Obama gets mixed reviews
Six months into President Obama’s administration, polls are showing that, while the president himself remains very popular, his policies are starting to slip in popularity. For example, 52 percent of respondents to a June survey by the Washington-based Pew Research Center approved of Obama’s handling of the economy, down from 60 percent in April. American City & County asked the readers of its weekly e-mail newsletter if they think Obama’s policies are helping local economies. Below are some of the responses.
“My take is that the relatively new president is doing pretty well. This is the worst economy that I have experienced in my lifetime, and there are a number of actions that have been taken to improve things. The economy is not going to be healed in a month or two, but the stimulus and other steps will start to have their effects shortly.”
— Jeffrey Finkle, president and CEO, Washington-based International Economic Development Council
“While it may seem Obama is doing well now, wait until the two-year mark. Our national debt will be 80 percent of [gross domestic product, and] he has said he will increase taxes on those earning over $200,000 [as much as 60 percent to cover expected government spending]. Obama is forgetting that people at these income levels start and invest in businesses to create jobs.”
— Brian Napoli, Ridgeway, N.Y., supervisor
“The stimulus projects are not making any noticeable progress in restoring lost jobs. They are mostly public works projects that may temporarily help existing businesses but [will not create] new businesses.”
— Steven Wiemeyer, director of business, Grace University, Omaha, Neb.
“In effect, the new administration has actually brought more to the local economy than the previous [administration]. Also, some of the vexing problems of our [economy] are finally being addressed.”
— Jay Gsell, Genesee County, N.Y., county manager
“I agree that President Obama is a very trustworthy and likeable person, but the stimulus package is a DUD!! It is over broad and lacks focus on saving and creating jobs.”
— Lionel Foster, Mason City, Iowa, Human Rights Commission director