How Obama Saved America And Paid A Huge Price
Timothy Egan in the New York Times lays it out in beautifully. President Obama saved capitalism and paid a terrible price, says Egan. For one thing, George W. Bush produced the worst stock market in history. Things have changed since then.
As of election day, Nov. 2, 2010, your $100,000 was worth about $177,000 if invested strictly in the NASDAQ average for the entirety of the Obama administration, and $148,000 if bet on the Standard & Poors 500 major companies. This works out to returns of 77 percent and 48 percent.
But that’s just one indicator, and not everyone is in the market. The bank bailout of $700 billion, begun under Bush, stabilized the free market system, and the government is about to break even on that risky bet. Chrysler and General Motors are starting to make money and one million auto industry jobs were saved.
“An apology is due Barack Obama,” wrote The Economist, which had opposed the $86 billion auto bailout. As for Government Motors: after emerging from bankruptcy, it will go public with a new stock offering in just a few weeks, and the United States government, with its 60 percent share of common stock, stands to make a profit. Yes, an industry was saved, and the government will probably make money on the deal — one of Obama’s signature economic successes.
Obama’s big successes will look better through the lens of history: health care reform, Wall Street reform, and a stimulus package which is leading to recovery, even though companies are amassing profits and not hiring yet as they could, should and will be.
But each of them, in its way, should strengthen the system. The health law will hold costs down, while giving millions the chance at getting care, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office. Financial reform seeks to prevent the kind of meltdown that caused the global economic collapse. And the stimulus, though it drastically raised the deficit, saved about 3 million jobs, again according to the CBO. It also gave a majority of taxpayers a one-time cut — even if 90 percent of Americans don’t know that, either.
Now Obama can cast himself as a populist and gain the favor of a public that has so far been unappreciative.
He should hector the companies sitting on piles of cash but not hiring new workers. For those who do hire, and create new jobs, he can offer tax incentives. He should finger the financial giants for refusing to clean up their own mess in the foreclosure crisis. He should point to the long overdue protections for credit card holders that came with reform.
And he should veto, veto, veto any bill that attempts to roll back some of the basic protections for people against the institutions that have so much control over their lives – insurance companies, Wall Street and big oil.Click here for reuse options!
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