For proof that the Obama “recovery” remains unimpressive compared to previous recoveries, Cato Institute scholar Dan Mitchell gathered evidence from a number of sources to make his point.
President Obama promised that at this point in the recovery unemployment would be down to six percent, but it remains stubbornly above eight percent if one believes the government numbers. At least five million people who lost their jobs in the recession are still unemployed or underemployed. The number of Americans living below the poverty level has set a new record. Government spending is virtually out of control with annual deficits now admitted to be above $1 trillion for the foreseeable future. Higher taxes are coming unless the Bush tax cuts are somehow permitted to remain in force. And the housing market is still looking for a bottom.
But according to President Obama everything is coming up roses
: More than three million jobs have been created in the past two years and the Dow Jones Industrial Average just exceeded 13,000, nearly doubling from under 7,000 in March 2009.
Thanks to the Minneapolis Federal Reserve’s interactive website
, the Obama recovery can easily be compared to (and contrasted with) 10 previous recessions all the way back to 1948. Whether looking at jobs or at economic output, the performance under Obama has lagged behind each of the previous recoveries very significantly. As noted by Mitchell, “Under Obama’s policies … we’ve just barely gotten back to where we were when the recession began … [and] the jobs chart is probably even more discouraging…. [It] is still below where it started.”