CNNMoney Survey: Obama, Congress Earn ‘D’ Grades on Economy

Monday, 25 Jun 2012 08:33 AM

By Bob Willis

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President Barack Obama and Congress both receive average “D” grades for their handling of the economy in a CNNMoney survey of 20 economists.

Obama had a slight edge over Congress, though, with three Bs and one F, while Congress has one B and five F’s, according to the poll.

Sean Snaith, an economics professor at the University of Central Florida, flunked Obama for trying to do too much at once.

Editor's Note: This Wasn’t an Accident — Experts Testify on Financial Meltdown

"Pushing too quickly on too many fronts — heathcare reform, financial regulatory reform, the housing crisis, fighting the Great Recession — all at the same time has resulted in policies that have failed to adequately address any one of these admittedly very difficult problems," he said.

"The uncertainty that came part and parcel of all these changes has in fact undermined the economic recovery and lessened the impact of the economic stimulus," Snaith said.

Economists surveyed were even more angry at the political gridlock in Congress, with several saying it was more interested in scoring political points than in improving the economy.

"Partisan squabbling has not helped the economy," said Russell Price, senior economist with Ameriprise Financial Services, who gave Congress an F on the economy.

The economists identified the European debt crisis as the most serious threat to the economy right now, followed by the so-called ``fiscal cliff’’ set to take effect in early 2013 with higher taxes and less government spending.

"Eleventh-hour decisions and kicking the can down the road do not provide certainty to businesses and individuals," said David Crowe, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders.

"The U.S. economy is being held hostage to a paralytic Congress and the crisis in Europe," said Bernard Baumohl of the Economic Outlook Group, who gave Obama a B and Congress an F.

"The recession ended within six months of Obama taking office after massive government stimulus," said Baumohl. "The U.S. banking system is now much healthier; the auto industry survived, is profitable and hiring.’’

Federal Reserve policymakers see a "pretty high hurdle" before they would carry out a third round of quantitative easing, St. Louis Fed Bank President James Bullard told Reuters on Friday, two days after the Fed announced a more modest policy measure to help the flagging economy. Bullard said the Fed had done "what it can do."

Editor's Note: This Wasn’t an Accident — Experts Testify on Financial Meltdown


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