What are some of Obama's economic accomplishments?

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Answered by: Domenick, An Expert in the Obama's Economic Policy Category
Barack Obama may have been one of the most polarizing presidents in American history. It seems to be that he is either intensely loved or fiercely disliked. Nonetheless, some of Obama's economic accomplishments go beyond his apparent public disdain or affection. From some of these economic results, we can come up with an objective viewpoint on why his accomplishments trump his polarization (pun intended).



You may be thinking, "What are these economic results or accomplishments?" And this article will surely get to that, but, just as a disclaimer, it should be noted that it would be impossible to provide a comprehensive list of Obama's economic accomplishments. So, we will just be providing you with an "economic highlight reel", if you will.

1.) By and large, Obama's most significant economic accomplishment is the fact that we are no longer in recession! As a result of failed economic policies by the previous administration, the War in Iraq, and the outsourcing of jobs to other countries, the United States unemployment rate had hit a peak of 10 percent in October, 2009. At the time of writing this article (October, 2016), the unemployment rate is down to ~5%. This is a great thing to have accomplished but what good is being employed without a proper living wage? Luckily, President Obama was able to increase those wages after dropping to extreme lows. In 2012, median household income dipped to $52,666. By the end of 2015, this had risen to $56,516, only ~2.5% lower than the median income of some of the United State's most prosperous economic times.



Similar to how the average consumer saw improvements in their employment and wages under Obama's administration, the stock market grew like never before. When the recession hit, the Nasdaq and Dow Jones tanked to scary levels in an extremely short period of time and their prospects for the future were grim. As of today, both the Nasdaq and Dow Jones are at HISTORICAL highs.

2.) Some of Obama's adversaries point to the doubling of the national debt during his tenure (from 10 trillion to 20 trillion) but this is a highly misleading statement. Bear with me because there is going to be some jargon here but I will do my best to explain the concepts. The national debt is just the accumulation of the federal budget deficit over time. In other words, if the United States spent 20 dollars in 2017 and only had tax revenue of 10 dollars, the deficit would be 10 dollars and that 10 dollars would be added on to the national debt. So, when Obama came into office, the United States was hemorrhaging an almost 500 billion dollar deficit a year with the momentum to keep rising! At this point, it is objectively impossible for the national debt to NOT rise. The only thing to do is to lower the federal budget deficit as much as possible. After hitting peaks of 1.3 Trillion dollars in 2010, the deficit is now sitting at a lower, but still not so good, 590 billion dollars. This was a 50% reduction is just 6 years!

Love him or hate him, Obama's accomplishments are not to be understated. The results speak for themselves and can hopefully bring some objectivity to the subjective world of politics.

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