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Is Barack Obama the Worst President Ever?

Updated on September 30, 2012

Obamanomics = No Jobs + Government Assistance

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Is President Obama the Worst President?

President Obama inherited a bad economy, but his policies actually made it even worse. Currently, the United States is mired in its worst economic recovery since the Great Depression. Our country has endured forty-three straight months of unemployment over 8%. When Barack Obama took office, the unemployment rate was 7.8%. Today, it is 8.1%, but that statistic doesn't truly show how much worse the labor market is. The labor force is shrinking as fewer and fewer people continue to look for work. In August of 2012, the labor force participation rate fell to 63.5%; this was its lowest level since September 1981. For men, the statistic was even worse. The participation rate in the labor force for men was a mere 69.8%; that was the lowest ever on record! If you think education and training is the answer, half of all recent college graduates are underemployed or unemployed. Jobs just don’t exist in great supply under the Obama administration, and many people have been forced into underemployment when they can find a job. Consequently, our tax base is shrinking, more people are unemployed or underemployed, and government subsidies are skyrocketing at unprecedented levels.


If you are fortunate enough to have a job, your median household income has shrunk. In fact, since President Obama took office, the median household income has fallen more than $4,000. We have a record number of people on food stamps, 47 million. That’s a 63% increase in four years! America’s poverty rate is around 15%, the highest since 1993. Gas prices have soared under President Obama; the average retail price of gasoline has more than doubled under President Obama, rising from $1.84 per gallon at the beginning of his term to more than $3.80 per gallon as of September 2012. While people are making less money, expenses are increasing, and the American standard of living is rapidly declining.


In 2008, Barack Obama pledged to reduce America’s deficit by 50%. At the time, he adamantly spoke out against George Bush’s heavy spending and big deficits, but then, once elected, President Obama proposed and supported budgets that had triple the deficits ever seen in American history. He not only failed to slash America’s deficit, he rapidly grew it into the largest it had ever been by borrowing more money than any president before him. With our national debt exceeding an almost insurmountable $16 trillion, President Obama failed to offer any credible plan for the nation's economy. As a candidate, Barack Obama promised a more sophisticated approach to the economy than that of his predecessor, George Bush. What he delivered was a simplistic and unsuccessful three-pronged.economic plan that largely centered on spending more money to stimulate the economy, keeping interest rates low, and providing extended government assistance to people who lost their jobs. This did little to spur job creation and resulted in a net loss of 316,000 jobs as of September 2012. This statistic runs contrary to what President Obama claimed at the 2012 Democratic Convention; he claimed to have created 4.5 million jobs but failed to clarify the fact that millions of jobs were also lost while he was president, primarily within the first few months of his presidency. Statistically speaking, President Obama ranks dead last in job creation since the end of World War II, 1945. With jobs scare and a hemorrhaging deficit, our country continues to spiral into certain bankruptcy, and America recently underwent its first-ever credit downgrade. All of this occurred under President Obama. Statistically speaking, few Americans are better off now than they were four years ago.


Is President Obama the worst president ever? Economically speaking, there is a very solid argument to support this claim. To be fair, many statistics were not accurately kept throughout America’s history, so it is impossible to truly compare all the presidents based on the economy. However, we can accurately compare economic statistics from the past eighty or so years, and an analysis of economic data reveals that Barack Obama’s economic policies have resulted in the greatest failures within that timeframe. Consequently, if you solely look at economics, Barack Obama is the worst American president in at least the last eighty years.


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    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 2 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Excellent article. Obama is indeed the worst president in American history. The unemployment rate is still high; the jobs he "created" are low end service jobs. He created the fiasco called Obama"care" and the furthering amnesty disaster. Obama INTENDED to alter the American fabric and not in a good way at all!

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      Education Answer 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      JHC,

      What you are saying is that gas prices were high, and then they dropped prior to President Obama taking office? Yes, this is true. The price of gas dropped to the price quoted in the article. Facts are facts. You are absolutely correct, but then again, so are the statistics in my article. That being said, you make a valid and real point.

    • profile image

      JHC 3 years ago

      There is a large factual error in this article: gas prices were not in the 1.80$ range when Obama took office.

      Gas prices have been high since Bush's last chunk of term. What you are referring to is a brief few weeks furing the economic crisis's peak where gas plummeted to under 2$ for a couple weeks, not because of any president, but because of supply and demand. During the crisis, travel had ground to a halt. Gas consumption decreased incredibly.

      Now i wonder what other facts are inaccurate in this article...

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      Education Answer 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Thank you.

    • profile image

      dave 3 years ago

      i don't know if you folks will even see this post, but great arguments and good job keeping it clean. we need more rational debate like this in our country.

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      Education Answer 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      wba108@yahoo.com,

      I really appreciate your kind words. It seems that we are in total agreement. I respect the position and even the man, but I do not believe he is competent. Statistically speaking, he is an abysmal failure.

      Best wishes.

    • wba108@yahoo.com profile image

      wba108@yahoo.com 3 years ago from upstate, NY

      Beautiful Hub! Excellent writing, I'm going to bookmark this. I believe in respecting the leaders of our nation but I believe there's never been a worse president than Obama.

      Don't get me wrong, I see him as intelligent and articulent but his beliefs and policies are more than misguided. I'm not sure that it would be politically possible to run America in a ditch better than Obama has done.

      I'm becoming persuaded that Dinesh D'souza is on to something about Obama. His theory is that Obama actually believes that America needs to play a smaller role in the world and for its economy to be diminished so its on a rough parity with say China, Russia, Brazil ect.

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      On January 15, 2009, five days before taking office, Mr. Obama said, “What we have done is kicked this can (our national debt) down the road. We are now at the end of the road and are not in a position to kick it any further. We have to signal seriousness in this by making sure some of the hard decisions are made under my watch, not someone else’s.”

      At the Fiscal Responsibility Summit, in February of 2009, President Obama said, “I’m pledging to cut the deficit we inherited by half by the end of my first term in office.”

