Obama’s economic record is positive

I have been repeatedly disappointed by President Obama’s willingness to cave in to Republicans on issue after issue, in efforts to reach across the aisle. Republicans have returned the favor by calling him “divisive” and by being obstructionists. I like to remind my conservative friends that, despite the hostile climate, he has managed to accomplish much good for the country.

For average Americans, the federal tax burden is at its lowest in 60 years. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities notes that the federal tax burden is at its lowest point since the 1950s – not only income tax, but for all federal taxes across the board.

While government spending has increased slightly, the number of employees has shrunk. So, which measure shows the “explosion” of government growth the Republicans allege? Increased spending (6 percent) covers increased costs in mandatory spending: Medicare, unemployment insurance, veterans expenses. Population growth, the Republican recession and the increasing number of wounded vets are the causes, not any specific Obama policy.

Obama decreased the deficit 8 percent annually. One source is Moody’s analytics: www.economy.com/dismal/article_free.asp?cid=227760&src=ce_asp.

Additionally, Adelphi University compiled statistics on the deficit from 1911 to 2011. The charts show deficits are historically higher under Republicans than under Democrats. Specifically, it shows the deficit reduction that occurred in 2010-11, during Obama’s term. Please remember, it was Dick Cheney who said, “deficits do not matter,” before his administration borrowed the country to near-bankruptcy. Republicans then waged two separate wars, increased Medicare benefits and decreased the tax rates for upper incomes. But they paid for none of it! Instead, the Republicans borrowed and increased the deficit. Today’s deficit numbers are mostly the result of President George W. Bush’s reckless borrowing.

Bottom line: A Democratic budget surplus in 2000 was transformed by Republican fiscal policies into an historic recession in 2008. Who would want to return to those same, failed policies?

Larry Bollinger