Obama's Economic Plan, Healthcare, The Recession & The Middle Class

Welcome to Obama FTW. The intention of this site is to address the many fallacies regarding Barack Obama, which are mostly leveled by special interests who, rather than having US’s best interest at heart, are more concerned with advancing their own ideology (or who have an anti-Obama/Democrat axe to grind). The result is an ongoing and ever-changing barrage of misleading and often false rhetoric.

For example, as early as 2010 I was explaining that jobs were coming back and that the deficit would be addressed as this happened. After 3 years of steady job creation, the deficit is shrinking and people are returning to work. Republicans and right wing pundits are now amazingly silent on the positive job numbers and instead, they focus largely on manufactured 'scandals').

Another intention of this site: to point out the destructive effects Republican policies have had on the US over the last 30+ years. Through lowered taxes on the wealthy, union-busting, deregulation of key industries, and gutting our social safety net, the disparity of wealth between the wealthiest Americans and the rest of us have reached proportions that rival those of undeveloped countries. On top of this, we live in an age of constant deficits. The Republican solution: MORE tax cuts for the wealthy, more union busting, more deregulation, and cutting down our social safety net even further.

How Republican policies continue to haunt us today:

• The wealth gap persists, because no one has reversed the policies they set in motion
• The GOP has successfully filibustered The American Jobs Act (which would have sped up the recover)
• They have insisted that we balance the budget on the backs of middle class earners
• They ignore unbiased agencies like the CBO, CEA and Moodys in favor of their own rhetoric or right wing funded “think tanks”

One more thing: I DO NOT agree with everything Obama has done and this site should not be mistaken as a fanboi site. But the GOP has successfully positioned itself as the part of failed-but-recycled ideas with lots of rhetoric, dishonesty, and little/no data to back their ideology. Exacerbating the problem by having another Republican president would be a crime against humanity.

The Obama Recovery

Notice how fast jobs were dropping off as Obama was inaugurated in January of 2009 (a loss of about 800,000 jobs/month). Notice how the trend slowed down and eventually reversed after Obama signed the ‘failed’ stimulus plan into law. Keep in mind how many times Republicans made statements like “The unemployment rate was X% when Obama was elected, now it’s X%” (ignoring the economic free fall he inherited, and the overall positive trend—rather, they focused on a single static number to fool less observant listeneres).

Unemployment Rate – 2008-2013

Obama and unemployment

Job Creation – 2008-2013

Obama and jobs

ps. This is net job creation (not unemployment rate—so no excuses about "discouraged workers not being counted").

The Stock Market

For all the rhetoric over the market not liking Obama, the stock market’s turnaround began one week after Obama signed the stimulus into law. So much for government spending “crowding out” the market.

INSERT IME Obama and market

The Incredibly Shrinking Deficit

Remember that deficit Republicans were crowing about? Not only has it been significantly reduced (and so quickly after the worst recession since the great depression effectively suppressed revenues and caused in increase in spending), but the original data point Republicans were complaining about (the 2009 numbers) were actually George Bush’s numbers (because the 2009 fiscal year began in Oct 2008—that’s how the fiscal year works). So not only did Obama NOT increase the deficit, most of the factors that did cause increased spending were completely out of his control.

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Obama and deficit
The deficit continues to shrink under Obama.

How the Republican Party has wreaked havoc on the middle class


wealth disparity united states - rich and poor
Republican policies implemented 30+ years ago (and never reversed) have set the US on this course of growing disparity between the wealthy and the middle class.

The growing wealth disparity: The rich keep getting richer


The New Deal (higher taxes on the wealthy and union-friendly policies) saw the creation of what we currently call the American middle class. Incomes between the top earners and everyone else became compressed and the US experienced an unprecedented economic boom. However, over the last 30+ years, New Deal policies have been reversed and we’ve seen a return to a Gilded Age-like era where the country’s growing wealth continues to coalesce around a small wealthy elite, while everyone else’s income continues to fall behind rising costs of living (meaning they are working more for less and less—AND being blamed for the country’s economic problems).

obama middle class history
This growing wealth disparity resembles that of the pre-New Deal era.

 

rich tax rates and middle class history
The striking inverse correlation between tax rates on the wealthy and the gap between the poor and the wealthy.

CEO to worker ratio in pay
The growing increase between CEO and worker pay.

corporate tax rates

Through lower corporate tax rates and countless subsidies, US corporations pay historically-low tax rates.

corporate tax rates
As tax rates have dropped, corporations have become more and more profitable.

