Obama's Economic Policies Have Been Successful
President Barack Obama's economic policies have been successful.
Barack Obama: "...the 44th and current President of the United States."
Economic policy: "...the actions that governments take in the economic field. It covers the systems for setting interest rates and government budget as well as the labor market, national ownership, and many other areas of government interventions into the economy."
Successful: "[having achieved] the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors."
1. The first round is for acceptance.
2. A forfeit or concession is not allowed.
3. No semantics, trolling, or lawyering.
4. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed without asking in the comments before you post your round 1 argument. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed from all moments after the debate has been formalized.
Voters, in the case of the breaking of any of these rules by either debater, all seven points in voting should be given to the other person.
NOTE: Sources may be posted in an outside link.
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Presenting all arguments (no rebuttals by con)
Round 3: Refutation of opponent's arguments (no new arguments)
Round 4: Defending your original arguments and conclusion (no new arguments)
I accept the challenge. I will be arguing that Obama' Economic Polices have been successful.
May both of us enjoy this debate and let's begin.
I would like to thank TheElderScroll for accepting this debate. Remember, please copy your arguments from the original debate.
When Obama took office in January 2009, the unemployment rate was 7.8%. Last month’s unemployment statistics (September 2012) showed the first time that that rate was at or below the rate when Obama took office. It took Obama 44 months to get the unemployment rate back to where it was at the beginning of his presidency.
However, there is an even more frightening statistic: the U-6 unemployment rate. The U-6 rate was 14.2% in January 2009 and as of September 2012, it is 14.7%.
Here is a graph showing this:
The U-6 rate has increased .5% under Obama.
But, are all recoveries this slow? Let's take a look at the performance of some other presidents in the past:
But isn't this recession worse than the rest?
As a side note, Obama has had very bad jobs performance:
II. GDP Growth
GDP growth has not rebounded very quickly.
"Anderson noted that over the past 65 years, since World War II, America has experienced 10 previous recessions and 10 previous recoveries. He reports that average real GDP growth in the first three years after those recessions was 4.6%. In sharp contrast, 'During the Obama recovery…, average real GDP growth has been just 2.2% — less than half the historical norm. Of the past 11 recoveries, the Obama recovery has been the worst.'"
Here is a graph showing this:
"America's gross domestic product — the broadest measure of economic output — grew 6.8 percent from the April-June quarter of 2009 through the same quarter this year, the slowest in the first three years of a postwar recovery. GDP grew an average of 15.5 percent in the first three years of the eight other comebacks analyzed."
Again, as I said earlier, even though this recession was a “little” worse (by only 2 percentage points) that recoveries would be stronger, so Obama should be performing above, not below, average.
In January 2009, the inflation rate was 0.03%. In August 2012 it was 1.69%
Here is a graph of the money supply:
This is crazy. The money supply has more than doubled in the space of a little less than a year. This is going to lead to massive
inflation later on. And with QE3 (Obama-Bernanke policy) about to kick in, it will be even worse.
However, “On the face of it, the government measure of consumer prices, the CPI, is just mildly alarming — with the government
[But] …what is the true inflation rate?
Fortunately, the folks at the American Institute of Economic Research have resurrected the idea. Their Everyday Price Index (EPI) strips away the cost of big-ticket items, like homes and cars, and looks at the cost of things that consumers encounter on a daily or monthly basis, such as groceries, prescription medicine, and telephone and cable bills. By that measure, the Everyday Price Index shows inflation galloping ahead at an 8.1 percent annual rate, a reading that would put the current Misery Index at a Carter-like 16.4 percent….”
So, inflation is even worse than the government reports.
IV. Other Measures
i. Home Prices:
iii. Keystone XL Pipeline
Obama rejected the Keystone Pipeline, even though it has no major environmental hazards and will create:
"An independent study estimates that during the life of the project, the Keystone XL project is expected to stimulate:
'This project will also play an important role in linking a secure and growing supply of Canadian crude oil with the largest refining markets in the United States, significantly improving North American energy security', added Girling."
Obama is rejecting economic benefit and growth for very small environmental issues. This shows a bad policy on his part.
iv. Gas Prices
Ultimately, Obama implemented a horrific policy for gas. In fact, there has been a 100% increase in gas prices since his inauguration.
In general, Obama has been determinal to the US economy.
