September 20th, 2010
04:43 PM ET
4 years ago

Obama defends economic record

President Obama said Monday that his economic policies helped prevent a depression.
President Obama said Monday that his economic policies helped prevent a depression.

New York (CNNMoney.com) - President Obama said Monday that his economic policies helped prevent a depression, although he acknowledged that many Americans are still struggling.

In a town hall meeting sponsored by the CNBC cable network, Obama responded to questions from unemployed workers, recent college graduates, small business owners and one prominent hedge fund manager. He sought to reassure middle class families that the American dream is still attainable, while at the same time rebutting criticism that he is anti-business.

The meeting came on the same day that the National Bureau of Economic Research said the Great Recession, which began in December 2007, officially ended in June 2009.

However, economists are debating whether the U.S. economy is headed for another downturn, a so-called double-dip recession.

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Filed under: Economy • issues • President Obama
soundoff (71 Responses)
  1. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Yes the Republican activists conveniently forget that Obama walked into the worst economic meltdown since the 1930's...BEFORE he even stepped into the White House. Every President has done similar stimulus programs during other recessions. Plus the TARP was Bush's and Paulson's program NOT Obama.

    September 20, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  2. Ben

    I enjoyed part of the infomercial from MSNBC (Divsion of DNC). I got two things out of it: I think he actually believes a lot of the lies he is telling and he is a joke.

    September 20, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  3. Big John

    I think President Obama is doing a fine job considering the mess he was left. It took 8 years to nearly destroy the economy and it is on it's rebound in less than two. People are unrealistic to expect an instant return to the growth of the Clinton era.

    September 20, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  4. Dt

    Damn right he stop a depression. imagine if he let the financial and auto industries go under unemployment would be 20 to 30%. gop and their followers are a joke, but i guess if u keep repeating the same thing over and over eventually somebody will believe ur lies. good mr. president.

    September 20, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    Uninformed People- Quick economics lesson.
    One person or 10,000 poeple out of work does not a reccession make.
    One indicator or 10 do not make a recovery.
    However, a combination of fewer people unemployed and several economic indicators rising do make for a recovery. This is not to say everyone is flush and things are rosey. But things are better.
    Don;t believe it? Ask a travel agent. Ask a mvie theatre owner. Go to almost any restaurant.People are there. Sales are up.
    Disney would not be raising prices if the economy had not rebound.
    The economy os better- just not good

    September 20, 2010 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  6. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Bush and Paulsen told the American people that we were on the brink of a great depression. Then Bush response was to give $757 billion to big banks with no strings attached. President Obama took a lesson from FDR, and attacked the economic abyss with a $800 billion stimulus to help the rest of us. Not only did it stop a depression, but it saved over 3 million jobs, and private sector jobs are increasing each month. While the Hooverites in congress stopped job creation and help for mainstreet, the president was correct. The deficit is down 8% in President Obama's first fiscal year. We are fortunate that America rejected the party of "No Ideas!"

    September 20, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  7. Iowa Chris

    President Obama stated from day one that things were not going to get better for a long time and yet all these people stand there and tell him how disappointed they are in him, when things really have gotten better. I wonder what the lady who is a director of Amvets and her two daughters go to private school is doing without that makes her so upset. She still has her job, her daughters can afford private school–so what has she lost or what is different for her that she now has to eat beans and weenies??
    I traveled this summer and the highways were packed with vacationers and campers. All the motels and hotels were full every night. If the economy is so much worse how can all of these people afford to travel everywhere. I see parking lots at restaurants packed with cars so people are eating out as always. I saw my IRA recover nicely since President Obama took office.
    I see fundraising activities raising record amounts of money this year.
    I see companies hiring in Omaha that rarely hire (permanent full time positions with good benefits). I know there are areas of the country that have high unemployment, but overall I do not think things are as bad as all the naysayers would have you believe. I also think there will be all kinds of jobs after the elections once the United States Chamber of Commerce backs off their hold along with lots of other large companies controlled by the Republicans that want to see our President fail.

    September 20, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  8. Hunter of the lib hunter

    I am going to miss the party of "No!" for the next 40 years. Just kidding.

