Just weeks after Obama’s inauguration, the free-falling market hit bottom. Since then it has risen from 6,500 to 13,300 – over 100%. Corporate earnings have soared in the past four years and so, necessarily, have capital gains. Wall Street should be celebrating Obama not vilifying him. Romney has been criticized for not revealing his tax returns beyond 2 years presumably because it might show that he paid no taxes. I think there is another underlying reason. Many of the rich are in low tax brackets because much of the growth in their wealth comes in the form of capital gains. It’s no wonder Gov. Romney doesn’t want to show his returns because it will likely show that he has grown considerably wealthier on the President’s watch!!
When he was campaigning in 2008, Obama predicted a sharper drop in the unemployment rate than the 25% drop (10.2 to 7.8) it has seen in the last four years. He got halfway to his goal and it is clearly moving in the right direction but no one had any idea how bad things would become.
It should be clear to everyone that we are not an isolated nation. We live on a world stage and it is naïve to think that the Japanese tsunami, China’s currency manipulation, the serious financial troubles plaguing Greece, Italy, and Portugal have no “trickle down” effect on this nation’s economy. The fact that we have accomplished this much is a credit to the decisions made by the administration.
When Obama took office, he saw how necessary it was for the government to provide a safety net under the economy. Preventing the collapse of the auto industry and protecting the coverage of 70 million insured by AIG was essential to keep the country under emotional control and stopping a recession from descending into a depression. When the market crashed in 1929, Hoover did what the Republicans are recommending now, cut taxes. The subsequent revenue and job losses with no available safety net (e.g. the Federal Reserve) assured that the country would fall into a multi-year depression.
Michelle Bachmann once stated that she thought that there were members of Congress who were “un-American”. She was right. What is more un-American than John Boehner and Mitch McConnell stating, nine days after Obama took office, that their objective was to see that he was a one-term President no matter what it took. How about the efforts of the Republican Party to suppress the vote of minorities and new voters? The record of the party has been unequivocal. They have voted against every piece of legislation initiated by the administration so they could point to Obama as a failure.
When a party acts out of political malice and at the expense of the needs of our country — that is un-American.
It is a sad commentary when an opposing party has to resort to suppressing votes and preventing legislative progress in order to win an election.
When that happens, we all lose.
Michael Axelrod, Ph.D.
Mill Valley, CA
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Point Loma Democratic Club.