As for the economic policies, it is important to keep in mind that Mr.Obama inherited the worst economic crisis since the Great depression. The national debt hit an unprecedented level in 2008 with 10 trillion dollars. Years of damages cannot be fully repaired within four years. On the basis of these conditions, I would argue that Mr.Obama"s economic polices have been very successful.
P.S. Due to some technical issue, I am unable to provide references in this round. I will be posting the link in "Comment" area as soon as the problems are fixed. Most my data/information was retrieved from the White House Website, but I am unable to obtain URL of the specific pages at the current moment. I deeply apologize for any inconvenient it may have caused.
"Not since 1933 had an American president taken the oath of office in an economic climate as grim as it was when Barack Obama put his left hand on the Bible in January 2009. The banking system was near collapse, two big car manufacturers were sliding towards bankruptcy; and employment, the housing market and output were spiraling down"
~ The Economist:Barack Obama"s economic record End-of-term Report
Auto Industry Bailout
"Rescued the American auto industry from auto industry from collapse, saving more than 1 million jobs around the country. U.S. Automakers have added nearly 250,000 jobs since June 2009 - the best period of growth in more than a decade"
~ The White House - Manufacturing & Auto
Years of mismanagement lead both car makers, General Moto (GM) and Chrysler, to the brink of collapse. Again, despited of the vehement resistances from Congressional Republicans, Mr. Obama took the hard choice. Mr.Obama clearly recognized the important role the auto-industry have played in the economy. One million jobs were eventually saved because of the government bailout. GM and Chrysler returned to profit again with GM"s stock re-listed in 2010. Mr.Obama resisted the temper to punish corrupted bankers on the expense of american people. Mr.Obama should be rewarded for his courage and perseverance.
Tax Relief for Middle-Class Families and Small Businesses
Mr.Obama believes that we-are-all-in-together and strong middle class are the key to the economic growth, therefore Mr.Obama has but taxes for middle class families every year he has been in office. For instances, a typical middle class family has gotten a tax cut of $3,600 over the last four years. Over 15 million working families with children benefit from the President"s Improvement to Child Tax Credit, and starting in 2014, about 18 million individuals and families will get tax credits for health insurance coverage averaging about $4,000 apiece.
In addition, Mr.Obama has made 18 tax cuts for small business, ranging from 100% expensive to the small business health tax credit, to stimulus the economy. As the results, the American"s economy has gradually backed on track.
Job Growth (Up-to-Today)
We were losing 800,000 jobs a month when I started, but we had digging our way out of polices that were misplaced and focused on the top doing very well and middle class folks not doing well. Now, we"ve seen 30 consecutive-31 consecutive months of job growth; 5.2 million new jobs created and the plans that I talked about will create even more.
~ President Obama
Domestic economy is very important to this election, and one of the key measurements of the health of economy is job growth. The unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September, the lowest rate since January 2009. It indeed took Mr.Obama very long time to get the economy back on track, but it occurred not without reasons.
Reasons Behind the So-Called "Mediocre" Record of Recovery.
The recoveries from financial crisis are inherently weak. The most recent grand-scale economic meltdown was dated back to 1934 when the Wall Street collapsed. As the recovery during 1934 has suggested, the current recovery is normal. Additionally, the recent economy recovery was stymied by relatively high oil/gas prices in the mid-2009. The recovery was further slowed by European debt crisis. The collapse of Greek, Portugal, Spain and Italy economy worsen the domestic economic conditions. Mr.Obama is paying great attention on the European debt crisis and he had urged European leaders to look for the best solution without restraining the European and global economic growth.
Job Growth (In the Future):
According to Moody"s Analytics, it is expected that the U.S. would generate additional 12 millions jobs by 2016 (2012-2016). Macroeconomic Advisors in April also predicted a net gain of 12.3 million jobs by 2016. The nonpartisan agency further assumes that 9.06 millions will be created between 2013 and 2017, on the basis of today"s economic policy. Therefore, it is arguably that President Obama"s economic plan is successful.
The President has taken unprecedented action to build the foundation for a clear energy economy, tackle the issue of climate change, and protect our environment.
~ The White House
Domestic oil and natural gas production has increased every year President Obama has been in office. In 2011, American oil production reached the highest level in nearly a decade and natural gas production reached an all-time high. In 2010, the United States imported less than half of all oil consumed - a first in 13 years. Net imports as a share of total consumption declined from 57 percent in 2008 to 45 percent in 2011 - the lowest level in 16 years. In the last year alone, the United States have cut net oil imports by 10 percent.
