Thursday, April 28, 2016

Current economy

The Obama administration has been going through the financial crisis and passed laws like the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform to limit risky actions of financial institutions and Consumer Protection Act. Do you guys think that the Obama administration handled the 2008 financial crisis well?

Ultimately, however, Obama said the lessons of his time in office are being misunderstood in the election campaigns. “If you look at the platforms, the economic platforms of the current Republican candidates for president, they don’t simply defy logic and any known economic theories, they are fantasy,” Obama said. “Slashing taxes particularly for those at the very top, dismantling regulatory regimes that protect our air and our environment and then projecting that this is going to lead to 5 percent or 7 percent growth, and claiming that they’ll do all this while balancing the budget. Nobody would even, with the most rudimentary knowledge of economics, think that any of those things are plausible.”

He continued: “If we can’t puncture some of the mythology around austerity, politics or tax cuts or the mythology that’s been built up around the Reagan revolution, where somehow people genuinely think that he slashed government and slashed the deficit and that the recovery was because of all these massive tax cuts, as opposed to a shift in interest-rate policy — if we can’t describe that effectively, then we’re doomed to keep on making more and more mistakes.”

It seems like President Obama disagrees with the economic platforms of the current Republican candidates. I was wondering whether increasing taxes for the wealthy would possibly close the income inequality. Do you guys think that it would help redistribute the wealth? 


  1. I think that the Obama administration has done a great job of promoting and enacting legislature to limit the power of big business. I think that a big issue is the decision of the Fed not to raise the interest rate yet again. The Fed is technically apolitical, yet during election years it seems to stray from interest rate hikes. The US economy could benefit from the increased interest rate. Additionally, increases in the interest rate ensure that bubbles aren't formed. The Fed can indeed be influenced by the presidential administration as seen during Reagan and Clinton, so maybe the Obama administration should have put more pressure on the Fed.

  2. I think that Obama did a pretty amazing job of managing the economy given the environment. When you look at the austerity measures that were promoted at the time in Europe and the results of those, I think it's safe to say that we were lucky to avoid those. The article also points out that many democrats were worried about spending and the deficit at this time period, so the stimulus bill he advocated was facing some fierce opposition even from his own party. Even if the stimulus was too small, as many people think now according to the article, it was better than severely slashing spending, which is something I think we barely avoided.

  3. I think increasing taxes on wealthy may close some of income inequality, but it may not be the best or easiest way to do so. The first barrier to that would be getting a bill like that through Congress. Even if the Democratic nominee (most likely Hillary at this point) wins, it does not mean that Democrats will also control Congress, and I do not how any Republicans would vote in favor of a higher tax rate on the wealthy.
    Also I agree with Anthony, I think the Obama administration did a fine job of enacting legislature to limit big businesses However, I am not sure if Obama could have had the same influence in 2008 on the Fed as the Reagan and Clinton administrations, I think the Fed was planning on dropping interest rates for extended period of time regardless of what Obama pushed for.

  4. Aside from the recently passed Koch-backed bill, I agree with you that the Obama administration has done a good job keeping big business out of politics. Also, you're right about congress being a barrier to getting things done in politics. The House and Senate have been under the control of the Republicans for the last few years, so that has made things harder for limiting the power of big business. I'm interested to see where things go over the next few years after this election.

  5. I think Obama did a great job stabilizing the US economy. Like Spencer said, among the developed countries especially compared to European countries, the US was managed fairly well, as the Fed finally was able to increase the interest rate last December.
    At this point, like all the other presidential elections, I think it will be a matter of which candidate takes over the next regime and makes the decisions on the progressive taxation, interest rate, and control of big corporations.