      When President Obama took office, just over four years ago, America’s debt was 10 trillion dollars, an alarming figure. It took our nation 232 years to accrue that debt. As of today, our national debt is 16.8 trillion dollars. In four short years, we have managed to increase our national debt another 6.8 trillion dollars. That’s immoral. President Obama has increased that can’s size at an alarming rate never seen before. His philosophy is that you can spend your way out of an economic crisis. Momentary economic gains are offset by massive, crushing debt, debt incurred by our children. That’s not moral, and it’s not conducive to future prosperity.

      After four years of failed economic policies, 526 economists, five of them Nobel laureates, supported Mitt Romney’s economic plans over President Obama’s policies.

      Here’s an interesting link:

      http://dailycaller.com/2012/08/20/more-than-500-ec...

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Another one:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/11/opinion/krugman-...

      For three years and more, policy debate in Washington has been dominated by warnings about the dangers of budget deficits. A few lonely economists have tried from the beginning to point out that this fixation is all wrong, that deficit spending is actually appropriate in a depressed economy. But even though the deficit scolds have been wrong about everything so far — where are the soaring interest rates we were promised? — protests that we are having the wrong conversation have consistently fallen on deaf ears.

      What’s really remarkable at this point, however, is the persistence of the deficit fixation in the face of rapidly changing facts. People still talk as if the deficit were exploding, as if the United States budget were on an unsustainable path; in fact, the deficit is falling more rapidly than it has for generations, it is already down to sustainable levels, and it is too small given the state of the economy.

      Start with the raw numbers. America’s budget deficit soared after the 2008 financial crisis and the recession that went with it, as revenue plunged and spending on unemployment benefits and other safety-net programs rose. And this rise in the deficit was a good thing! Federal spending helped sustain the economy at a time when the private sector was in panicked retreat; arguably, the stabilizing role of a large government was the main reason the Great Recession didn’t turn into a full replay of the Great Depression.

      But after peaking in 2009 at $1.4 trillion, the deficit began coming down. The Congressional Budget Office expects the deficit for fiscal 2013 (which began in October and is almost half over) to be $845 billion. That may still sound like a big number, but given the state of the economy it really isn’t.

      Bear in mind that the budget doesn’t have to be balanced to put us on a fiscally sustainable path; all we need is a deficit small enough that debt grows more slowly than the economy. To take the classic example, America never did pay off the debt from World War II — in fact, our debt doubled in the 30 years that followed the war. But debt as a percentage of G.D.P. fell by three-quarters over the same period.

      Right now, a sustainable deficit would be around $460 billion. The actual deficit is bigger than that. But according to new estimates by the budget office, half of our current deficit reflects the effects of a still-depressed economy. The “cyclically adjusted” deficit — what the deficit would be if we were near full employment — is only about $423 billion, which puts it in the sustainable range; next year the budget office expects that number to fall to just $172 billion. And that’s why budget office projections show the nation’s debt position more or less stable over the next decade.

      So we do not, repeat do not, face any kind of deficit crisis either now or for years to come.

      There are, of course, longer-term fiscal issues: rising health costs and an aging population will put the budget under growing pressure over the course of the 2020s. But I have yet to see any coherent explanation of why these longer-run concerns should determine budget policy right now. And as I said, given the needs of the economy, the deficit is currently too small.

      Put it this way: Smart fiscal policy involves having the government spend when the private sector won’t, supporting the economy when it is weak and reducing debt only when it is strong. Yet the cyclically adjusted deficit as a share of G.D.P. is currently about what it was in 2006, at the height of the housing boom — and it is headed down.

      Yes, we’ll want to reduce deficits once the economy recovers, and there are gratifying signs that a solid recovery is finally under way. But unemployment, especially long-term unemployment, is still unacceptably high. “The boom, not the slump, is the time for austerity,” John Maynard Keynes declared many years ago. He was right — all you have to do is look at Europe to see the disastrous effects of austerity on weak economies. And this is still nothing like a boom.

      Now, I’m aware that the facts about our dwindling deficit are unwelcome in many quarters. Fiscal fearmongering is a major industry inside the Beltway, especially among those looking for excuses to do what they really want, namely dismantle Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. People whose careers are heavily invested in the deficit-scold industry don’t want to let evidence undermine their scare tactics; as the deficit dwindles, we’re sure to encounter a blizzard of bogus numbers purporting to show that we’re still in some kind of fiscal crisis.

      But we aren’t. The deficit is indeed dwindling, and the case for making the deficit a central policy concern, which was never very strong given low borrowing costs and high unemployment, has now completely vanished.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Please read what Paul Krugman, Nobel Prize economist has to say:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/17/opinion/sunday/t...

      The budget fight in Washington, which entered a new round last week as Senate Democrats and House Republicans introduced dueling plans, is usually cast as a contest between raising taxes and cutting spending. In fact, the taxes-versus-spending distinction is largely meaningless.

      Related News

      2 Parties’ Budgets Show Big Rift as G.O.P. Renews 2012 Proposals (March 13, 2013)

      Each year, the government doles out tax breaks worth $1.1 trillion. That is more than the cost of Medicare and Medicaid combined. It is more than Social Security. It tops the defense budget, and it tops the budget for nondefense discretionary programs, which include most everything else.

      Tax breaks work like spending. Giving a deduction for certain activities, like homeownership or retirement savings, is the same as writing a government check to subsidize those activities. Functionally, they mimic entitlements. Like Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, they are available, year in and year out, in full, to all who qualify. Yet in budget talks, Republicans ignore tax entitlements, which flow mostly to high-income taxpayers, while pushing to cut Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

      President Obama and Congressional Democrats have rightly asserted that tax breaks are ripe for cuts that could raise revenue without hurting most taxpayers. One method, as presented in the Senate Democratic plan, is to convert tax deductions, which increase in value as income rises, to tax credits, which would provide benefits more broadly and evenly among low-, middle- and high-income households.

      Tax deductions, however, are only one kind of tax break. Many others take the form of arrangements that allow wealthy taxpayers to either escape tax entirely on specific transactions or to defer it indefinitely.

