The agency doesn’t know how many have refused to take new Medicare patients, Deputy Administrator Jonathan Blum says. “Medicare beneficiaries have good access to physician services. We do have concerns about access to primary care physicians.

The AARP, the nation’s largest consumer group representing seniors, is taking notice. Some U.S. areas already face a shortage of primary care physicians. Policy director John Rother says the trend away from Medicare threatens to make it worse.

This was in 2010. It has gotten worse since.

Since 1983, income has become skewed resulting in less than 90% of income taxed for SS.

It might also be further helpful to know that none of that money actually exists. All of the ‘extra’ money collected from us over the years that was intended to cover the baby boomers is gone. We’ve borrowed it from ourselves. It is why our debt is currently 15,915,814,457,919.46, not the 11,132,675,901,932.02 you are being told about…

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 8:16 PM
Comment #350564
Ponzi schemes promise gargantuan returns on small investments, and never discloses that essentially present investors are paying out the dividends to previous ones. And nobody is ever told.

You are right, we tell people that they are being screwed. it doesn’t matter, it isn’t something that can choose not to do.

The reason such schemes are unstable is that you have to pile up more and more dupes to pay for it. Nothing so frantic is necessary for Social Security. If you lifted the cap on Social Security taxable income, you’d have your problem solved.

Right, you don’t need to ‘dupe’ more people with SS because they are forced to be a part of it. You also can change the rates at any time to keep it going.

I’m not sure why you think that makes it BETTER than a ponzi scheme exactly…

At least people who get sucked in to a ponzi scheme have a choice to participate.

Posted by: Rhinehold at August 11, 2012 8:20 PM
Comment #350579

Well, as you know, the sotiety is always never satisfatory, the problems are always occurring, not stop. No matter in what kind of society, led by what president, the results are almost never perfect.

People need face troubles calmly and solve them unitedly. Maybe this is what is needed to improve.

Everything has shortages. Just be natural and you can survive in difficult times.

Posted by: Surgent at August 12, 2012 8:19 AM
Comment #350621

Well, after the recent faux pas at the Olympics Romney doesn’t have much creditability either. Now he’s gone and lost what little he might have had by naming an extremist as his V.P.

When will this man learn to stop trying to walk on his backside because both feet are in his mouth?

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Comment #354247

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