Since 2009, the Department of Interior has approved 20 onshore renewable energy projects, including 16 solar, 5 wind, and 8 geothermal projects. Besides, the Department of Interior is committed to issue permits for 10,000 megawatts of renewable power on the public lands and in offshore waters by the end of 2012, enough to power 3 million homes.
Mr.Obama has also committed to support the financing of a new nuclear power plant in Burke, Georgia. The plant received its license in February 2012, making it the first new commercial nuclear power plant approved in the United States in more than three decades.
If we want America to lead in the 21st century, nothing is more important than giving everyone the best education possible - from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career.
~ President Barack Obama.
Mr.Obama"s economic plan takes a great care of the future generations. He firmly believed that education is the key to success. Under his leadership, President Obama has raised the maximum Pell Grant award to 5,550 since 2008, with 9.5 million students receiving Pell Grants in the 2012-13 school year.
In conclusion, on the basis of analysis, I would suggest that President Obama"s economic plan is successful.
I would like to thank TheElderScroll for presenting his arguments. First I ask my opponent to cut some of his arguments because I don't have enough space to refute all of them - therefore, I ask that he elaborate on the most important ones.
Since my opponent provides more in depth arguments to all the latter things mentioned, I will simply attack the premise that Obama inherited the worst economy since Bush.
"The economy was near the trough of the recession, and would likely have rebounded quickly, had Obama not intervened with radical new policies such as Obamacare and Dodd-Frank."
In fact, if we examine Bush a little closer, "In 2005, President Bush tried to push legislation through Congress to place regulations on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Mr. Bush knew that these organizations' policies involving the lending of mortgage money to those that couldn't afford it were going to cripple the economy if not regulated." However, it was the Democrats who actually shot this down.
Auto Industry Bailout
The auto industry bailout did little to save jobs and is a pain on the national budget.
"Both GM and Chrysler were headed for bankruptcy. If they had gone bankrupt under chapter 11, most of their factories would have stayed open and they would have continued making and selling cars. Bankruptcy would have allowed the companies to avoid interest and dividend payments for a time, and to renegotiate union contracts."
And what are we left with?: "According to The Detroit News, 'The Treasury Department says in a new report the government expects to lose more than $25 billion on the $85 billion auto bailout." Debt.
Tax Relief for Middle-Class Families and Small Businesses
The claim that Obama lowered taes for the middle class is just political bogus.
"CBO estimates that health insurance will cost $15,000 per year on average for families soon after Obamacare is fully implemented, rising rapidly from there. That is the individual mandate tax on the middle class and working people."
What about those "18 tax cuts"?: "In fact, if you look at Obama's list, you quickly realize that all but four have either expired or will soon expire, aren't cuts at all, or are double-counted. And the rest are pretty much worthless."
In fact, let's look at Obama's fully proposed (some have been implemented, some haven't yet) versus the previous tax rates:
Clearly, Obama hasn't actually lowered taxes. Also, I covered the health insurance debacle above.
Job Growth (Up-to-Today)
I explained a lot of this in my original argument entitled, "Jobs" but I will go further here.
First of all, America has not been experiencing 30 consecutive months of job growth. There have been many months in Obama's presidency (including in 2012) where the unemployment rate rose. And the "5.2 million" number only takes into account one, after the peak, and two, the U-3 unemployment rate: "Specifically, at the depth of the most recent recession in February 2010... [to]twenty-nine months later, the economy made a 4.54 million job gain.... But the economy also supported 110.98 million jobs when Obama was inaugurated. So, since he was sworn into office, the economy has only gained 330,000 private sector jobs." If we look at some more accurate measurements of job growth, Obama's performance has been dismal.
First, take a look at the labor force participation rate:
"Another particularly troubling component of the current recession has been the rapid decline in labor force participation. From the start of the most recent recession to May of 2011, the labor force participation rate has declined by a record 2.0 percentage points, from 66.2 to 64.2 percent. In previous post-WWII recessions, the labor force participation rate rose an average of 0.1 percentage point over that same time period."
Here is a graph showing the labor force participation rate for the last ten years:
So actually, the rate has dropped an additional .4%. And, when we analyze the chart, the whole drop was caused by Obama. The start of the drop was at the beginning of the recession when people were being forced into unemployment. Continue on, even today, the labor force participation rate is continuing to drop, this time because of voluntary unemployment.