    September 20, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  9. Challenging Ignorance

    People who blame Obama for this bad economy are so painfully ignorant, it's criminal. He inherited the worst economic mess in over 100 years (so said Alan Greenspan – a Republican). Yet the noise coming from the rightwing (biggots) makes it sound as if they could do better... it was those same righwing biggots that caused this mess in the first place! Obama 2012!!

    September 20, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  10. President Obama is the best thing that has happened to our country in a long time

    The reason that Big Business runs around saying that President Obama is "anti-business" is because his plans actually hold them accountable for what they do. President Obama's health insurance reform forces big insurance companies to spend 85 cents out of every dollar in premiums they receive from us on actual healthcare instead of bonuses for their CEOs. This removes much of the incentive for them to deny our claims just so they can make bigger profits. President Obama's wall street reform requires big banks to contribute to a fund that will be used to bail them out should they ever put our country in that situation again so that taxpayer funds need not be used. In addition, wall street reform adds regulations to keep banks from taking ridiculous risks such as those that caused our recession. Big business doesn't like this accountability and they fight very hard against President Obama by spreading misinformation and contributing large amounts of money to the GOP who allow big business to do whatever it wants and never holds it accountable.

    September 20, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  11. the real ib

    leave it up to liberals to keep blaming Bush for Obama's failures. Unemployment rate is higher than it ever was under Bush but Obama has done a great job. Bull; he's a joke for a president and an arrogant one at that.

    September 20, 2010 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  12. Nelson, Colorado Springs Co

    President Obama you are right. Your economic policies helped or did prevent a depression if truth was told. The Republican Party want say it. Now Jobs and the economy is a individual or personal thing. President Bush tax cut helped the rich. Question If the Bush tax cut was so great why did America have the worst recsession in history????????The Great Recession began in December 2006 not 2007. Put the taxes back before President tax cut.

    September 20, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  13. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    This the greatest President in my lifetime! Even with the GOP/Baggers trying cut his legs out from under him, he gets things done!

    September 20, 2010 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  14. Hunter of the lib hunter

    The real failure in politics is the GObP Baggers, who have failed to help get our country back on track. President Obama had to swim upstream, carrying the blue dogs and the party of "No!" Imagine where we could have been if three republicans in the senate cared about the well being of Americans.

    September 20, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  15. Orlando Patriot

    Excuse me?? Obama is going to try and pull another fast one on the american people?? Democrats took power of Congress in January 2007 when the DOW was over 12,000 and uemployment was about 4.3%. Two years later we were in one of the WORST recesssions since the great depression with unemployment around 7%. Obama sworn in and tells the american people that the Stimulus MUST be passed to keep unemployment below 8%.

    Fast forward to today......Unemployment at 9.6%, 3 TRILLION further in debt, fear of a "double-dip" recession, and businesses clearly just TRYING to hang on due to the failed policies of Obama and the Democrats. Summary: Democrats run the economy into the ground over the last almost 4 years and claims his economic policies HAVE HELPED?? Are you kidding me?? Doesn't this just PROVE the Democrat socialist policies are killing this country and economy??

    September 20, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  16. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    LOL, they have declared the recession is over! Well I'm still suffering from the effects of the recession in 1973.
    Let the inflation begin. The answer will be the same there will be more money out in the economy but it will be worth less. You can see the beginning of rapid inflation already in the rising stock market. We are not producing or adding value to any product we are only downsizing and out sourcing.
    The inflation of housing prices is the root cause and when the US Dollar bubble bursts what then? The national debt is equal to 99% of the yearly GDP, what will the government do then?
    Not only will we double dip but I'll tell you again it will come in the third quarter of 2011. And this time the Government will have nothing left to play to soften the blow.

    September 20, 2010 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  17. Hunter of the lib hunter

    The truth deniers will continue to defend the most inept president in history, George W. Bush. They refuse to admit that it was republican unfunded tax cuts for the wealthy, unfunded drug programs, unfunded wars, unfunded bank bailouts, and the largest growth in government in modern history (Homeland security) that contributed to the Bush depression.

    September 20, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  18. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Would someone tell the right wingnuts that 7 million jobs were lost in the last two years of the Bush debacle? Jimmy Carter created more jobs than your seemingly blameless Bush.

