Quotes: US MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

Obama faces US voter judgment on economic revival  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - AFP - 04/11/2012

No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!


(MENAFN - AFP) After Democrat Barack Obama won the White House in November 2008, in the middle of the deepest economic crisis since the 1930s, his advisors told him the economy would make or break his presidency.

They were right. Four years later, Obama stands for re-election, and with the economy still struggling, on Tuesday he will be judged above all on his record restoring growth and jobs.

Obama is running neck and neck with Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who has assailed the president for increasing the country's debt to record levels, for restoring only an anemic level of growth, and for achieving nothing in terms of jobs -- the unemployment rate is right where it was when he took office in January 2009.

Obama counters that the government had to spend money to restore growth and rescue the financial sector and auto industry, and that since the economy hit bottom, more than four million private sector jobs have been created.

Both narratives are essentially correct, but it has been up to Obama to make the case to 12 million Americans still searching for jobs, and another six million who dropped out of the workforce, to focus on his accomplishments.

In Ohio, the battleground state where the race could be decided, Michael Houston is the kind of voter Obama is having trouble convincing.

The tree-trimmer has been unemployed for six months, and his house is in foreclosure -- too expensive for him to live in, and the market too depressed for him to sell it.

He doesn't believe Obama has done enough to help people like himself.

"Things have been rough on me in the last four years, and I'm hoping for brighter days," he said.

Having won the White House promising to create seven million jobs, Obama started out with the economy bleeding nearly 800,000 jobs a month.

The financial sector was teetering on collapse, the US auto industry was imploding, the housing bubble had already burst and millions found themselves unable to pay their mortgages -- all a vicious circle, a deterioration in one area spilling over to further corrode another.

"Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered," the president said in his inaugural address.

The rescue of banks was underway when he took office. Obama extended it to auto giants General Motors and Chrysler, determined to save the huge industry.

He also launched the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, a giant stimulus program that included tax cuts, infrastructure spending, expanded unemployment benefits, and aid to states -- all aimed at slowing layoffs and encouraging hiring.

Together the two programs cost some 1.4 trillion -- and to fund them the government borrowed, sending its fiscal deficits well over 1 trillion a year for the next three years. That drove the country's borrowing to top 16.2 trillion by this month, now dangerously equal to the size of the entire economy.

It took months for the Obama programs to turn the economy around. The 18-month recession ended in June 2009, but the unemployment rate kept rising for four more months to peak at 10 percent.

Fast forward to the second half of 2012: The auto industry has rebounded, with car sales hitting records. Banks are stronger and making money. Housing prices have begun to turn around. Stock markets are back to late-2007 levels.

But the Obama recovery has faltered. US consumers remain tight-fisted, worried about their jobs. Incomes are lower than they were four years ago, and while the jobless rate is now 7.9 percent, near where it started in January 2009, the number of out-of-work is actually higher.

Obama's effort to recharge US industry and exports has fallen flat as the global economy turns down and Europe is mired in its own crisis.

Determined Republicans in Congress forced Obama to cut back spending plans, especially on infrastructure, that he intended to be a major source of new jobs.

The government is still 170 billion in the hole on the bailouts.

Banks have not loosened up lending that could power job-creating investment by businesses and new spending by consumers. Even as they take no risks, the big bonuses for top bankers are back.

Meanwhile the two US political parties are deadlocked over how to proceed with deficit reduction, and the uncertainty around that has forced businesses and consumers to keep a tight grip on spending -- keeping economic growth slow.

At the beginning of his term, Obama told an interviewer he had three years to turn the economy around.

"I will be held accountable," Obama said. "If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition."

On Tuesday, he will find out if Americans think he did enough.


  MENA News Headlines
Apr 24 2014Qatar- HH Sheikha Moza Meets Mayor of Kobe Visits RIKEN Research Institution ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Kobe April 24 - Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community Development (QF) today held a meeting with the ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- Sidra-BMC Event Boosts Biomedical Research Publishing ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - A symposium organised jointly by Sidra Medical Research Centre and BioMed Central (BMC) mulled trends in research and on open access publishing here ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- Mannai Corp Q1 Net Profit up 73% to QR 150.1 Million ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - Qatar Exchange listed Mannai Corporation (QE: MCCS) net profit is up 73% to QR 150.1 Million for the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 ending March 31 ...