Now, I pointed this out in the last round, but I will reexamine it here, the other presidents' performance versus Obama. I will highlight the Reagan versus Obama recovery:
Now like I said last round, the severity of these two recession was about the same (only 2 percentage points higher for the most recent one), so job performances should be about equal.
So, Obama hasn't really created many jobs and his economic scorecard here is atrocious.
Reasons Behind the So-Called "Mediocre" Record of Recovery"
"...total employment is now 5.0 percent below what it was at the start of the recession, 38 months ago. This compares to an average rise in employment of 3.7 percent over the same period in prior post-WWII recessions." Obama isn't just producing a mediocre recovery - he is producing the worst post-WWII recovery in American history.
Here is a graph to show Obama's "Mediocre" performance:
So, Obama is creating horrible performance.
First, my opponent claims a worse recession, but I have already refuted this in this and the last round. Then, my opponent claims that high gas prices aren't helping, but if they're caused by Obama, then why can't he be blamed? It's his fault. Then finally, my opponent credits the European debt crisis; however, we can't be feeling that many of the effects.
Job Growth (In the Future)
"According to the St. Louis Federal Reserve, even if job creation were happening at pre-recession levels, it would take us 11 years to get back to an unemployment rate of 5 percent." This was made in 2011, meaning that in 2022, we will get to the normal levels, say, around the Bush recession. Does that sound like improvement?
Also, it should already be near that point anyway (12 million).
While it may be true that there is more drilling going on under Obama, it is false to assume that is a result of his regulatory policies. In fact, the drilling was not a result of his policies, but has flourished despite his policies. Most of this drilling was left over from the Clinton and Bush Era. This is in no way an accomplishment of Obama.
Then, without getting into a green energy debate, my opponent's cliams on renewable energy are opinionated conclusions that green energy is good. My opponent at least needs to prove that all that is good.
Since my opponent doesn't really make a convincing argument here and I am running out of space, I will ask for my opponent to elaborate.
Sever mortgage crisis lead many people lose their houses and very weak job growth. The devastated situations prompted the Economists to claim that this time recession was the worst ever since 1933. 
First, the meltdown did happened because banks were over-leveraged and exposed themselves to too much risk without adequate capital to cover the risk bets. When the things go wrong, it will go horribly wrong. Perhaps JPMorgan $2B Trade loss would ring some bell again. 
Second, the meltdown did not become a full-scale depression because President Obama decided to save the financial system from collapse. That is the main reason why this time recession lasts only about 18 months. President Obama had done an extraordinary jobs in dealing with financial collapse and he had laid the solid foundation for the future growth. 
Unlike what my opponent had claimed, there was no other way to save GM and Chrysler during that time. If these two companies had gone bankrupt, either one of two fates are waiting for them: Liquidation or reorganization. Chapter 11 allows both car makers to reorganize, but the precondition is that both car makers must have sufficient capitals for reorganization. The credit market was completely frozen. Government attempted to obtain capital from private market but none of banks (including Bain Capitals) were willing to lend. Eventually, government decided to get involved directly in order to save the car industry.  According to most economic studies, the stimulus, along with the rescue and restructuring of the auto industry, succeeded in keeping unemployment 1.5 to 2 percent lower than it would have been without it. Millions jobs were saved, and that is what matters. 
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka. ObamaCare)
Congress enacted the Affordable Care Act to address a profound and enduring crisis in the market for health care that accounts for more than 17% of the Nation"s gross domestic product. Congress has both financial and moral interests to address this daring issue. CBO and JCT now has estimated that, on balance, and direct spending and revenue effects of enacting the Affordable Care Act would yield a net reduction in federal deficits of $118 billion over the 2010-2019 period. 
Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (aka. Dodd-Frank Act)
After a worldwide financial meltdown - and a $700 billion taxpayer funded bailout, the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 was proposed and passed to address the enduring issue. Con had suggested that Dodd-Frank act deepened the economic slowdown. What he had overlooked is the fact that the most feared job-killing uncertainty was in fact the uncertainty inherent in a non-transparent and reckless financial system that made Dodd-Frank necessary in the first place.  The importance of Dodd-Frank Act cannot be overestimated. JPMorgan $2B Trade loss in May emphatically suggests that we need Dodd-Frank Act fully implemented (only about 10% being in place so far).
