Robert J. Samuelson: Is recovery finally under way? Cautious optimism is still wise

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  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 27, 2013 10:44 a.m.

    "Anyone with a brain knows it is totally unsustainable"

    I will agree with that.

    Where I take exception is that Obama has "gutted" anything, as all legislation is passed by congress.

    Yes, welfare entitlements have gone up, but it is because the economy went down the tubes and more people became eligible. Certainly you cannot blame Obama for the crash of the economy.

    The largest entitlement program in my lifetime was passed by a Republican President, Republican House and Republican Senate. Were Boehner, McConnell, Paul Ryan and Eric Canter buying votes when they voted for Medicare Part D and No Child left behind?

    As is always my theme with you, I am not defending the Democrats, but aptly demonstrating with facts that the GOP is extremely complicit and does the same thing when they are in power.

    Again, I will ask. Had McCain been elected instead of Obama, what spending would NOT have occurred? Unless you can point to specific spending that would NOT have occurred under McCain, then I find it unreasonable to blame Obama.

    Specifics please, not platitudes.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 27, 2013 10:16 a.m.

    @ Joe Blow. While I am sure you will disagree and that is all well and good for debate, I believe Obama has harmed this country in every way it can be harmed; culturally, economically and morally. He gutted the last welfare reform act that congress passed and welfare entitlements skyrocketed without congressional approval. Unearned entitlements are now the largest in history! Obama has succeeded in "fundamentally transforming America" into another France or Spain. He has done that by convincing the majority of Americans that they are somehow entitled to receive what they did not work for by demonizing the so called 1%. The problem he, and by default we Americans now have is paying for the "new" American socialism! Anyone with a brain knows it is totally unsustainable here just like it is in Europe or California or Massachusetts or anywhere on the earth. And now we get to live with and fund Obamacare which is turning out to be nothing but an expensive mess!

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 27, 2013 8:57 a.m.


    What do you think out debt would be if McCain had won 5 years ago.

    If you believe it would be less, please tell me why, and what would we NOT have spent money on.

    Do you agree that Obama cannot spend money or raise (or lower) taxes without congressional approval?

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    March 27, 2013 7:34 a.m.

    $17 trillion debt and growing by $3.5 billion everyday is a recovery? Recovery for whom?

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    March 27, 2013 4:48 a.m.

    "George Bush had us on the path of recovery when he left office"

    Yes, a great recovery path. Stock market in freefall. Losing 750,000 jobs per month.

    I am not saying that it was Bush's fault, but one much be delusional to call that a "path of recovery"

  • pragmatistferlife salt lake city, utah
    March 26, 2013 4:01 p.m.

    So Patriot..wonder why no one is responding to's because your Obamacare, debt rant is so far off the mark there's there is nothing to say..just stand bewildered by your ideological rant. Thought I'd just point it out to you.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    March 26, 2013 3:16 p.m.

    So what the article is stating, is that George Bush had us on the path of recovery when he left office. And we would have been in a quicker upswing, had it not been for obama policies that have kept the economy at an animic rate.

    But, I thought the economy was Bush's fault, along with every other problem that bo has faced.

    Oh well just a few more years then bo will be a lame duck president whose only legacy is a mountain of debt, high unemployment, wars still going on, US standing lower than it has ever been, more people in poverty, more divisiveness in politics........oh wait a minute he will also be the only president and the only person in the whole world that ever has or ever will live that made the gutsy call to kill osama. Soo gutsy of a call that he personally trained the seals days before they launched (even though they had trained for months) but he personally made the call for back up helicopters and the go on Geranamo. McCarthur, Sherman, Patton would never had it in them to make that call....only bo did

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 26, 2013 1:04 p.m.

    re:Kent C. DeForrest

    Right Kent - let's follow Greece and Cyprus and France down into the stick hole of socialism - that's worked out sooooo well for them hasn't it or haven't you been paying attention??? Holy smokes man what are you talking about? We have Obamacare killing small business and a mount Everest sized $17 trillion debt and you say 'full speed ahead'!! Right - full speed over the edge of the Grand Canyon. Any idea what our annual growth is under your socialist buddy in the White House ??? It is in the 1% range and it should be at least 4%. Our economy is stagnant - take a look at unemployment and the growth rate of the GDP instead of just focusing foolishly on the stock market. If there were a REAL recovery unemployment would be back down into the 5% range and business (especially small business) would be expanding instead of dying. Ya think???

  • Kent C. DeForrest Provo, UT
    March 26, 2013 10:10 a.m.

    What we are seeing is the predictable result of the values that drive our economic system. As long as businesses seek to minimize the cost of labor--by reducing real wages, shipping jobs overseas, increasing productivity without sharing the resulting profits with those who create them, etc.--we will continue to have the sort of recovery we are in now, where corporate profits are healthy, CEO pay is through the roof, the stock market is robust, but the average worker feels squeezed.

    Well, let me correct myself. If we keep practicing this sort of capitalism, we won't have this sort of recovery much longer, because the consumer classes will be unable to purchase enough products to keep corporate profits high. At that point, even the CEOs and the speculators will start to feel the pinch.

    What I am saying is that the values that drive the current mess are unsustainable. Corporate capitalism, as we now practice it, is a suicidal system. We need business leaders to wake up and realize that they need to adopt policies that will reverse the rampant trend toward massive economic inequality. Government can only do so much (and the GOP can do nothing).

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    March 26, 2013 9:54 a.m.

    Has the recovery started? Oh my gosh - seriously? So let's see here... we have Obamacare just starting to strangle the life out of small business's and that is only going to get uglier every year. You hear stories like the small bakery who had to lay off 50% of it's work force to get below the 50 head count or suffer the wrath of Obamacare fees. This is a small business killer. You have a debt at 17 trillion headed to 20 trillion and people foolishly think all is well ... remember how great the housing market was prior to 2007? Then came 2008 - KA-BOOM!!!! We are on the verge of a debt crisis that unlike what our "honesty challenged" president says this is not sustainable. I would LOVE to have prosperity again but unless you close your eyes and cover your ears (hear no evil see no evil) it just ain't gonna happen folks. There will be NO recovery until Barack is gone.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    March 26, 2013 9:30 a.m.

    I am cautiously optimistic about the economy, in agreement with Mr. Samuelson. However, I am always fearful that the Congressional Republicans will find a way to sabotage the recovery.