While many may choose to overlook the harsh reality, the United States of America was in trouble when President Bush left office. After being hit hard by the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and nearly ten years of military efforts overseas, the economy and consumer confidence hit a serious low. The Great Recession was underway, beginning in December of 2007. It did not end until June of 2009 in the early days of President Obama’s first term of office. Many have compared the Great Recession to the Great Depression. Although the Recession was not as severe as the Depression, it still marked a dark period in the nation’s history. One third of Americans were unemployed at this time, the stock market dipped down dramatically, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped as well.
Turning it Around
President Obama faced a serious challenge ahead. Not only did he have to prove himself as the first African American to take the presidential office, he also had to save a floundering economy. Rather than hurt the middle class with a greater tax burden or dole out severe cuts in programming, Obama decided to promote economic growth. By doing so, he slowly regained consumer confidence, bringing it up to 81% from nearly 38% during the close of President Bush’s presidency. Quarterly growth averages are up, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up, and unemployment figures are dropping.
What’s the President’s Primary Focus?
President Obama has recognized the fact that the middle class is the main support system of the nation. If something isn’t done to improve their status, the country will crumble. As a result, several incentives and programs were rolled out in order to keep the middle class from slipping into poverty. Economic stimulus programs, improvements in education, and Clean Energy programs are part of a comprehensive effort to assist the working class. President Obama has diligently sought improvements in the healthcare system for all of the nation and seeks to raise the minimum wage as well. The goal is to have a productive, strong workforce which will also bolster the economy.