Over the last seven years, the economy has been consistently one of the main issues in American politics. Despite what the right wing media often reports, the financial outlook of the country is more positive today than when President Obama took over for Republican George W. Bush.
In the fall of 2008, during the final days of the presidential election, the economy took its worst hit since the Great Depression of the 1930s. The stock market crashed, major U.S. banks were forced to be bailed out by taxpayers, as mortgages went underwater. These issues were discussed during a Dec. 24 interview on Fox Business Network with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.
Lew pointed out that during the first year of the Obama administration, unemployment reached nearly 11 percent, while 750,000 jobs were lost during the month he was sworn into office. Fast forward to present day, and the improvement is striking. “Where we are now, we’re seeing steady growth, we’ve seen enormous job creation over this period of time,” Lew said. “We’re seeing the unemployment rate around 5 percent, and we’re seeing that growth in spite of the fact that there’s a lot of headwinds from a slower global economy.”
Lew focused on the common panic over Social Security, which her believes is not warranted, stating that it’s at least 75 percent funded at worse. The Treasury head also pointed out that the business tax code was “broken,” and that Republicans and Democrats need to come together in a “bipartisan basis” to deal with the problem.
With an unemployment rate that has been cut in half, and a stock market that has doubled, the economy has made big leaps forward since Obama came into office. While the positives are there, more needs to be done to get the economy moving at the rate that is needed for aggressive growth. The labor participation rate is still not where it needs to be, and wages have continued to remain historically low.