Robert J. Samuelson: Obama's economic report card mediocre at best

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  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 4:10 p.m.

    How could the porkulus, little of which had actually been spent by the June, have ended the recession in June? Doesn’t work, regardless of what all the Keyensian/liberal economists in world say.

    You say the house jobs bills were not actually jobs bills. Tell me how research on insect mating habits, special education spending, additional entitlements (30% of it were entitlements according to the recovery webpage) and all the other non-economic pork in the porkulus had ANYTHING to do with jobs creation. At least the removal of harmful (not all) regulation and additional domestic energy production DOES create jobs – studying how bugs procreate and paying someone to sit on his backside does not.

    When BO said you cannot have the keys back, he should have been talking to barney frank, but he was not. Repubs NEVER said that implied racial hostility!!! Where on earth did you get that? Political hostility – obviously, but not racial. Too much MSNBC for you!

    Actually a C+ grade is WAY TOO high! D- at best.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 6, 2012 12:47 a.m.

    "Marxist Socialist's give Obama an A." I give him no such grade. He rates a C. Since Obama is no socialist we can't be expected to give him a high grade.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 8:07 p.m.


    Fact check - the unemployment rate was 7.8% when Obama took over. YOu are correct. Another Fact check - the unemployment rate climbed to 10.1% under Obama and stayed above 9% for most of his first two years when the democrat's had both the House and Senate and rammed through every one of their bills. Another fact check - the unemployment rate has been above 8% for 23 months. Another fact check - Obama has added 6 trillion to the national debt. Recall in 2008 your "historic pres" called Bush "unpatriotic for adding 4 trillion to the debt in 8 YEARS!! So what does that make Barack who added 6 trillion in 4 years? Finally according budget director Paul Ryan the US is set to face a budget and credit crisis in less that 2 years where those that loan to us will jack up the rates they lend to us .. due to our gigantic debt and unconvincing long term loan repayment. The rates could sky rocket which means home loans, small business loans , car loans etc... are going to be in CRISIS.... thanks to your spend happy borrow happy pres. Want some more facts???

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    Sept. 4, 2012 7:55 p.m.

    The current state of politics is like a baseball team where 1/2 the team hates the coach.

    They would rather lose a bunch of games just to see the coach fired.

    And I can assure you that no team can win, regardless of who is coaching, if 1/2 the team isn't trying.

  • Hank Pym SLC, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 7:13 p.m.

    re: patriot 5:16 p.m. Sept. 4, 2012

    "Your liberal Messiah failed on every promise he made. Every single one!!!"

    It NEVER ceases to amuse when your typical Utah conservative think that dems, liberals, progressives, etc...deify Obama.

    Should Willard gets elected, the *backlash will be hysterical* when his business savvy sinks into the quagmire that is DC politics.

  • silo Sandy, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 7:00 p.m.


    In the same paragraph/rant, you made the following two statements...

    "Unemployment was 6.7% when the man took over Hutterite"


    "...educate yourself on economic facts..."

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment in January 2009, when Obama took over the office, was at 7.8%, up from 5.0% a year earlier.

    Hypocrisy much?

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 5:29 p.m.

    Marxist Socialist's give Obama an A. Capitalist patriots give Obama an F. Constitution haters vs constitution lovers. The choice is clear.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 5:16 p.m.


    Your choice Hutterite but remember the CBO (Congressional Budget Office) has projected a HUGE increase in unemployment at the end of 2013 up to 9.5%. So a vote for Obama is a vote for higher unemployment. You really want that?? Also the C+ grade is preposterous. Conservatives and more importantly independent voters give the man an F or perhaps a D- at best. Your "historic" president took a bad economy and made it worse!!! Unemployment was 6.7% when the man took over Hutterite. 23 straight months of unemployment over 8% and 6 trillion added to our national debt with another BIG credit down grade looming - which translates to HIGHER interest rates for all of us - perhaps into the teens!!!! Try getting a car loan with 15% interest rates!! Your liberal Messiah failed on every promise he made. Every single one!!! Your confidence certainly isn't based on facts or reality. Turn off MSNBC and educate yourself on economic facts ... please do it before November!!

  • Truthseeker SLO, CA
    Sept. 4, 2012 4:21 p.m.

    #1 Many economists agree the stimulus, passed in Feb. 2009 saved or created millions of jobs.

    #2 In Sept. 2010, the National Bureau of Economic Research announced the recession ended in June 2009 as they looked back on economic activity. Employment is a lagging indicator meaning it doesn't rise until after a recession has already started and it will continue to rise even after the economy has started to recover.

    #3 The Republican House "jobs bills" consisted of decreasing environmental and safety regulations, decreasing oversight of businesses by the SEC, a balanced-budget amendment (which could result in rising unemployment), expansion of oil/gas exploration etc. which have not been shown to significantly increase employment.

    #4 What Obama actually said: "You can't have the keys back. You don't know how to drive. You can ride with us if you want, but you got to sit in the backseat. We're going to put middle-class America in the front seat. We're looking out for them."

    Republicans claim this comment implies racial hostility which is a joke and it doesn't even make sense to try and view it that way.

  • Counter Intelligence Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 3:59 p.m.

    @WHAT NOW?
    "If President Obama had zeroed in on jobs in his first term, you and those of your ilk would have blocked everything he tried to do."

