Confidence Dropping In President Obama and the US Economy
On November 4th, 2008, Barack Obama was elected President of the United States.
Obama hammered opponent John McCain in the election, propelled to power by an election platform that promised change and hope for a wounded country. The United States was in the midst of a crippling recession, and the majority of voters decided that Barack Obama was the right person to rescue the country from outright disaster.
Fast forward 1 1/2 years, and the honeymoon is most definitely over.
According to a recent WSJ poll (link below), a staggering 62% of adults in the survey felt that “the country is on the wrong track”. This is the highest level since President Obama took office.
Even worse - only 1/3rd of those surveyed believe that the economy is going to improve over the next year.
Another particularly worrying stat for President Obama, especially with mid-term elections just a few months away, is that the majority of people surveyed disapprove of the job that he has done as president so far.
The momentum as of late has been nothing but negative for President Obama and the Democrats.
One of the main reasons that the Democrats have been hammered as of late is the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The spill is in the news each and every day, and many people are questioning President Obama’s leadership abilities due to this catastrophe.
In addition, the US economy is continuing to sputter along at a time when many people thought that a substantial recovery would be taking place.
The national unemployment rate currently sits at 9.7%. Millions and millions of people are out of work, and many people are getting increasingly desperate as the weeks and months tick by. In May of 2009, the national unemployment rate hit 9.4%, and it hasn’t dipped under this level since. When Obama took office in January of 2009, the national unemployment rate was 7.2% - 1 1/2 years into his presidency, and the unemployment situation worsened considerably.
The fact of the matter is that until the national unemployment rate starts to meaningfully drop, President Obama and the Democrats will continue to be on the defensive. There are many issues that are important to the average American, but the economy is certainly at the top of the list.
This high level of anxiety about the current state of the economy will only make a meaningful economic recovery even more difficult to achieve. Pessimism translates into less spending and more saving, which translates into a tepid economy recovery (or even worse, a double-dip recession).
It should be interesting to see what, if anything, President Obama can do to turn things around before the mid-term elections in November.
Source: WSJ.com - Confidence Waning in Obama, U.S. Outlook
Source: Davemanuel.com - Historical Unemployment Numbers
Filed under: The Economic Meltdown