      Democratic budget proposals have targeted some tax shelters. They all bear scrutiny. Especially now, when solutions are needed to replace the automatic budget cuts, many tactics are indefensible and should be ended, including:

      CARRIED INTEREST This loophole lets private equity partners pay tax on most of their income at a top rate of 20 percent, versus a top rate of 39.6 percent for other high-income professionals. It drains the Treasury of $13.4 billion a decade, and should be closed, along with a shelter recently enacted in Puerto Rico that would help shield the income of individuals whose taxes would rise if the carried-interest tax break was eliminated.

      NINE-FIGURE I.R.A.’S Remember Mitt Romney’s $100 million I.R.A? Private equity partners apparently build up vast tax-deferred accounts by claiming that the equity interests transferred to such accounts from, say, their firms’ buyout targets are not worth much. No one knows how much tax is avoided this way. What is known is that I.R.A.’s are meant to help build retirement nest eggs, not to help amass huge estates to pass on to heirs.

      ‘LIKE KIND’ EXCHANGES As reported in The Times by David Kocieniewski, this tax break was enacted some 90 years ago to help farmers sell land and horses without owing tax, as long as they used the proceeds to buy new farm assets. Today, it is used by wealthy individuals and big companies to avoid tax on the sale of art, vacation homes, rental properties, oil wells, commercial real estate and thoroughbred horses, among other transactions. Government estimates say this costs about $3 billion a year, but industry data suggest the amount could be far higher.

      The list goes on. American multinationals, insurance companies and so-called S corporations are tax avoidance machines. What remains of the estate tax is beset with tax dodges. Even golf courses are entitled to a special tax break of their own: some $50 million a year is granted to owners who donate golf courses to conservation trusts, ostensibly to benefit the public — though the public good in private courses is dubious.

      In this time of ill-advised budget cuts, there are surely better ways to spend that money. For $50 million, 6,000 children could attend Head Start next year.

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Ralph,

      Some of our economic indicators have shown very mild improvements, but the cost has been too high. Dumping billions of government dollars into the market each month can certainly help our economy look stronger than it really is, but what happens when that spending stops? What happens when we look to the future and see that we now have almost 17 trillion dollars in debt? President Obama has been myopically focused on economic growth; future generations will pay for this mild growth, with interest. Spending your way out of an economic crisis didn’t work for President Bush, and it won’t work for President Obama. The positive results are too limited and fleeting.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Obama's economic policies have been successful, albeit not as successful had they not been sabotaged by Mitch McConnell and the Tea Party in the House of Representatives.

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      George Bush ran as a republican, but he wasn't a fiscal conservative. This site does not contend that George Bush was successful, only that President Obama's economic policies are not successful; there is a good argument that President Obama is the least successful president, economically speaking, in the past eighty years.

      George Bush most certainly borrowed and spent at extraordinary levels. His job creation wasn't strong in his first term, and all of our job-creation gains, plus some, were obliterated in his second term. Economically speaking, George Bush wasn't successful either. President Obama, however, has expanded the debt failure and overestimated job creation. I sincerely hope his second term is more successful, as our country truly needs a financial boost.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Here are some statistics from a Pulitzer Prize journalist:

      The evidence of the wreckage of the Bush years can be found everywhere. Under this conservative president, federal spending rose from 18.5 percent of GDP in 2001 to 21 percent in 2008, while a $125.3 billion surplus became a $364.4 billion deficit. Median family income, which had grown from $42,429 in 1980 to $46,049 in 1990, and which grew again during the Clinton Administration to $50,557 by 2000, shrank under George W. Bush, standing at $50,223 in 2007 before the start of the recession. During the Bush presidency, three million jobs were created. That compares to 23.1 million during Bill Clinton's two terms, and 16 million during Ronald Reagan's. The rate of job creation under Bush was the lowest under any post-World War II president.

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Ralph,

      I think we can agree that no president is perfect. This hub was ultimately inspired by economic statistics; though it's always hard not showing bias.

      Lincoln and FDR are big names. Perhaps I need to do a hub on the most successful presidents, based solely on economic statistics.

      Best wishes.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Obama has done several things which I don't support, but I'll leave that up to you. I don't think we've had a perfect president. Most historians rank Lincoln #1 and FDR #2, but they both did things subject to criticism.

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      ib radmasters,

      I enjoyed your hub and recommend it to others. I particularly enjoyed one of his accomplishments, keeping Joe Biden quiet for four years.

      Best wishes.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

      Education Answer

      I have a hub on the accomplishments of Barack Obama.

      I have posted any additional ones submitted in the comments capsule.

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Ralph,

      . . .so the reason the stimulus didn't work was because it wasn't big enough? It was the republicans who were at fault?

      In one of your hubs, you compare President Obama to many of our noted presidents. If memory serves me, one of the comparisons was to John Kennedy. After the Bay of Pigs fiasco, Kennedy came forward and owned the mistake. He said it was his fault. Walter Cronkite is quoted as saying that that's the time when he knew Kennedy would be a great leader, because he could take responsibility for his mistakes. You can't say that about Barack Obama. He blames others. Ralph, Barack Obama is no John Kennedy.

      Please let me know if there is any decision you would criticize about Barack Obama's performance when it comes to the economy. To be fair, I've criticized George Bush's spending. Could you elaborate on any economic frustrations you might have with the president?

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Some say might have been able to get a bigger stimulus package despite near-unanimous GOP opposition. Others say he dropped the amount to $800 billion in order to get support from Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, the only Republicans who voted for it. Mitch McConnell did everything he possibly could in order to sabotage the economic recovery.

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Ralph,

      Please let me know if there any decision you would criticize about Barack Obama's performance when it comes to the economy. To be fair, I've criticized George Bush's spending. Could you elaborate on any economic frustrations you might have with the president?

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      ib radmasters,

      You make many valid and compelling points.

