Obama and economic recovery

July 18, 2014

President Barack Obama’s political opponents doubtless won’t take “yes” for an answer or acknowledge that his stewardship of the economy has been on track, but the June job figures are promising indeed. Some 288,000 jobs were added last month, and the nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent.

The stock market shot up at the news, appropriately so.

And then came the White House budget office estimate that the 2014 federal deficit will drop to $583 billion this year, the lowest level since the president took office. The estimate was $66 billion less than the administration predicted earlier this year.

Certainly there’s an element of “natural” recovery. But what if Obama hadn’t pushed through “stimulus” spending and the saving of the automobile industry? Would the businesses helped have come back as quickly or at all?

And remember how those who blasted, and still blast, the Affordable Care Act as doomsday for the nation’s economy said it would implode everything, slow recovery and cause the deficit to explode. None of those things happened. The deficit is dropping, and the ACA is working so well that some of the president’s foes aren’t even talking about it much anymore.

The president’s critics intend to concede him nothing, not a successful health care reform program, not the rescue of the auto industry, not the economic recovery. Indeed, the McClatchy Washington Bureau (part of The News & Observer’s parent company) reports that there’s an impeachment movement against Obama. It’s based on the fuzzy claims that his foreign policy actions, in particular the release of former Taliban leaders to recover an American soldier, constitute the “high crimes and misdemeanors” necessary to bring impeachment charges.

One would think impeachment advocates would have learned something from the campaign against President Bill Clinton, who was impeached for lying about his relationship with a White House intern. Clinton, who was most certainly wrong though not deserving of impeachment, left the White House with high approval ratings and likely could be elected president again if he were allowed to run.

For some reason, President Obama stirs in his critics a hatred not often seen even in partisan politics.

— News and Observer, Raleigh, N.C.