Obama’s Economic Report Card

The Economist, a British magazine dealing with economics, has put out a report card for President Obama’s first term.  I would like to give my thoughts on each grade and would hope if anybody actually reads this that they could offer up their own report card for all the categories.

The Economist/Me

Crisis response          A-/C          I lowered the grade to a C because although the auto bailout was necessary in my opinion they should have done more to reign in the UAW because much of the reason the companies were no longer competitive was due to labor costs.

Stimulus                     B+/C-         I gave him a C-  here because it did not deliver anything near what the president had said it would.  Also so much of it was wasted on green energy pipe dreams that will never work without government funding.

Housing                      C+/C          An enormous problem that will take years more to work through to see the housing market fully recover.

Labour                        C+/F           I’m not sure what the guy writing this article was thinking but boosting college funding is not near a good enough reason to merit a passing grade when the nation is still at record high unemployment levels 4 years removed from the crisis.

Trade                           B-/B-         I left the grade unchanged because I do feel the Obama administration has tried to help American companies export more goods.  However, since the Obama administration has not fundamentally addressed the nation’s most critical economic failure, our trade policy, I could not give him an even higher grade as I originally wanted.

Industrial Policy        F/F            The Economist laid out the obvious reasons for the grade already.

Regulation                  D/F            To me there is no question this has been of the administration’s most glaring failures.  The fear that companies have of what Obamacare might mean in terms of new costly regulations is enough for most to give him an F here.

Debt            Incomplete/F            I thought hard here about giving the president a D because republicans have not been realistic about accepting at least some meagre tax hikes in exchange for entitlement reform, which will have to happen to solve the deficit problem.  Unfortunately I couldn’t do that because of the president’s record-breaking trillion-dollar plus deficits for each year he has been in office.  The bottom line is that the size of these yearly deficits and the accumulated debt overall has done more to endanger our country than anything in the history of this nation since World War II.

In the final analysis the Obama administration faced problems not seen since the Great Depression and should be graded with that in mind.  Some of the things that many conservatives blast him for the most were needed like the auto bailouts and the stimulus, even though they were poorly executed, because the country was ready to plunge into the abyss.  Unfortunately record high unemployment, out of control deficits, and the burden of Obamacare mean that this president does not deserve a passing grade in my opinion.

Barack Obama’s economic record: End-of-term report


3 responses to “Obama’s Economic Report Card

  1. Nice Post. For the most part I think I agre with the Economist’s assessment.

    On Industrial policy I agree with thegrade of ‘D’ but I’d say it was because he did not do enough to put in place rules that would regulate Wall Street to try and avoid a similar crash in the fututre.

    I think that a C+ is a fair grade for labor market. Even though unemployment is still high it is not entirely the fault of the President’s policies. In a free market the private sector shares in the responsibility of creating jobs. Clearly, the market shares some of this blame.

    As far as ObamaCare which you mentioned, I am going to reserve my judgment. It is early and some of the provisions have not kicked in yet. Efforts have been included in the law to try and reduce health care costs. If this is sucessful it would be a tremendous boon to most employers, as it would reduce their cost to cover their employees. It may also be a failure, but I think that it should be given time to work with out interference to determine if it has merit.

    All in all I think that the Economist did a fair assessment. I understand where you are coming from with your grades too. I think that you were a bit harsh on the labor market grade but the rest seemed reasonable.

    Good post it made me think, keep it up.

  2. Crisis support-C- GM bailout probably good,
    Stimulus-D. Would have better to pass out money to individuals than meaningless projects with worse than little benefit
    Housing-D- Terrible response to major problem

    Labor-D- Too concerned about health care instead of jobs
    I industrial-F. Ridiculous
    Regulation-D- Too much regulation
    Debt-F. Not addressed

    Overall. D-F

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