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein, in an interview with Marketpplace, believed that the Wall reforms are required by saying that "A lot of the reforms containing in Dodd-Frank look good to me", he underlined the strengthen of the reforms where also pointed that some provisions may not go far enough.  Dodd-Frank Act will lower risk, promote transparency of bank transcriptions and protect the American public. It would stabilize the economy. Therefore, there is no sufficient reason to believe that Dodd-Frank Act would impede the recovery.
As we all have known, the unemployment decreased to 7.8%, a 44-months low. Before we get down to the bottom to investigate why this time recovery is so much "worse" than President Reagan's one, I invite everyone to consider the following hypothetical case: Assuming that the surgery failure rate of a world-class surgeon is considerably higher than his colleagues, how would you respond to the accusation that: This surgeon is incompetent ?
President Reagan faced a vastly different situation during his presidency. By 1983, with the majority of President Reagan"s tax cuts in place, the American ran into a a permanent deficit spending, and ongoing spending was reinforced by the growing reliance of consumers on credit purchases.  One of the main reasons that the strategy work is because the national deficit during that time is incredible low. In the 1980s, the deregulation of Wall Street further reinforced the growth bubbles. President Reagan"s economic policy helped concentrate income gains among already wealthy Americans whereas the ordinal folks did not benefit much or not at all. More of new jobs were coming in the service sector, where wages and benefits in general are lower than in manufacturing. President Bush followed President Reagan footsteps and eventually got us into this mess. He cut taxes and increased spending at roughly twice the rate it had increased during President Clinton eight years in office, creating almost to none new jobs but ending four years of balanced budgets and surpluses and doubling the national debt even before the financial meltdown. After eight years in which the Republicans had increased spending at a rapid rate, it is rather absurd to hear that government should reverse their courses.  With deficit hit $10.4 trillion in 2008, President Obama cannot pursue the same strategy. Besides President Obama hoped to grow mid to high paid jobs and believed that everyone including those millionaires and billionaires should pay their equal shares. Moreover, one thing pro did not mention is the fact that the single most important thing on Republicans" agenda is not the creations of jobs, but for President Obama to be a one term President. It is hard to see how anyone else can do any better when the friends on the other side had decided to not corporate even at the cost of american people.
Labor force participation Rate
The decreasing in labor force participation rate can be explained by the following reasons.
First, baby boomer retired. With baby boomers are approach to their retirement age, it is not entirely surprised that the labor force participation rate is declining.
Second, students stay in school longer. Many people who are looking for jobs decide to go back to school. That would further decrease the participation rate.
Third, the labor force participation rate was on decline since 1994, started during President Clinton"s first term. Therefore, the decline in participation rate is not something new. Besides, according to Moody"s analysis, more than 12 million new jobs will be created over the next four years.
According to the conventional economic theory, there are two factors controlling the price: supply and demand. The OPEC essentially controls the oil production. In the summer of 2008, the gas prices hit $4 per gallon and on the eve of the inauguration, the price dropped to $1.8 per gallon. The dramatic drop was resulted by a sharp decreased in domestic demands. Because of the financial meltdown, people drove less and manufactures lowered their demands. In other word, the price in 2008 is abnormal and has little value in comparing to the current price. The relatively high gas price today is largely due to the Arab Spring and Iran sanctions. 
. Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy, Bill Clinton (2010)
Thanks to TheElderScroll for this debate.
" The deepest and longest-lasting recession the United States has experienced since then began in 1980, when Jimmy Carter was president (the gross domestic product dropped 9.6 percent in the second quarter of that year) and did not end until fourth-quarter 1982, almost two years into the Reagan presidency. ...Mr. Reagan faced a far direr situation in that inflation was in the double digits and the prime interest rate was at 20 percent."
Obama has not inherited the worst recession. Reagan inherited a double-dip recession (meaning the combined was worse than today's) and he had to deal with inflation.
As for banks, " If a banking collapse was the true villain rather than the Fed, bank lending should a) have been a leading indicator and b) should have declined more significantly than in past recessions. But this chart of bank lending, adjusted for inflation with recessionary periods shaded, shows 'bank lending behaved similarly in this recession to other post-war recessions.'"
Here is that chart showing bank lending:
And then, Obama didn't save the financial system.
"Such was the case in Ohio: In March of 2008, GM employed 12,300 Ohioans. Today, GM employs 9,533, for a loss of 2,767 jobs — equal the average GM job loss in U.S. operations. A structured bankruptcy would have yielded a similar jobs result, but a competitive GM. There would be about 10,000 GM jobs in Ohio today with or without Obama “Saving GM.”"