    Not sure who's "ilk" I belong to but I will emphatically point out - HE DIDN'T FOCUS ON JOBS - he focused on income redistribution: That is the crux of the entire left-wing problem. (Yes I oppose income redistribution, i.e. socialism, without apology)

    "Without a clear super-majority in the Senate, ryancare/romney will face the same treatment from Democrats."
    So your "ilk" behaves exactly like what you claim to despise; interesting and very telling

    BTW: Without funding, Obamacare dies regardless of whether it is repealed.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 3:37 p.m.

    Obama should not have kept the Bush team, e.g. Bernanke and Geitner. He should have gone for single payer, medicare for all, and have made the Federal government the employer of last resort, e.g. WPA, WPA, CCC. He may have failed in these efforts, but it would have been a honorable failure. I'll vote for him, but he should have been more gutsy and confrontational with the Republicans (who certainly were with him).

  • WHAT NOW? Saint George, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 3:02 p.m.


    If President Obama had zeroed in on jobs in his first term, you and those of your ilk would have blocked everything he tried to do.

    Without a clear super-majority in the Senate, ryancare/romney will face the same treatment from Democrats.


  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 4, 2012 2:33 p.m.

    Re: Hutterite American Fork, UT
    "C+ is pretty good considering the tanking mess he was handed."

    Winners produce results while losers look for someone else to blame for their falures. It looks like you have placed Obama in the correct category.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 2:12 p.m.

    C+ is pretty good considering the tanking mess he was handed. Remember that, back in 08? I do. So, gonna vote for the guy again.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 12:49 p.m.

    Mr. Samuelson,
    The porkulus did nothing other than plunge us an additional $700 billion in debt. The recession officially “ended” in June 2009, and according to the NYT, only about $30B had been spent by then, so it clearly was NOT the porkulus that ended the recession.

    I am glad you recognized, however, that BO’s actions since taking office have hampered job creation, despite what Nancy “the truth is what I want it to be” Pelosi may have said about BO being all about job creation.

    The GOP house has passed at least 2 dozen jobs bills that harry reid has obstructed from even being voted on in the senate. The blame for this debacle lies clearly at the feet of harry reid.

    You claim this was a shoddy attempt at analysis and offer …..NO analysis. Please explain how something making it more expensive to hire people enhances job creation.

    See the comments to Blue about harry reid.

    He is in trouble not just because of his “ride in the back” comment, but mostly because of his miserable performance.

  • Rifleman Salt Lake City, Utah
    Sept. 4, 2012 12:31 p.m.

    Re: Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    "Just think how much better it would look if the Republicans had been willing to work WITH him"

    Is that a reference to Obama's comment on Oct 25, 2010 when he said "We gotta have middle class families up in front. We don't mind the Republicans joining us. They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back."

    If you want someone's help you don't tell them to sit in back. Probably why he is in such trouble.

  • Hellooo Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 12:18 p.m.

    No doubt Mr. Samuelson you are product of the our current national crisis with grade inflation. Maybe with the appeal of his parent's Mr. Obama gets a D, but on his merits alone he gets an F. And this includes both for the current economy and his impact on the future economic health of this country.

  • Furry1993 Ogden, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 12:08 p.m.

    Just think how much better it would look if the Republicans had been willing to work WITH him for the benefit of the country, instead of trying to block everything he tried to do to help the country with the stated intent of making him fail. To be fair to all concerned, it's time that a good part of the blame goes to the ones who did the blocking.

  • Noodlekaboodle Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 11:58 a.m.

    This is going to be an interesting election. No president has been elected with economic numbers as poor as Obama's. However, no one has ever been elected as president with popularity and relatablility numbers as low as Mitt Romney. If the Republicans had put a good candidate against Obama they would be running away with this election. I honestly believe that if Jon Huntsman or Chris Christy was running they would be up 5-10 points in the poles.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 11:26 a.m.

    the bottom line - do you want a welfare or unemployment check or a pay check in 2013? Your choice. House payments and car payments can't be made with welfare checks or unemployment checks.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 10:30 a.m.

    Re: "The blame for this debacle fairly lies with John Boehner, not Barack Obama."

    Yeah -- that's gonna be a tough sell for the Obama campaign, but it's all they've got.

    And, of course, it's just another way of saying, "It's all George Bush's fault."

  • Eric Samuelsen Provo, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 10:29 a.m.

    The ACA will harm the economy? Absolute total ridiculous nonsense. Paul Samuelson is rolling in his grave at this shallow and shoddy attempt at analysis.

  • Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 9:13 a.m.

    The Dow is up above 13,000. That's a 50% gain since the crash of 2008.

    Corporate profits are at record highs. Corporate CEO pay is at a record high.

    American productivity is at a record high.

    US corporations are sitting on record high cash reserves of $1.7 trillion.

    We're in the middle of a jobless recovery, and the GOP has obstructed virtually every attempt to use government action to stimulate middle class jobs creation.

    When S&P downgraded the US credit rating, it specifically pointed to GOP congressional obstruction and ineptitude in its criticism of US fiscal policy.

    The blame for this debacle fairly lies with John Boehner, not Barack Obama.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    Sept. 4, 2012 8:02 a.m.

    Obama give himself an "incomplete" grade. This is an understatement. He went six months without even meeting with his jobs council. His staff says he was too busy. This is why the symbol of his presidency is an empty chair.

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    Sept. 4, 2012 7:36 a.m.

    No question the ACA had negative political effects..however a single historic moment in time was seized and social progress was achieved that others had attempted for 70 years. The health care convesation is now wide open and will continue to be for the forseeable future. Just like civil rights the democrats paid a political price..but it was still the correct and moral thing to do.