      As for taxes, I couldn't agree more. I would like to see a low, flat tax with absolutely no deductions. The government shouldn't be in the business of rewarding people because they are married, a homeowner, or a contributor to a charity. It is not the government's business. Also, everybody, regardless of income, should pay the same tax percentage rate, with no deductions or exemptions. However, the current poverty rate should be tax free. This would be fair for all. It's a win-win proposal.

    • profile image

      Mark 4 years ago

      @Ralph Deeds,

      You're just an absolute socialist. Obama is destroying our economy and our country and all you can do is blame others. Guess what, when Obama was sworn in last month, he inherited a giant mess from his predecessor, President Obama. You are too old to make the stupid, childish statements you have posted here.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      I agree there is plenty of blame to go around, nearly all before Obama was elected. .

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

      Ralph

      The housing boom which was the predominant fact in the economic collapse was started in the last term of President Clinton, as the democrats thought that everyone should be a home owner, whether they could afford it or not.

      Neither party did anything to change that policy which was implemented by Freddie and Fannie.

      The Federal Reserve kept the interest rates low for long periods of time, and if they had raised the rates periodically, many of the home loans would have caused the home owners to go into arrears and eventually lose their homes. If this would have happened early it might have triggered a smaller collapse that could have not taken down the economy.

      It would have also prevent the Mortgage Based Securities where the banks hid their bad loans.

      From 20o7 till the collapse of the economy in 2008, the entire congress was campaigning for election, reelection, and each party wanting to win to be in control. The only person in office that wasn't campaigning was President Bush.

      It took both parties to bring down the US Economy, and TARP and the Stimulus failed to recover the economy.

      Even the Federal Reserve in the fall of 2012 didn't believe the economy was recovering, so they were investing $40 billion a month into MBS until the economy was showing signs of recovery.

      Strange in that it was the MBS that caused the trigger to the collapse.

      In 2009 and 2010 President Obama and his congress spent their congressional control not on the economy but on health reform. A reform that would take place until 2015.

      He spent his fourth year as president going to over 200 fund raisers for his reelection, and numerous campaign events, when he wasn't playing golf, or writing executive orders.

      Now he is focusing on immigration, and not the economy once again.

      Both parties failed the country and the people, congress is broken and it has been for many decades.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      " President Obama is likely the worst president, looking at economics only, within the last eighty years. That is not an extreme view, as the statement is supported by numerous statistics and facts."

      Bush and the Wall Street banksters put the country into a Great Recession, and the Republicans in the Congress have slowed the recovery.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

      Education Answer

      I keep hearing about the tax cuts for the rich.

      First, why do the rich have to pay a higher marginal tax rate.

      Second, even reducing the tax rate, it is still higher than the other tax rates paid by the non rich.

      The Income Tax system itself is discriminatory, it is above the law, if denies taxpayers the protection of the fifth amendment self incrimination clause, and it invades person privacy just to get a tax.

      The rich are not wage earners, so they don't have to pay FICA.

      The rich use substantial exceptions, deductions, credits, and deferment sections of the Internal Revenue Code.

      In 1986, the Tax Reform Act took many of the then existing tax deductions commonly used by wage earner either totally away or they increased the eligibility requirement for their use.

      Originally the democrats were behind the Income Tax System, SS, and Medicare but both parties have used them to their advantage.

      Today Congress is blaming their outrageous spending and tagging on SS, and Medicare. Both of which were forced upon the wage earner.

      If you make your money in investments, then you don't have to pay into FICA.

      If you earn your money in stocks then you pay capital gains.

      The Income Tax gets changed every year, the rules are too complicated, and we don't need to give the government all our personal information just to pay a tax.

      just a thought.

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      . . .and your last statement isn't extreme? When liberals claimed that George Bush wasn't their president, wasn't that extreme? It seems that the far left has become quite hateful, spewing venomous, loaded terms that do nothing to further debate. There is a clear, solid argument to be made that President Obama is a poor president, one of the worst. That argument is not necessarily racist or extreme when it is carefully articulated based on facts and statistics.

      The premise of this article isn't that President Obama is the worst president. While the title poses the question, the concluding paragraph actually answers it. President Obama is likely the worst president, looking at economics only, within the last eighty years. That is not an extreme view, as the statement is supported by numerous statistics and facts.

      Look, I would love nothing more than to see President Obama successfully repair our economy. I do not relish in his failures. We’re all in this mess together, and I am hopeful that republicans and democrats can work together to pull us out of this economic crisis. It hasn’t happened under President Obama. That is a clear, though unfortunate, fact.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Well, nobody with knowledge of political history rates Obama the worst president. It's too early to tell how high he will ultimately rate. Only birthers, tea partiers, Fox News fans and redneck white racists rate him the worst in history. That is a ridiculous, extreme statement.

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Ralph,

      The majority of the debt, for the wars, was already incurred under the Bush administration. On June 29, 2011, Reuters reported:

      “The White House (Obama administration) says the total amount appropriated for war-related activities of the Department of Defense, intelligence and State Department since 2001 is about $1.3 trillion, and that would rise to nearly $1.4 trillion in 2012.”

      Put that entire cost, in terms of money, on the Bush administration, and it is still more economically successful than the Obama administration. The time for excuses has ended. The Obama administration and its advocates need to face facts and stop blaming George Bush. George Bush deserves some blame but so does Barack Obama.

      I’m not quite sure where you are coming up with reduced tax revenues. The GDP increased, under George Bush, at a much faster pace than it has under Barack Obama. GDP is taxable. I would be very much interested in your source regarding reduced tax revenues as compared to the current administration.

      I do not put a lot of stock in surveys, particularly from Wikipedia. I am interested in statistics and facts. From that, you can come up with your own conclusions, unfettered by the political bias of scholars. Yes, one could argue that I provide my own bias, to be honest. Still, I am clearly not a fan of any president in decades, as I feel a strong case can be made that none of them, both democrat and republican, have been fiscally responsible.

      Best wishes.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Yes, why not? The Wikipedia entry cites rankings by a wide variety of historians.