"The process could have been carried out in a much fairer way and GM could have now been in a much better position right now if over $100 billion dollars of UAW benefits were not deemed untouchable by the Obama Administration. And, for the record, GM employs about 77,000 people in America. The claims that the industry would have collapsed and millions of jobs lost if taxpayers didn't ante up to save the UAW are just more campaign deception."
Chapter 11 doesn't lose many jobs.
"President Obama's landmark healthcare overhaul is projected to cost $1.76 trillion over a decade, reports the Congressional Budget Office."
And, healthcare premiums are rising sharply.
And then, there is the taxes
"If that doesn't tickle your fancy, maybe this will: "President Obama's healthcare reform law coverage provisions will cost less but cover fewer people than first thought," the Hill reported, considering data from the CBO's Tuesday report. Revised estimates of ObamaCare's coverage provisions indicate that 2 million fewer people will acquire coverage by 2016.
Moreover, the CBO estimates that 4 million Americans will lose their employer-sponsored health plans by 2016, a far cry from the 1-million-person figure forecasted last year. Further yet, 1 million to 2 million fewer people will be granted access to the federally-subsidized healthcare exchanges, while an additional 1 million are estimated to qualify for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Provision."
"Another problem with complexity is that it encourages efforts to game the system by exploiting the loopholes it inevitably creates. Take the simple matter of nomenclature. Anticipating the Volcker rule, bank departments previously using the word “proprietary” have been dropped, renamed or quietly shifted to sheltered corners. The shadow banking system existed before the crisis, but expect it to grow as some financiers decamp to companies that evade Dodd-Frank's definitions."
And more real effects,
"By curbing the fees banks can charge retailers for processing debit-card purchases, banks have had to increase fees paid by customers. The share of large banks offering free checking plunged to 35% last year from 96% in 2009.
Capital-reserve requirements are forcing Wall Street firms to raise capital by cutting payrolls.
A little-known provision requiring manufacturers prove that the metals they use in electronics aren't mined by Congo rebels could cost producers as much as $16 billion a year and make products sold by discount retailers more expensive."
"The reality is that the House, the one branch of government the Republicans actually control, has passed 38, yes 38, separate jobs bills over the past 20 months. All of these bills are stuck in the Democratic-controlled Senate. You can easily track the progress of The House Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators and learn more about the 38 bills Republicans in the House have already passed that actually would help entrepreneurs do what they do best: Create the jobs, wealth and prosperity that benefit all Americans.'
"The weak June jobs numbers are a fitting and ironic ending to President Obama's so-called "Betting on America" tour. By any measure, there is little reason to bet on the economy improving during an Obama presidency. If he had a realistic economic approach, good policies or even the willingness to drive growth, he would. And make no mistake, the low jobs numbers are Obama and the Democrats' fault."
"President Obama said in February 2009 that the stimulus would lift "2 million Americans from poverty." But since Obama took office, 6.3 million Americans have fallen into poverty.
2010 U.S. Census data, the most recent available, showed that 46.2 million Americans were living in poverty. Worse still, child poverty has increased, rising to 21.6 percent."
"The argument is often made that the recession turned out to be far worse than anyone knew at the time. But various indicators show that the economy had pretty much hit bottom at the end of 2008 — a month before President Obama took office.
Monthly GDP, for example, stopped free-falling in December 2008, long before the stimulus kicked in, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. (See nearby chart.) Monthly job losses bottomed out in early 2009 while the Index of Leading Economic Indicators started to rise in April."
"Today, 12.8 million Americans are unemployed, 8.2 million cannot find enough work, and 1.1 million have given up looking for work altogether. Unemployment still remains above 8 percent, the supposed maximum rate, and certainly above 6 percent. For 36 straight months, unemployment has been higher than what the president promised. That's more than a rounding error; that is a failure of leadership."
Here is what actually happened with the stimulus. Look at the rate WITHOUT the stimulus:
Labor Force Participation Rate
One, retirees aren't part of the labor force, two, students aren't counted as unemployed, and finally, the rate has rapidly declined under Obama. Look at the chart I provided earlier.
"What the president fails to realize is that there is no one to blame for rising energy costs other than himself. America has all the energy we need for our own use. The problem is that we have an administration that talks about energy independence, but takes actions to prevent it."
Final: Obama's Record
The resolution is affirmed.
