Posts Tagged ‘stimulus

23
Jan
18

President Obama: The Greatest Force For Equality In 50 Years

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Derek Thompson: Thanks, Obama

President Obama has cultivated a reputation for approaching politics with a kind of medical clinicism. But with the full panorama of his presidency coming into view, Obama’s economic legacy is impressive, even historic. First, the centerpiece of Obama’s anti-inequality legacy is the policy that bears his name. Obamacare, a.k.a., the Affordable Care Act, has reduced the uninsured rate from about 16 percent in 2010 to less than 9 percent today, the lowest level in U.S. history. Second, several subtle yet significant tax changes under Obama have made the tax code more progressive. The stimulus bill passed in 2009, a.k.a., the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (or, simply, the Recovery Act), included the most important changes. The law created the Making Work Pay credit, expanded the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit, and created new tax credits, like the American Opportunity Tax Credit for college attendees. The most significant change to the tax code since 2010 has been the eleventh-hour agreement to extend the Bush tax cuts for all families except for an increase in the top tax rate for households making more than $450,000 and an increase in the estate tax rate to 40 percent.

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Third, the Obama administration has supported initiatives outside of the tax code and health care policy to help the poor and middle class. They have been advocates for higher minimum wages at the national level, which have arguably buoyed the state-by-state effort to raise minimum wages toward $15 in richer areas. They supported extended unemployment benefits while long-term unemployment was perhaps the country’s most insidious economic plague. Unemployment insurance kept more than 11 million people out of poverty in Obama’s first term, according to Census analysis. The president also expanded Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) and Temporary Aid to Needy Families (grants that states can use for a variety of measures including helping the poor). His Department of Education spent more than $60 billion to support states’ education budgets and prevent more layoffs of teachers and administrators. In sum, he grew anti-inequality spending more than any president, as a share of GDP. But at a time when both liberals and conservatives have become exquisitely aware of income inequality and its ills, the seemingly placid, cold, philosopher-in-chief did more to combat that inequity than any president in at least 50 years. For that, two words suffice: “Thanks, Obama.”

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31
Jul
17

‘How’s Your Agenda?’ Oh Snap!

01
May
17

The First 100 Days Of A True Leader

08
Mar
17

The First 50 Days

17
Feb
17

He Inherited A Mess But Left Behind A Bounty

16
Feb
17

The First 27 Days

27
Jan
17

What Real Leaders Do

28
Aug
16

An Insider’s Observations

26
Feb
16

The President’s Day

President Barack Obama speaks following his tour of the Saft America factory in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. The plant opened in 2011 with help from federal money from economic stimulus package Obama pushed through Congress in 2009. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

President Barack Obama speaks at the Saft America factory in Jacksonville, Florida. The plant opened in 2011 with help from federal money from the economic stimulus package President Obama fought for in 2009

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U.S. President Barack Obama tours Saft America Advanced Batteries Plant in Jacksonville, Florida February 26, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

President Barack Obama takes the stage as he is introduced at by Jamie Vazquez, right, at Saft America factory in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. The plant opened in 2011 with help from federal money from economic stimulus package Obama pushed through Congress in 2009. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama speaks at Saft America factory in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. The plant opened in 2011 with help from federal money from economic stimulus package Obama pushed through Congress in 2009. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama stops to look over a battery array during his tour of Saft America factory in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. The plant opened in 2011 with help from federal money from economic stimulus package Obama pushed through Congress in 2009. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama tours Saft America Advanced Batteries

President Barack Obama speaks after his tour of the Saft America factory in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. The plant opened in 2011 with help from federal money from economic stimulus package Obama pushed through Congress in 2009. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama talks with employee Jim Mastronardi as they watch a robotic demonstration during a tour at Saft America factory in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. The plant opened in 2011 with help from federal money from economic stimulus package Obama pushed through Congress in 2009. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama greets employees during his tour of Saft America factory in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. Walking with Obama are Thomas Alcide, right, Saft America President and Chris Kaniut, behind Obama, Saft America General Manager. The plant opened in 2011 with help from federal money from economic stimulus package Obama pushed through Congress in 2009. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama greets the crowd after speaking following his tour of the Saft America factory in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. The plant opened in 2011 with help from federal money from economic stimulus package Obama pushed through Congress in 2009. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

President Barack Obama greets supporters on the tarmac after arriving on Air Force One at Cecil Airport in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, to visit Saft America factory, which opened in 2011 with help from federal money from economic stimulus package he pushed through Congress in 2009. (AP Photo/Rick Wilson)

President Barack Obama waves to supporters on the tarmac after arriving on Air Force One at Cecil Airport in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, to visit Saft America factory, which opened in 2011 with help from federal money from economic stimulus package he pushed through Congress in 2009. (AP Photo/Rick Wilson)

President Barack Obama stops to wave before he enters Air Force One before departing Cecil Airport in Jacksonville, Fla., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Rick Wilson)

17
Sep
15

How President Obama Turned A Great Recession Into A Growing Economy

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Jason Furman: 5 Indicators That Show We Turned A Depression-Like Shock into A Six-Year Expansion

Seven years ago, Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, setting in motion the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. Over the course of just a few months after taking office, President Obama worked to shore up the U.S. financial system, rescue the auto industry, and pass a Recovery Act and more than a dozen subsequent fiscal measures that provided vital support to families and businesses. Since the crisis, the President has taken continued steps–including Wall Street reform–to strengthen our economy and protect against future downturns.

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Our businesses have now created 13.1 million jobs over 66 straight months–the longest streak on record. The pace of job growth over the last three years has not been exceeded since 2000. The unemployment rate has fallen further and faster than economic forecasters predicted. Private domestic final purchases (a combination of the largest and most stable components of GDP) contracted as sharply at the start of the Great Recession as during the start of the Great Depression. But while economic output continued to contract for years into the 1930s, our economy returned to growth in 2009, as both personal consumption and business investment started to grow again.

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