      The current debt is due to Bush's two needless, foolish, costly wars, his tax cuts for the richest Americans, a Medicare drug plan written by drug company lobbyists and his failure to regulate the banks and mortgage industry which put the country into the deepest recession since the 1930s. The recession resulted in reduced tax revenues and increased the debt. Obama is not responsible for the debt increase.

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      You're citing Wikipedia as a source for historical rankings?

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Kosmo,

      When George Bush took office, our national debt was 5.67 trillion dollars. With 9-11 and two wars, our debt was 7.38 trillion dollars after his first term. After another four years as president, continued war on two fronts, and an economic crisis, our national debt increased to 10 trillion dollars. That equates to an increase of 4.33 trillion dollars in debt over eight years, an appalling increase in debt.

      When Barack Obama took office, our national debt was 10 trillion dollars. With continuing both wars and spending gross amounts of capital to try to stimulate the economy, our national debt increased to 16 trillion dollars after President Obama’s first four years as president. That equates to an increase of 6 trillion dollars in debt over four years, a crushing, irresponsible increase in debt.

      When George Bush took office, America’s GDP was 10 trillion dollars. After four years, our GDP increased to 11.93 trillion dollars. That was an increase of 1.93 trillion dollars in his first term. After another four years, our GDP further increased to 14.39 trillion dollars. This was another 2.46 trillion dollar increase, for a total of a 4.39 trillion dollar GDP increase during George Bush’s presidency.

      When Barack Obama took office, America’s GDP was 14.39 trillion dollars. After four years, our GDP increased to 15.78 trillion dollars. That was an increase of 1.39 trillion dollars in his first term.

      Statistically speaking, debt and GDP are the primary statistics most economists, politicians, and historians will initially study to determine how healthy a country is and how successful policy has been. As you can see, George Bush spent less money and generated greater revenue than Barack Obama. From an economic standpoint, George Bush was far more successful than Barack Obama has been so far.

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      ib radmasters,

      You make great points. It's a stretch to say our economy is recovering, a big stretch.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 4 years ago from Southern California

      Our worst president is the current president because he promised to recover the US Economy, significantly reduce unemployment, and stop people from losing their homes.

      The economic collapse happened in the last part of president George W Bush's last year in office. But that blame is shared by the entire congress, including Senator Barack Obama because they cared little about the econony and spent 2007 and most of 2008 campaigning for reelection, or the presidential election.

      The TARP failed, and the 2009 Obama stimulus package failed. And after the government threw out over 1.5 trillion dollars it still failed.

      The Federal Reserve thought that it failed, because in the fall of 2012, they said they were going to invest $40 Billion a Month into MBS until the economy showed signs of recovery.

      President Bush was a one trick pony, but Obama knowingly took over the country when it was down, and he won his first term as president because ha said that he could recover the country.

      He simply failed to do that.

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      "Ulysses Grant and Richard Nixon were also elected twice. Do you consider them great too?"

      No, I don't. Being re-elected is just one factor.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_Ranking_of...

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      Education Answer 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Ralph,

      Ulysses Grant and Richard Nixon were also elected twice. Do you consider them great too?

      President Obama did sign a bill that was truly historic. Prohibition was truly historic too.

      Statistically speaking, our economy is limping at best. As I write this, we have no budget, soaring debt, skyrocketing gas prices, high unemployment, and a downgraded credit rating. This is not what an economy that is growing and recovering looks like. Reagan was able to recover from twenty-one percent interest rates and double-digit inflation, all within his first term. That’s what a recovery looks like.

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 4 years ago from California

      Our worst president ever is definitely George W. Bush. His administration caused the Great Recession and he started two wars of dubious necessity. He's also one of the least likeable of any of our presidents. At any rate, any president would have a very difficult time dealing with our mess of an economy - 16 trillion in debt and climbing, OMG! Later!

    • Ralph Deeds profile image

      Ralph Deeds 4 years ago from Birmingham, Michigan

      Barack Obama's place among African-American leaders and American presidents is secure. He's one of 18 presidents elected to a second term, and he signed a historic health care reform bill which has been a goal of every Democratic president since Harry Truman. And he's bringing the economy back from a deep recession which he inherited from George W. Bush who is clearly one of the worst American presidents.

      https://hubpages.com/politics/Where-does-Obama-Sta...

    • wtaylorjr2001 profile image

      William H Taylor 5 years ago from Binghamton NY

      Exactly. Nobody can be compared unless they reside in the exact same condition. Thank you, you put it much better than I did. One sentence summarized all my posts. This is why I say comparison has no point, no value in and of itself. Putting blame has no value to me. Now remember we are talking about this type of system. There are many others and each of these have different properties. You use the information gathered by other systems as a heuristic to improve the current system, it may or may not be effective, this is where modeling and testing come in. And yes, a teacher/classroom state is homomorphic with the president/nation state. Accountability to me is not as important as performance. The achievement of the goal is the most important thing to me. Everything else is useless unless you are a historian.

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Correct me if I'm wrong, but by that measure, nobody can be compared unless they currently reside in the exact same conditions? There's no accountability then? A teacher is not accountable for dramatically low scores, because nobody could determine if he/she performed well? After all, nobody walked a day in his/her shoes, so how could anybody know whether he/she was successful, given his/her unique classroom and unique circumstances? I understand the logic, but with all due respect, I don't buy it. I believe common sense should be part of the evaluation, but statistics are statistics. President Obama has been unsuccessful, regardless of any challenges he has faced.

      I have enjoyed this banter, and I appreciate your viewpoint. I agree with much of what you have said. I do, however, feel that comparisons can be made among presidents. Are they totally accurate? No. At least, however, they are based on facts rather than opinion. It's not like we are debating who is the greatest rock guitarist. With the presidents, we have statistics to compare.

      Best wishes.

    • wtaylorjr2001 profile image

      William H Taylor 5 years ago from Binghamton NY

      Two dogs can be placed in the same environment as a prospective owner and a comparison can be made. Two cars can be placed in the same environment as a prospective owner and a comparison can be made. The problem with your argument is that it is impossible for two presidents to be placed in the same environment. This is why falsifiability fails. The system structure wont allow it. You can't use the current measures, statistical or otherwise, to compare two presidents. You can't say that because Reagan had better statistics in his environment, he would have better statistics in this environment.

