Winning re-election ensures Obama will get credit for his recovery

Jill Beccaris-Pescatore picture

You've heard it before. The Great Recession was the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression. Period. An economy so injured it was on a respirator.

It takes substantially longer to heal from broken bones than from a case of the sniffles. Watch this video to see unemployment spread like the plague during the recession:

That is where we were and this is where we are going, thanks to President Obama. The Obama administration's $800 billion fiscal stimulus helped to plug the GDP gap and reduce cyclical unemployment from over 5% to under 3%.

"The die is cast for a much stronger recovery," Mark Zandi, chief economist from Moody's Analytics, told Bloomberg. Further, his projection of GDP growth is 2% this year and 2013 and double that to 4% in 2014 and 2015.

Translation: The power of the expansion phase of the business cycle is in motion, and unless there is a shock to the economy or a drastic change to current economic policy, the country will create upwards of 12 million new jobs over the next four years.

This was projected to happen regardless of who was sitting in the Oval Office.

Now, let's give credit where credit is due.

The president took the stimulus package to a House of Representatives where Republicans vowed to make him a one-term president. After mid-term elections, the GOP put its obstruction plan in motion by blocking a jobs bill and voting on a bogus balanced budget amendment. In spite of that, the economy was saved from a free fall due to the economic policies of the White House.

Don't imagine that the unemployment rate wouldn't have jumped far above 11% without the stimulus. In fact, my biggest criticism is that the stimulus wasn't large enough to get the job creation rolling at a faster rate.

But I understand that the Obama administration didn't think Congress would support a more expensive package, even though they knew that households were paying down debt, thus reducing the multiplier effect of the stimulus.

Our economy was on life support and continues to heal. It is evident with increased monthly job creation, new home sales at the highest level in two years, consumer confidence at its highest in four years and banks have low interest money to lend, that the patient is coming out of the recovery room.

It is even more vital that we remember, as the economy grows and jobs are created, that the surgeon was President Barack Obama.

Jill Beccaris-Pescatore is an assistant professor of economics at Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell, Pa.

  • Dolores Kish

    This article is well written but I don't believe that President Obama is our savior by any means. The left media covers him with accolades when things go well and refuse to see that there have been many times when there has been a fly in the ointment. I do believe that no progress will be made unless the aisle is crossed. We have to keep the recovery in perspective... we still have many fellow Americans without jobs. I'm not sure America is ready to come off life support ....we will be in the Intensive Care Unit for some time to come.

  • Rory McShane

    The creation of 12mm jobs is all theory based and not realistic. How many jobs has he created in 4 years? In what sector will these jobs be created? Obama has demonized the private sector, the only possible job creation would be more government jobs which is the equivalent of taking money out of your left pocket and placing it in your right pocket. On a personal note, I had a mandate to fill 3 positions if Romney was elected, now we are pondering eliminating 2 positions or outsourcing because of the oncoming regulation onslaught. This administration consist of all theory based "intellectuals" who have no real life experience and believe they know better than the country's actual job creators. I am an ex-pat from Ireland and I do not understand the American pysche which clamors for self inflicted punishment. Cheers to the projected 24T Federal Debt which will result after 4 more years.

  • Tom

    Oops, the patient just went back to the ER. You see my home value just decreased again and my property taxes went up. Gas prices have been steady at or below 4.00/gal. (but strange how they just dropped .30 to .40/gal a week before the election). And the day after the election, the DOW is down 313 in fears OBAMA will make the wrong move concerning the "Fiscal Cliff" or was it due to the sell off of energy and bank stocks? Fears of more restrictive regulations, higher taxes, Obamacare? Hopefully those investors get their info from FOX News and are just overreacting. I agree the economy is coming around and I hope that these above issues are just minor bumps in the road to recovery. I hope the next 4 years will be better than the last. Lets face it, if we have another recession it will be blamed on some Bush policy anyway. So, Surgeon Obama, work your scalpel and do the right thing for our country!

  • James

    Interesting stats provide food for thought. Optimist or pessimist? Most indicators point toward a recovery, albeit a slow journey. We can hope that this election has shown the "right" that obstructionism has backfired, and cooperation is the correct path. Obama seems to be sincere in his economic goals, but he needs genuine bi-partisan cooperation to get us back. A jobs bill would be an ideal place to begin.

  • Jeff

    This article brilliantly articulates two significant points lost on so many Americans. First, the "Great Recession" would have been MUCH worse and may have resulted in a second "Great Depression" but-for the actions taken by President Obama. Second, the turnaround could have been MUCH more substantial by this point but-for the GOP obstruction plan. Let's hope the House Republicans heard the message sent by American voters on Tuesday. Compromise will be the key to continuing this momentum, which is in the best interests of everyone.