Tax Rates on the Wealthy and Corporations

Consider all the rhetoric about “punishing success and rewarding failure” and how our tax rates are squeezing the rich, discouraging them from investing, and resulting in economic paralysis. Now try and square that with the fact that the top marginal tax rates, capital gains taxes, and corporate taxes are actually far lower than they were any time between the The New Deal and the end of Reagan’s presidency. The top marginal tax rate was well over 90% at one point (compared to the 35% it’s been since Bush and the recent “tax increase” back to 39.5%,--which is what it was under Bill Clinton).

obama tax rates wealthy
Top marginal tax rates on income, corporations and capital gains. As you can see, they are ther lowest they’ve been since Reagan’s presidency.

Union-Busting, and the disappearing middle class
How often do we hear rhetoric about “union thugs” and how unions are killing business? But here is the problem: Republicans have gotten their way for decades. The unions are being squeezed and are now at 1/3 of their old rate. Meanwhile, Canada still retains about 33% unionization (and has not seen the growing disparity in income we see here in the US).

unions and the middle class

 

 

unions and the middle class wealth disparity

uwealth disparity across oecd nations

 

income increase across nations

Oh, about those deficits...

Any cursory look at our past deficits will reveal that our age of deficit spending began with the lowering of taxes on the wealthy. When Republicans talk about the “old days of living within our means,” they are referring to the days when the rich were taxed at a much higher rate.

Obama and deficit


So what good have Republican policies done for us?

It’s clear that the wealth hasn’t trickled down. So what can we point to as a trade-off for growing income disparity and an age of constant deficits and growing debt? Has the economy grown faster? Has job creation (even at these new, lower wage levels) sped up? On both counts, no.

As you can see, job creation rates have not improved under these lower taxes on the wealthy.

obama jobs plan

Faster economic growth? Nope.

taxes wealthy and gdp growth

About Mitt Romney
Now take all of the above information and compare it to Mitt Romney’s 2012 platform. The bottom 47% (those people working the same jobs that used to pay a living wage) are leeches who don’t pay taxes (which is not true—they do pay). Remember how he wanted to further cut taxes on the wealthy and increase taxes on middle income earners? This is the Republican party at work.

47 percent taxes myth

 

Obama for the win

Welcome to Obama FTW: your source for political news regarding our current president. Here you will find facts and trends that are common knowledge among mainstream economists and policy wonks but are lost in the noisy partisan bickering.

Recent Headline: Economically, Could Obama Be America's Best President?

Obama Economic Plan 2013

President Obama has summarized his economic and job-building plans into 27-points, which can be seen here (PDF). Also, Business Insider has an overview of the 27 points here. This jobs plan includes boosting manufacturing (which includes getting tougher on China), producing American-made energy, and College affordability. This 3-pronged approach covers our economic short, medium and long-term interests.

To be clear, Obama has had a jobs plan for some time. Unfortunately it’s easy to lose sight of this in the midst of the 24-hour news cycle which often focuses on talking points and controversies over substance. But now they've been packaged together and condensed into a single document. On average, economists favor Obama’s economic plan to Romney’s and believe Obama is simply better for the economy.

Here is some more information on Obama’s Economic & Jobs Plan:

Obama’s Economic Plan for 2012, 2013 and beyond. A little bit about the plan:

Boosting Manufacturing

  • Tax Reform
  • Trade Enforcement
  • Rebuilding America

American-Made Energy

  • An All-of-the-Above Strategy
  • Committing to Clean Energy
  • Developing More American Oil and Natural Gas

College Affordability

  • Reforming Student Aid
  • Race to the Top for Higher Education
  • First in the World Competition
  • Better Information for Families
  • Additional Federal Support

Obama Jobs Plan 2013

Obama has also recently reintroduced the American Jobs Act (filibustered by Republicans in late 2011). The plan has received appraisals from independent private sector agencies like Moody’s Analytics who forecasted the jobs plan would create up to 1.9 million jobs and Macroeconomic Advisers whose estimate was 1.3 million jobs.

The American Jobs Act (PDF)

  1. Tax Cuts to Help America’s Small Businesses Hire and Grow
  2. Putting Workers Back on the Job While Rebuilding and Modernizing America
  3. Pathways Back to Work for Americans Looking for Jobs.
  4. Tax Relief for Every American Worker and Family

obama stimulus unemployment jobs

 

Obama explaining his jobs plan

A few Obama Facts & Myths:

Obama Facts

A Few Myths