      You can make inferences about this systems evolution with respect to information gleaned in the previous version of this system. You can assign probabilities to certain outcomes based on the results of previous outcomes. This is what Bayes Theorum is all about. This type of calculation is allowed by the system. The other is not.

      But to me, this is all irrelevant. To me, it's better to focus on creating the system we want than to focus on who is responsible for the current state of the system. But few people share my viewpoint. No one is contributing to my wealth generation system. No one is even looking at it. Without the input, there can be no functional requirements specification. Without that there can be no system specification. I can create a specification alone, but it will be skewed. It wont reflect us, it wont be ours.

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Again, you've provided an interesting viewpoint. Couldn't you say that about pretty much anything in life?

      My dog may or may not be the most lovable. How could I know if another dog would be more lovable under the same circumstances? Still, people classify and characterize dogs based on breed.

      My car may or may not be the most reliable. How could I know if another car might be more reliable under such hot conditions? Still, people classify and characterize cars based on performance.

      In the truest sense, you are absolutely correct, but at what point do we also have to simply look at statistics? When do we say that there is no totally precise way to compare, so statistics is the best and most reliable way to compare?

      While it is true that these economic times, along with other times in history, are unique, we can say that President's Obama's economic statistics are appalling. Would Ronald Reagan, John Kennedy, or another person have done better? We'll never know. We can, however, say that their economic statistics were certainly better, far better. Thus, we can say that is likely but not guaranteed that they would have performed better. This is specifically true of Reagan, as he inherited a disastrous economy; he also inherited a mess of a foreign policy that took time away from his ability to deal with domestic issues. Isn't this similar to President Obama's situation?

      What do you think? Fair?

    • wtaylorjr2001 profile image

      William H Taylor 5 years ago from Binghamton NY

      The viewpoint that I am trying to explain is a very subtle one and because you are still using cold facts to support your viewpoint, I must conclude that I have failed in my communication act. I will try a more direct method. The principle of falsifiability is one of the backbones of scientific reasoning. It states that an infinite amount of evidence or tests will never prove something true while one piece of evidence or test can always prove something false. What this means is if you can not come up with a test to prove something false, it is unscientific. It is unreasonable. It is not possible for an Obama supporter to prove that he is not the worst president of all time based on the economic evidence cited. It is not possible for an Obama hater to prove that he is not the best President of all time based on the evidence. These are properties of the system, the political system we have. All environments are temporally disjoint, and economic systems are cybernetic in nature. They change with feedback. The entire system also changes when a subsystem changes. I can easily prove this.

      ***This is an invalid argument****

      Barack Obama is the best president of all time because the actions he took produced this present particular economic state. It is the best possible entailment from the previous economic state. Any state better than this one is impossible to achieve based on the previous economic state . The economic state equals the set of the unemployment rate, the deficit, the bailouts, etc.

      ****End invalid argument*****

      My argument that this argument is as invalid as your argument because it is not possible to prove this false. No amount of evidence will prove it true. It is a consequence of the system structure. Think about it, as of now there is no differential equation or optimization algorithm, or neural network, or genetic algorithm that can do this.

      The only possible way I'm wrong is if I've made a mistake in applying falsifiability or if the system is closed and deterministic. I am not a political theorist, and I am not an economist, but these systems are homomorphic with systems I understand.

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Interesting. I concur with many of your statements. Entrepreneurship is the key to economic recovery. Agreed.

      Can we absolutely say that another candidate would be doing a better job than President Obama? This is an academically hypothetical/philosophical question that is rendered moot by cold facts. This president has been unsuccessful when it comes to the economy. While one could argue that he might not be the worst, he is certainly far, far from the best.

      You make the argument that these are unique economic times. Perhaps. If so, wouldn't these unique economic times necessitate somebody with greater economic foresight, somebody with a better track record, somebody who has balanced a budget at some point in his career?

      With all due respect, I truly feel that this recent economic situation is really quite similar to the recession Nixon dealt with during Vietnam and the OPEC debacle or the Carter recession President Reagan had to deal with in the beginning years of his presidency. Remember the 21 percent interest rates and double-digit inflation Reagan inherited?

      Still, I appreciate your viewpoint. It's an interesting one and one that I have enjoyed.

    • wtaylorjr2001 profile image

      William H Taylor 5 years ago from Binghamton NY

      I thank you for your elaboration. I am not arguing that Obama should not be held responsible for the present state of the economy. I am arguing that it is not possible to determine if another president would do a better job than him. This even applies to the more narrow economic aspects of his presidency. The reason this is impossible is because of the structure of the political system.

      In that Obama should take responsibility for his actions, we are in complete agreement. Obama is responsible for the state of the economy that we are in now, he won't deny it, and I don't argue against it. The economy is not to my liking, not to his liking, and I doubt its to your liking. You can assign responsibility, and you can assign blame, I don't argue against your view because it is correct. I am merely arguing that you cannot compare these results, this state of the economy, with any other state of ruler-economic state.

      As for Americans making a change, I am not talking about the November election. I am talking about entrepreneurs flooding the national market, hell the global market with new valuable services and products. We are responsible for proving the validity of the free market system.

      Thank you for explaining your viewpoint to me in greater detail.

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      I appreciate and respect your statements, but I disagree. Every president has had unique circumstances. Bush had 9-11. Reagan had the Cold War and the Carter recession. Carter came off Vietnam and Watergate only a few short years prior, etc. Each presidency is unique.

      With all due respect, my hub does not claim that President Obama is the worst president, only the worst president when economics are the sole factor. Please see my last paragraph.

      Yes, it is up to Americans to make change. Unfortunately, that change did not take place in November. Economically speaking, I fear that we are destined for larger government and a much larger debt, perhaps one that will be crushingly difficult to repay.

