I recently came across this chart while on Facebook and felt commentary was necessary. These categories are misleading and redundant in order to make the President look worse. First, unemployed Americans and the unemployment rate; when Obama came into office the country was losing over 700,000 jobs a month and over 3 million jobs were lost before one of his policies was put into effect. Basic math shows his policies have been reducing the number of unemployed Americans. Correspondingly the unemployment rate may be up from inauguration day but it should be noted inauguration day was in the heat of the financial crisis and the unemployment rate continued to rise until October of 2009 (reaching 10%). Since then it has been on the steady decline; so in less than a year Obama began decreasing the unemployment rate. Also, the President was able to decrease the unemployment rate with Republican governors on a crusade to get rid of government jobs.
Second, gas prices; I hate this stat because gas prices have always been increasing and prices fluctuate daily. Also, the majority of economists are in agreement the president has little to no affect on gas prices.
Third, Federal Debt and Debt per person (here is some of that redundancy I talked about); obviously the debt was going to increase when he came into office. During a recession any Keynesian economist would say spending is entirely necessary. Not sure why this chart doesn’t show how his spending (stimulus package) created and saved millions of jobs, which it did.
Fourth, Misery index; in large part this is measured by the unemployment rate and I have already explained why that stat is misleading. (Redundancy)
Fifth, college tuition; if I am not mistaken the President has called for colleges and universities to lower tuition costs. Also, what do you want the President to do about tuition rates? Increase federal spending? I am pretty sure that’s called socialism according to Republican Congressmen.
Sixth, health insurance costs; I think the creator of this chart put this in here to show how The Affordable Care Act is increasing our health insurance costs. The problem is the majority of Obama’s health care plan does not go into effect until 2014.
Seventh, food stamp recipients; yes, they have gone up but they were increasing during the Bush administration as well. And let’s not forget we had a terrible recession which left people unemployed and underemployed making it necessary for more Americans to go on food stamps. Also, as I have mentioned before, people being able to afford food is a good thing.
Eighth, Americans in poverty; once again this increase was caused by a crippled economy, which was not the fault of the President. Further the Republican policy of cutting taxes would only increase the poverty numbers. Just as an aside older people are not being hit by poverty due to social security.
Ninth, home values; this one is just ridiculous. Half this crisis was caused by the housing bubble. This means home prices were too high and people could not afford to pay back their loans. The market is now working itself out by pushing prices down to what they should have been before the housing crisis. The housing bubble occurred before Obama set foot in office but somehow it is his fault?
Tenth, global competitiveness; our ranking slipped mostly due to our debt and I do not see it necessary to go into that, again. Just in case you were wondering three of the four countries ahead of us, Switzerland, Sweden and Finland, all have greater government spending and better funded social safety nets than the United States.
Hope that clears things up