Apr 24 2014Bahraini firms forecasted to grow 10 pct ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) In a report based on a study of over 650 companies across GCC, Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz) forecasts a growth of the Bahraini companies' earnings by 10 percent in 2014, Gulf Daily News ...

Apr 24 2014Israeli Army Storms Deir Samit Village West of Hebron ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) bron April 24 - Israeli army forces stormed at dawn Thursday Deir Samit village southwest of Hebron city in the West Bank. The Israeli forces conducted raid and search ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar Airways to add more seats on Doha-Vienna route ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Qatar Airways plans to offer more 1.700 seats on its Doha-Vienna route beginning from September 2014, according to Gulf News. The company aims to expand the growing passenger demand from ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar- QFC Authority Five-a-Side Football Tournament Kicks Off ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) Authority's first Five-a-side Football Tournament is displaying dribbling skills of executives from Doha's financial ...

Apr 24 2014Qatar Stock Exchange Down 0.05% ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - The Qatar Exchange ended in the red area when trading closed Thursday at 12954.93 points (0.05%) down 6.63 points from the previous closing of 12961.56 ...

Apr 24 2014Israeli Tanks Enter Gaza Border area ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Gaza April 24 - Six Israeli military tanks on Thursday entered a border area in the southern Gaza Strip witnesses said. The tanks crossed into Gaza in an area called ...

Apr 24 2014President Salva Kiir Relieves his Chief of the General Staff ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Juba April 24 -South Sudanese President Salva Kiir relieved Chief of the General Staff of south sudan army James Hoth Mai. This came in a presidential decree aired ...

Apr 24 2014Afghan Guard Shoots Dead 3 Foreigners in Hospital ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Kabul April 24 - Three foreigners including a doctor were shot dead and their colleague wounded when a guard of a private Cure Hospital opened fire on them in the ...

Apr 24 2014Uruguay Public Health Minister Meets HE Qatari Ambassador ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Montevideo April 24 -Minister of Public Health in Uruguay Maria Susana Mu?iz met here on Thursday with HE qatari ambassador to the republic of Uruguay mohamed hassan ...

Apr 24 2014King bids to reassure Saudis as MERS deaths hit 85 ,AFP
(MENAFN - AFP) King Abdullah was in the Saudi commercial hub of Jeddah on Thursday in a bid to reassure a worried public as the death toll from the MERS virus hit 85. The Red Sea city has seen a ...

Apr 24 2014QBA strengthens economic ties with Kenya ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) Members of the elite Qatar Businessmen's Association (QBA) stated their willingness to cooperate with their Kenyan peers, strengthening economic ties between Qatar and Kenya, The Peninsula ...

Apr 24 2014Russian Lebanese Foreign Ministers to Discuss Situation ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) scow April 24 - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and his Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil will discuss bilateral relations at a meeting in Moscow on Thursday as ...

Apr 24 2014Kuwait inflation edges up 2.96% y/y in March ,Arab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Wait city april 23 (kuna): kuwait's annual record of the general index of consumer prices (inflation) rose in march by 2.96 percent compared with the same month of last year ...

Apr 24 2014Omani non-oil exports to enter African markets ,MENAFN
(MENAFN) A senior official at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) said that the Sultanate is seeking expansion in new African markets, in a time it is looking forward to reduce its ...

Apr 24 2014Georgian Justice Minister Leaves Doha ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Doha April 24 - HE Minister of Justice of Georgia Tia Tsulukiana left Doha on Thursday morning wrapping up a two-day official visit to the country. An agreement on ...

Apr 24 2014Egyptian Premier Off to Chad ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) Cairo April 24 - Egyptian Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehlib left cairo on Thursday for Chad the first leg of a three-day two-state trip that will also take him to Tanzania ...

Apr 24 2014US Secretary of State Meets Egyptian Intelligence Chief ,Qatar News Agency
(MENAFN - Qatar News Agency) shington April 24 - US Secretary of State John Kerry has met with the Egyptian Intelligence Chief Major General Mohammed Ahmed Fareed al-Tohami who is currently ...


Click to Apply



Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country
Marketwatch News
UPI News
Comtex News

IPO News
Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

US Markets Details


Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks

Saudi Arabia 

Investment Game
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary

Portfolio Tracker


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor


Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters

© 2000 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help