      As president, Mr. Obama does need to take responsibility for his own actions. It is fair to blame him for any mistakes he has made, and he has made plenty. I find it odd that so many people praise President Obama when he has an accomplishment but then state that failures are not his fault. The buck has to stop somewhere.

      Best wishes.

    • wtaylorjr2001 profile image

      William H Taylor 5 years ago from Binghamton NY

      Your arguments are flawed. To conclude that Obama is the worst president requires that every other president has done better than him. This is not possible to prove. The present global military / economic state is unique, as was the 2008 one. I realize this is counter-intuitive, nevertheless you cannot compare two different subjects in two different conditions. It does not matter what the state of the nation is, as long as there is one unit responsible for it's governance no fair judgement can be made on whether that governing unit is better than another. Obama is a president who took action and now we are in this global state.

      We must now decide where we wish to be as a nation, and plan to get there. What follows is a hypothesis that I am trying to test. This is a free market that we live in. In such an environment the economy can be improved by the people, us. Everyone here on Hubpages who have published a hub is doing it. We create information products to combine with other products and services to provide value for the global market. The value is converted to money(goods) for us and the creators of the products and services we combine with. We as Americans must do more.

      Unemployed college graduates could use a national wealth generation system such as the one I've suggested(I am trying to design aspects of it for my Masters Termination Project which is why I'm on a leave of absence) to increase the likelihood of succeeding in this free market.

      To those who are dissatisfied with the present state of the nation, do not blame Obama, that's not fair. Do something to change it. Start a discussion on how to improve the economy as I've done instead of just complaining about it.

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Some of what you say has merit. Socialism, however, does not. Taxing the rich at an even greater rate does little to help the poor in the long run. Better jobs, less inflation, and economic prosperity benefit everybody, including the poor. You can tax the rich all you want, but it won't result in better jobs for the poor. The key is better, higher-paying jobs; this isn't accomplished by increased government taxation and subsidization of the poor and middle classes. It's accomplished by a robust, competitive economy that can afford greater job opportunity for all.

      I have a tremendous respect for blue-collar workers and the people who truly do the majority of real work. Many hard working people deserve a far better pay; the average CEO is paid too much. That being said, the government shouldn't tax people in an effort to solve this. The government should let the market dictate wages and instead focus on helping improve the economy.

      Best wishes.

    • profile image

      Rx 5 years ago

      Lets talk about how revenue as a % of GDP has dropped in the last 25 years. Lets talk about how the upper tax bracket has been cut almost in half, and the result was not equal revenue due to growth. Tax cuts to the very rich do not and have never paid for themselves. They do not lead to economic growth and jobs, what it leads to is a CEO:Worker pay ratio that has gone from 8:1 to 340:1. That's the real problem. America's lost revenue has gone straight into the pockets of the very well off.

    • Ken Burgess profile image

      Ken Burgess 5 years ago from Florida

      "The torch America carries is one of decency and hope. It is not America’s torch alone. But it is America’s duty – and honor – to hold it high enough that all the world can see its light. " -Mitt Romney

      "Look, if you’ve been successful, you didn’t get there on your own. I’m always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something - If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Someone else made that happen."

      "We're not trying to push financial reform because we begrudge success that's fairly earned. I mean, I do think at some point you've made enough money."

      --- Barack Obama

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      ib radmasters,

      I believe I have the answer for you, courtesy of USA Today:

      "According to the index, Spain spends 45.8% of its gross domestic product on government. That's before severe austerity measures were announced last week in a "crisis" budget that cuts government ministries by 9% across the board. The comparable figure for the United States, according to the index, is 42.2%. But it should be noted that federal spending accounts for only about 24% of the economy, according to the Office of Management and Budget. The remainder, which comes from state and local spending, roughly squares with estimates of government spending by the U.S. Census Bureau."

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Actually, I need to clarify a point I made above. To be fair, President Obama's GDP numbers are based on three years, not four. The 2012 numbers are not complete yet. Still, the GDP growth is quite low.

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      That’s a deceptive statistic, and I’m not quite sure how you determined it to be true. Removing any potential spin, what was the end result? President Obama grew the GDP less than 1 trillion dollars in four years. That’s abysmal growth; even Jimmy Carter grew the GDP 900 billion dollars, and he did it in an era when the GDP was less than 3 trillion dollars. When Ronald Reagan assumed office in 1980, the GDP was a mere 2.7675 trillion dollars, and the economy was terrible. Four years later, the GDP was 3.9004 trillion dollars. The GDP growth percentage was immense, not just the growth rate that you cited. For this growth rate you mention, the end result is less than a trillion dollar increase? Your statement is spin. With all due respect, it seems as if you are searching for any positive economic indicator you can find in order to make the economy look better than it really is. The bottom line is that President Obama inherited a bad economy and then made it worse.

      Best wishes.

    • Josak profile image

      Josak 5 years ago from variable

      Wow, you are right Education Answer, I screwed up, meant to type tripled the GDP growth rate.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

      Education Answer

      You are very welcome

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      ib radmasters,

      You have a great question. Couldn't you simply spend your way into a better GDP? Still, with as big and intrusive as our government is, it would probably be very difficult to accurately determine how much of America's GDP is government enhanced. Thanks for the great question.

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      That's a difficult question. Whenever possible, I try to get statistics directly from the government, because there is less spin. However, I wasn't able to locate your answer without referencing an independent site. The stats look plausible, but I must admit that they are not verified. According to this article, the federal government's spending as a percentage of GDP is hovering between 24-25.5%, up from George Bush's percentage of somewhere between 19-22%.

      Here's the full article:

      http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2012/08

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

      Education Answer

      Thanks for the links and the try.

      It is interesting that the government makes it difficult to find out about government spending and the GDP.

      For now those figures on that link could be the reference point until someone can find a better one.

      One has to wonder why it is part of the GDP in the first place.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

      Education Answer

      What is the GDP without the government spending?

