The economic stimulus
Because of the 9% unemployment rate overall, many Republican campaigns are touting the fact that their opponents voted for the stimulus as a reason to vote against him or her: whether the stimulus failed is an open question — it certainly created some jobs, although not as many as hoped. Critics to Obamas left have alleged that it was not large enough, like Noble-prize winner Paul Krugman, in a New York Times editorial: “[The] modest rise in federal spending was barely enough to offset cutbacks at the state and local level” (Thrush 2010, p.1).
The Obama Administrations $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) brought the economy back from the brink and “there are clear signs that aspects of the financial system are far more stable than they were at the height of the crisis in the fall of 2008” (Orol 2010). But the fact that rates of home foreclosures have continued to rise and ordinary consumers still have trouble borrowing money means that the TARP has also been criticized by liberal Democrats political opponents. “Because of fears of tending to poor credit risks, and fears of unemployment, participating banks lending to businesses and consumers, has decreased” (Orol 2010).
While the Obama Administration has made some reasonable progress in improving the economy, feelings that improvements have not been as swift enough and general dissatisfaction with unemployment data have made Americans more responsive to the distorted media coverage promoting Republican candidates, which has painted healthcare reform as a government takeover and denied even the modest economic value derived from the federal stimulus and bank reforms.
Orol, Ronald (2010, January 31). TARP overseer says bank bailout program has mixed results.
Market Watch. Retrieved November 1, 2010 at http://www.marketwatch.com/story/overseer-bank-bailout-program-has-mixed-results-2010-01-31
Thrush, Glen. (2010, November 1). Was the stimulus Barack Obamas original sin? Politico.
Retrieved November 1, 2010 at http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1110/44469.html
Uchitelle, Louis. (2010, July 7). American Dream is elusive for new generation.
The New York Times. Retrieved November 1, 2010 at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/07/business/economy/07generation.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all
Zengerle, Patricia. (2010, September 23).Obama tries to humanize the healthcare debate.
Reuters. Retrieved November 1, 2010 at http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE68L1BR20100923.