NOTE: Voters, I said that sources do not have to be inside the debate; mine here and in the comments section.
In the final round, I would like to address bank lending issue before I move to my closing arguments. I would also urge our readers and voters to look beyond charts and numbers.
Quote "As for banks, "If a banking collapse...past-war recessions."
First, Chart was cut off at 2008. As we all know, the recession was officially ended in June 2009. Given the fact that the economy is an ongoing trend, i.e., The current performance would necessarily depend on the pervious performance, Con should therefore include the lending performance that from 2008 to 2010 as well. By ending the chart at 2008 could be very misleading.
Second, it should not be surprised that bank lending behaviors similarly in this recession to other post-war recessions. The reason lies beneath the controversial government bailout efforts: Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). Here is what happened in 2008:
Seven weeks before President Obama defeated John McCain in November 2008, Lehman Brothers collapsed. AIG was quickly followed and bailed out by the Federal Government. The rescues of Bank of America and Citigroup lay ahead. Capital market is nearly shut down.  In the middle of economic dismay, President Obama decided to back the unpopular Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). During this critical period, President Obama had displayed a mature leadership expected from all the americans: Choose the right path instead of the popular one. To avoid a full-scale meltdown, the Federal Reserve made massive investments about $1.2 trillion to stop the financial collapse. President Obama forced the small banks to raise capitals to cover their risky and irresponsible investments. Bank-capital ratio now exceed pre-crisis levels and most of their TARP money has been rapid at a profit to the government.  In other word, the financial meltdown and global economic collapse did not happen precisely because President Obama decided to act to save the financial system from collapse. Many americans felt angry about government" bailout of big banks. They feared that it would send a bad message to all the banks - "too big to fail." Recently Ms.Gerri Wills ran a blog to criticize government"s handling of economic crisis.  What she failed to realize, however, is the fact that without government bailout, not only will the banking system collapse, but also will the entire U.S economy be dragged into a full-scale depression with unforeseeable consequences. Ordinary citizens would suffer the most. The recession was prevented from becoming a depression due to government interventions, and President Obama resisted the temper to punish the corrupted bankers on the expense of american people.
Numbers and graphs are, undoubtedly, very power tools in presenting one"s argument. But these visual tools can be deceptive as well. Without explaining the underlying cause of the current bank lending behavior, the similarity that Con attempted to invoke would not undermine the strength of my contentions.
Not since 1933 had an American president taken the oath of office in an economic climates as grim as it was when Barack Obama put his left hand on the Bible in January 2009. People were suffering, banking system was failing, and two big car manufactures were contemplating filing for bankruptcy. Many people believed that the Judgement Day had come and American had come to an end. President Obama was elected to save the country from the brink of collapse. The economy was losing 800,000 jobs a month when President Obama started, but he had digging the way out of polices that were misplaced and focused on the top doing very well and middle class folks not doing well. Job creations under President Bush eight year presidency is next to 0 percent. From 2001-2005, the economy lost 64,000 jobs; from 2005-2009, only 1,186 thousands of jobs were created. While middle class and ordinary citizens were suffering, the ultra-wealth Americans were doing extraordinarily well. Bush Tax cut ($1.8 trillion) and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and other spending contributes over $ 6.1 trillion to the national debt. Bush administrations doubled the national debt even before the financial meltdown. President Bush"s misguided and irresponsible economic policy is the true reason behind the sluggish recovery. President Obama understood the dynamics of the situations. He immediately proceeded to save the collapsed banking system therefore stabilized the economy and eased the investors" fears. President Obama then rescued the auto industry from the edge of collapse, saving over 1 million jobs around the country. Today, GM has returned to profits and U.S. Automakers have added nearly 250,000 jobs since June 2009, the best period of growth in more than a decade. To further stimulus economy, President Obama cut taxes 18 times for small business. More importantly, Congress, under the leadership of President Obama, passed the Affordable Care Act, putting in place comprehensive reforms that improve access to affordable health coverage for everyone and protect consumers from abusive insurance company practices. Now, the economy has seen 31 consecutive months of job growth; 5.2 million new jobs are created and 12 millions more are coming. The unemployment rate eventually fell to 7.8 percent in September*, the lowest rate since January 2009.  The nation has been well served by President Obama, and his economic policy has been very successful.
Current Unemployment Rate: 7.9 percent.
. Back to Work: Why We Need Smart Government for a Strong Economy, Bill Clinton (2010)
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