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Our GDP is not 42.879 trillion dollars. Are you serious? Where are you getting these numbers? The reality is that the GDP was 14.2193 trillion dollars in 2008. As of 2011, the last data available, the GDP was 15.094 trillion dollars. That’s an increase but certainly not tripling the GDP. George W. Bush saw greater GDP growth in his first term, going from 9.8988 trillion dollars to 11.7978 trillion dollars. In George W. Bush's second term, the GDP increased to 14.2193 trillion dollars.

      By the way, spending, as a percent of GDP, is at its highest since World War II.

    • Josak profile image

      Josak 5 years ago from variable

      Oh I forgot to mention the GDP, it's tripled since Obama took power.

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      ib radmasters,

      Thank you. He's also spent a significant amount of time avoiding the big question. What do we do about Iran?

      Thank you for your kind words.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 5 years ago from Southern California

      Education Answer

      Good hub and great responses in your comments.

      In CA the unemployment is over 11% and like the US they can't balance their budget.

      Obama has spent this entire year fund raising back and forth across the country, campaigning, and playing golf.

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      All presidents are accountable for their entire term. That's the standard and always has been. Ronald Reagan is often criticized for the first months of his presidency. He followed a wildly unsuccessful democrat, Jimmy Carter. Reagan is held accountable for his entire term; Barack Obama should be accountable too.

      Inflation is not spin. Coupling it with another statistic in an effort to make it look better is spin. Do people do this with George Bush's statistics, or is this something reserved for President Obama? Let's keep this on an equal footing and compare every president the same way, either inflation adjusted or not.

      I find it ironic that you do not believe in trickle-down economics, yet you use reverse trickle-down economics to defend President Obama's record.

      Look, I hope you are right. I do not wish to see President Obama fail to merely make a point or get Mr. Romney elected. Unfortunately, few statisitics support this claim, and some have to be interpreted or spun. Sorry, I still think you are spinning.

      Best wishes.

    • Josak profile image

      Josak 5 years ago from variable

      Inflation is not spin it's a mathematical fact, the fact is that the value of money is reuced by a certain amount each year meaning that Obama has reduced the amount of wealth spent byt the government each year.

      You can hold Obama and any other president responsible for the first six month if you wish but it's pointless, a president has no way of influencing things until his policies start taking effect, if things get better before his policies can take effect the credit actually belongs to the previous president, basically the President is responsible for his actions and their results... not what happens before that. other presidents may have been held accountable for or received credit for periods when they had not yet had an effect and that is equally wrong.

      As for the stock market positives not reaching the average person that is a very good point with a good answer.

      Basically that what we call "human economics" are not improving even though the GDP, profits, markets etc. are despite that unemployment is barely falling and more people need food stamps etc. it's a good question and has a perfectly good answer.

      Basically the trend of an economy be it improving or collapsing always affects major economics before it affects human economics. For example when the market crashed it was the stock market investors and large corporations that suffered first and then the impacts hit people as the job market collapsed etc. it's basically reverse trickle down economics if you like, the rich suffer first and their losses are transferred down the line until they hit the average person.

      The same goes for when an economy is recovering (which ours is) Wall Street posted record profits the last year literally some of the best profit margins in American history but that effect has not yet fully reached the average person. Businesses are profiting but they are only just starting to open new branches and increase job production so the effect of that recovery will also take some time to reach the general populace.

      When major economics start to improve it's a sure sign that shortly quality of life, unemployment, food stamps etc. will too. (That is actually trickle down).

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      Education Answer 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      With all due respect, all of the statistics contained within this article are accurate, each coming from the government and not a news source. There’s no spin, just facts.

      President Obama, like all presidents before him, is responsible for the entire duration of his term, including the first six months. No president should be or has been give a pass on his initial performance, including both republicans and democrats.

      Your own hub quantifies the 2.6% statement by saying “when inflation is taken into account.” That’s spin, really fast spin. The numbers contained throughout this article do not require interpretation or taking things into account. They are raw data. Facts have a stubborn way of telling the truth.

      As for the stock market, I will concede that point. Yes, the stock market is up over 70% under President Obama. That is a real statistic, and I will make no attempt to spin or interpret it. It’s a legitimately positive economic indicator, but it is only one. Unfortunately, the average American isn’t feeling these gains. A recent USA Today/Gallup poll found that 56 percent of voters in key swing states said they are not better off than they were four years ago under George Bush. Still, growth is growth, and when the economy is as bad as it is, it’s nice to hear that there is one positive indicator, lonely as it may be.

      I stand behind my statement that economically speaking, Barack Obama is the worst president America has had in many, many decades.

      Best wishes.

    • Josak profile image

      Josak 5 years ago from variable

      Stock market and profits have been way up for more than a year, has nothing to do with early September.

    • Conservative Lady profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Surprise Arizona - formerly resided in Washington State

      The ONLY reason the stock market is soaring right now is because Ben Bernancke and the Feds made an open ended promise to buy 40 billion a month in mortgage bonds and to keep interest rates low through 2015. He just did this at the beginning of September - look it up. Obama is the worst President in history based on the economy. Good Hub voted up and shared.

    • Josak profile image

      Josak 5 years ago from variable

      I know you don't want a valid assessment but if you do you need to asses your Obama numbers from the point where his policies kicked in and had time to kick in, about six months into the presidency, then you need to look at trends, if you take over a country losing jobs at the highest rate since the depression and you reduce that loss then than in itself is a success.

      As for spending Obama has reduced it by 2.6%

      From a purely factual basis Obama's spending is lower than Bush's and he has reduced it significantly. Obama's 2010 budget cut spending 1.8%, 2011 increased it 4.3% and 2012 will increase it 0.7% 2013 will reduce it 1.3% (already budgeted) add 1.5% inflation yearly and we get 4.3+0.7= 5. 5- 1.8-1.3-1.5X3= -2.6% on spending from Obama budgets. He has reduced spending despite inheriting a terrible economy.

      As for economic indicators the best one is the stock market, it is the first thing affected by positive or negative change which then trickles down to other economic aspects, the stock market is soaring and record profits have been the result of the last two years.