This afternoon speaking in Holland, Michigan, President Obama renewed his call for tax increases. With unemployment already at 9.1% nationally and 10.5% in Michigan, does the President still think raising taxes on working families and small businesses will create jobs or result in economic growth?
Background: The Obama Economy
Flashback: President Obama: “… you don't raise taxes in a recession.” (President Barack Obama, 8/5/09)
60% Of Americans Believe The Economy Is Getting Worse. According to the poll, 60 percent now say that the economy is still in a downturn and getting worse. That's up 24 points from April, when a plurality believed that things had stabilized. Since the question was first asked in the spring of 2009, the number of Americans who said the economy was in a downturn had never been higher than 40 percent," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "The jump in economic pessimism is across the board - a majority of every major demographic and political subgroup thinks the economy is in a downturn and getting worse." Three-quarters of people questioned now say that things are going badly in the country today, a 15-point increase since May. Just 24 percent say things are going well, the lowest figure since April of 2009. (CNN, 8/8/11)
Economic Confidence Hits Its Lowest Point Since March 2009. economic confidence plunged to -53 in the week ending Aug. 7, a level not seen since the recession days of March 2009. This deterioration coincided with the final wrangling over the U.S. debt ceiling and Standard and Poor's downgrade of the United States' debt rating. Economic confidence is now far worse than the -43 of two weeks ago and the -34 of a month ago. U.S. economic confidence deteriorated even faster in July and the first week of August than it did in June compared with May. This plunge in confidence contrasts with the relatively flat trend in 2010. It also places consumer perceptions of the economy in the range of March 2009 during the recession. (Gallup, 8/9/11)
Pessimism Among Small Business Owners On The Rise. Small-business owners are continuing to lose faith in the economy, fearing it is more likely to deteriorate than improve. The Small Business Optimism Index tumbled 0.9 points to 89.9 in July, the fifth consecutive month the index has declined, according to a survey released Tuesday by the National Federation of Independent Business. “Small businesses have become considerably more pessimistic in their outlook since the beginning of the year,” said Chris Christopher, U.S. economist for IHS Global Insight. “Small-business optimism has soured. … This report is not good since small businesses are feeling the brunt of this sluggish economic recovery.” (The Washington Times, 8/9/11)
Fed Board: Growth Not At The Levels We Anticipated, Threats To Growth Continue To Mount. The Fed board, however, was quite frank about its fears for the recovery, acknowledging that “economic growth so far this year has been considerably slower” than the committee had expected and that threats to the economy have mounted. In the past few weeks, new economic indicators have shown that growth was much weaker in the first half of the year than previously thought, that job creation has been soft in the past few months, and that the manufacturing sector is slowing. (The Washington Post, 8/10/11)