PCP: Obama touts a mildly impressive economic record


Anne Buie

The following is part of a Point Counter-Point opinion series, which highlights important issues and platform points for both candidates in the upcoming election. 

Read the counter-point here.

Michael BraggImagine that you have a car, one that, for the last eight years, your mechanic has done nothing but cause it more trouble than good. At this point, it’s practically useless and you need someone who can have it up and running now.

Now there are two mechanics. One who will do what the last did and a new guy on the block, who has these great ideas for making your car better than ever.

He says in four days, it’ll be done.

Four days are almost up, but it’s not quite where you want it to be. But this guy is trying everything and the people he has to call for parts and replacements aren’t cooperating with him and are hindering the progress of your car – one of the worst cars any mechanic could deal with.

Four days is up. It’s not perfect, but it runs. This mechanic says if you give him another four days, he can continue to fix some of the prior damage rather than going to a new mechanic that resembles your original one.

Obviously, I’m not here to talk mechanics. I’m here to talk about President Obama and the economy and why choosing him four years ago shows that we should keep him rather than go with Gov. Romney.

Like the mechanic, Obama received an economy that was in a recession, being drained by two ongoing wars and a national debt that rose higher and higher everyday.

It’s not the easiest task.

And while many of his opponents attack the president on his economic record in the last four years, The Economist reported that “his handling of the crisis and recession were impressive.”

The president’s stimulus, while wildly unpopular with conservatives, has proven to have some modest success. According to The Economist, the $800 billion stimulus spending created or saved 3.4 million jobs. “Politifact” claimed true that under Obama, the United States gained “half a million manufacturing jobs.”

Many Americans have seen President Obama depicted as a wasteful spender, spending more and putting this country in debt more than any president. But “Market Watch” said that Obama had the lowest rate of spending in 60 years at 1.4 percent annually.

While they pulled strictly from fiscal years, which overlap presidencies, this statement is not entirely true. However, the Washington Post recalculated the numbers and found that the rate was 5.2 percent while the “Associated Press” reported three percent, compared to President Bush’s “final full fiscal year in office, ending Sept. 30, 2008, it rose to 20.8 percent,” according to The New York Times.

Today, we are not in a recession and General Motors is still alive and well.

According to politifact.com, “[United Auto Workers] president Bob King says auto industry has gained 250,000 jobs since mid-2009.” This claim came up true.

Now we have a choice. Do we return the presidency – our car – to President Obama – the new mechanic that has gotten things running better than they have been – or do we give it over to Gov. Romney – who is too much like the old mechanic we were eager to get away from.

Bragg, a junior journalism and public relations major from Lillington, is a A&E reporter.