Americans Reject Absurd Republican Attempt to Claim Credit for Obama Recovery

The other day, Senate Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell claimed that the economy is getting better all because of that new Republican Congress smell.

After so many years of sluggish growth, we’re finally starting to see some economic data that can provide a glimmer of hope. The uptick appears to coincide with the biggest political change of the Obama administration’s long tenure in Washington: the expectation of a new Republican Congress.
— Mitch McConnell

There's one little problem. Nobody is buying Captain Turtle's pronouncement. The president's approval rating keeps climbing, and a new CBS poll indicates that Americans are beginning to give credit where credit is due: to the President. By a nine-point margin (43-34), Americans in the CBS poll credited President Obama's economic policies with the recovery, as his approval among independents has turned around by 11 points since October.

Although the news media begrudges the president any credit, the spin this time being that presidents always get a disproportionate share of the blame or credit for economic conditions - which to a good degree is true - as I covered previously, every inch of the current economic progress can be traced back to specific Obama policies. Here's a refresher

Economic Progress
Obama Policies Responsible
Accelerated job growth and falling unemployment.
  • Unprecedented investments in clean energy (Recovery Act, aka Stimulus), unprecedented expansion of student aid.
  • Auto rescue.
  • Keeping working people afloat through the expansion of unemployment benefits during the worst of times - allowing consumer spending to stay afloat as well.
  • Expanding health care (providing security), decoupling it from its reliance on employment and freeing small businesses from the burden of health care costs.
Rebounding American manufacturing and resurgent US auto industry.
  • Rescue of the US auto industry (every penny invested has now been repaid to the American taxpayer) - the administration did this essentially singlehandedly.
  • Cash for Clunkers - took gas guzzlers off the street and created demand for fuel efficient vehicles.
  • Trade agreements such as the US-Korea Free Trade Agreement that opened up foreign markets to American auto makers
Free-falling federal deficit
  • Raising taxes on the top 1% (those making $400,000 or more a year) and making the tax code fairer. See: GOP surrender.
  • Returning and readjusting the estate tax for the super rich.
  • Raising capital gains rate for the rich to 20%.
  • Ending two wars and refocusing on an effective counterterrorism strategy.
  • Lower than projected spending on Obamacare exchange subsidies.
Booming consumer spending
  • The largest refundable tax credit to the middle class in history for health care (commonly known as "Obamacare tax breaks/subsidies) helped free up money for consumers.
  • President Obama enacted through the stimulus and made permanent during the 2013 "fiscal cliff" legislation a number of targeted middle class tax cuts, including:
    • Making Work Pay tax credit: $400 credit for working individuals who meet certain criteria.
    • Expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit.
    • A nearly-doubled Child Tax Credit of $1000.
    • Setting the alternative minimum tax threshold income at 50K for single and 80K for joint filers and linking it to inflation.
Falling gas prices
  • Nearly doubling US oil production.
  • Big investments in clean energy and fuel efficient cars lowering overall demand for oil not just in the US but across the globe.
  • Refusing to start more wars of choice in the middle east to disrupt its oil supply.

.I could go on. And on. And on. I could talk about the earliest measures in the midst of the most horrific economic disaster in living memory and precisely what effects they had of softening the blow and giving the economy and chance to get back on track. But that's why there's a search function and an archives.

Republicans, in the mean time, have done everything conceivable to block the president's agenda, tear it down, and throw monkey wrenches into the process.

Suffice it to say that although it is true that Americans often assign more than their share of responsibility to a president for the country's present economic conditions, this is one time where their hunch, if anything, underestimates this president's contribution to the current economic growth. Suffice it also to say that were it not for the GOP's obstructionism, we'd be much further along than we are now.

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