Obama Still Defies the Odds

by Ryan on March 6, 2009

in Economy,Politics

Odds are that a President who has done more than any single President in our history to rattle the markets and obliterate retirement accounts every time he opens his mouth would not be very popular.  However, Obama remains very high in the polls despite his War on Capitalism.   

Michael Boskin, writing in the WSJ Online Oped had this to say about the market’s reaction to Obama’s policies:

Mr. Obama’s $3.6 trillion budget blueprint, by his own admission, redefines the role of government in our economy and society. The budget more than doubles the national debt held by the public, adding more to the debt than all previous presidents — from George Washington to George W. Bush — combined. It reduces defense spending to a level not sustained since the dangerous days before World War II, while increasing nondefense spending (relative to GDP) to the highest level in U.S. history. And it would raise taxes to historically high levels (again, relative to GDP). And all of this before addressing the impending explosion in Social Security and Medicare costs.

Unlike the general population, the markets get to vote every day on where they see the future headed.  Lately they’ve been brutal, voting for change they can believe in and not finding much change left in their pockets after Obama’s policies threaten to mug, beat and cajole them.  How’s your 401k?  My 403b is ugly.  I’m only 31 though.  It’ll probably go up before I hit 70.  How much time do we all have to wait-out Obama’s socio-economic experiments before we start blaming the individual who is causing our pain in the first place?  I think the polls will adjust as people get real about wanting substantive results, not Obamaprompted anti-capitalist bilge that hurts more than it could ever help.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Sal March 7, 2009 at 7:39 am

Obama’s numbers are historically not that high — in fact, they are even lower than Bush’s numbers at this point in their respective Presidency’s, and don’t forget the controversy that surrounded the 2000 election. Given the so-called “historic nature” of the Obama Presidency, I find that somewhat surprising.

People who don’t follow politics every day are typically willing to give a new President some slack at the beginning of their term, but given the recession we are in and possibility of a full-blown depression (defined as a 10% loss in GDP or more, which is not out of the question at this point), people will lose patience very quickly.


Mike March 7, 2009 at 10:23 am

In all fairness to Obama, those are Gallup polls. Point well taken though.


Sal March 8, 2009 at 9:13 am

True, but unfortunately Rasmussen Reports wasn’t founded until 2002. So we are forced to work with the data available, although it is suspect as you point out.


Mike March 8, 2009 at 11:49 am

I just don’t think a conclusion is worth stating if the best evidence in support of that conclusion is Gallup. I think what Obama enjoys right now are benefit of the doubt numbers during the benefit of the doubt portion of his Presidency, something all Presidents get. Like you and Blue Crab argue, not a great accomplishment.


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