    September 20, 2010 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  19. Snow

    OK please explain. obama stops all deep water drilling by the US but is giving billions of taxpayer dollars to Mexico to drill in the same places where the US was drilling. NO BULL, LOOK IT UP. Thousands of US jobs lost, by last count 12,000 and still climbing.

    September 20, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    "Democrats took power of Congress in January 2007 when the DOW was over 12,000 and uemployment was about 4.3%. Two years later we were in one of the WORST recesssions since the great depression with unemployment around 7%. "

    Now check the filibuster, voting and veto records of the GOP and Bush from Jan 2007 through present. I know the difference between correlation and causation is very hard to understand for people who failed 3rd grade and need Thorazine to make it through the day with a minimal number of hallucinations, but seriously, you could at least try. Remember the "Do Nothing Congress" meme the GOP tried to push on everyone as if it was the Dems faults in 2008? Yeah. remember how well that worked?

    And you might try noting that the DOW doesn't tell us sh-t from shinola anymore. All it does is measure whether the wealthiest Americans are still playing with their money (and ours). It went back up into the 10,000 range over the past year and still no jobs. It has nothing to do with whether Main Street stops suffering or starts getting employed.

    September 20, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  21. CaliforniaBC

    This is the news the practical, logical minded have always known was coming because WE are capable of SEEING the bigger picture beyond our own individual lives. We understand that this will take a long time to come out of and are able to recognize what the small strides mean for the path forward. We also understand that holding the Bush administration and the Republicans consistently accountable is wholly warranted because we comprehend that the impacts of their decisions WILL BE felt for a long time to come. That is the nature of such a crisis.

    But what we see as the most important thing is NOT to change leadership midstream especially when such a change would result in reversing the very policies that kept us OUT of another depression. The 2004 Bush campaign message was "Don't change leadership in the middle of a war". Well guess what people, we're still fighting in the midst of a war, an economic one. We have put ourselves on a path to recovery and changing policy in the middle will only takes us away from the progress we're already making.

    Just because YOU don't feel the recovery personally, DOES NOT mean it is not happening on a national level.

    September 20, 2010 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  22. Sniffit

    "and the largest growth in government in modern history (Homeland security) that contributed to the Bush depression."

    Wait until the "news" media starts reporting about all the baseless FBI investigations the GOP initiated against anti-war groups and liberal organizations under the guise of calling it "terrorist activity" during the Bush administration. An oversight report just came out telling us all about it...including the misrepresentations Muller made to Congress because he was given bad information in the first place. Oh wait...the MSM will studiously ignore that because it won't help their "look how bad it is for the Dems" narrative they decided on for this election.

    September 20, 2010 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  23. Massachusetts Conservative

    Will someone explain to the "Hunter" that it was Democrat controlled House and Senate during the last 2 years of the Bush administration. Perhaps someone can also explain the $800 Billion "stimulus" to "create" 3 million jobs comes out to a total of $266,666 per job. And don't forget the fine print while bragging about an 8% reduction in the deficit...the healthcare reform disaster won't hit the books fo a couple of years now...right around the time Obama is heading back to Chicago.

    Keep trumpeting the party lines of "Don't vote for the Party of No". Very clever. Get your facts straight if you want to play with the big boys.

    September 20, 2010 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    "Doesn't this just PROVE the Democrat socialist policies are killing this country and economy??"

    No. Please go read something. Limbaugh and Beck cause encephalo-atrophy.

    September 20, 2010 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  25. Larry

    Stipluation: Bush was incompetent. Period. That's coming from a conservative. The problem wasn't that Bush was incompetent – we had to choose the lesser of two idiots in the election. Al Gore...seriously? Neither Bush nor Gore have enough brains to pour wee-wee out of a boot.

    However, Obama's BIOB mantra....Blame It on Bush...is wearing thin. He's been in office for over 18 months, and the economy is flat to borderline receding. Unemployment is through the roof once the government spin-job positions are removed, consumer prices up, foreclosures at record highs.

    What to do? BAN foreclosure and force the banks to work with the mortgage holder – keep people in their homes. Stimulate the economy by helping SMALL BUSINESS, not the banks who merely move the money from one pocket to the other.

    LISTEN to economists, not your personality cult.

    September 20, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
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