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.
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.