News / Economy

Obama Push on US Recovery Faces Numerous Challenges

Obama Push on US Recovery Faces Numerous Challengesi
X
July 27, 2013 3:23 AM
President Barack Obama was on the road this week delivering speeches aimed at accelerating the country's economic recovery. Despite a strengthening housing market and slow but steady job growth, the president says political gridlock and rising income inequality threaten the American way of life. In this report, Mil Arcega takes a look at how far the country has come since the recession and how much further it needs to go.
President Barack Obama was on the road this week delivering speeches aimed at accelerating the country's economic recovery. Despite a strengthening housing market and slow but steady job growth, the president says political gridlock and rising income inequality threaten the American way of life. The country has made progress since the recession, but still has much to do regain solid economic footing.

When Obama took office in 2009, the economy was losing an average of 700 thousand jobs a month. The housing market had collapsed, the stock market was in free fall and, by year’s end, unemployment had reached 10 percent.

But fast forward to 2013:  home prices are rising, stock prices are near all-time highs, and companies are hiring an average of 200 thousand workers every month.

“Add it all up and, over the past 40 months, our businesses have created 7.2 million jobs. This year, we are off to our strongest private sector job growth since 1999,” said the president.

And yet, despite the steady pace of hiring, nearly 12 million Americans are still out of work. On average, those who have found jobs are working fewer hours and earning less, even as the average pay for CEO’s has risen by double digits.  

“The growing inequality isn’t just morally wrong, it’s bad economics because when middle class families have less to spend, guess what? Businesses have fewer consumers,” said Obama.

Analysts say the president’s focus on the economy may be a pre-emptive strike to pressure Congress to act. He wants lawmakers to reform the tax code, boost infrastructure spending, raise the minimum wage, and start implementing his health care reforms.   

Given the political climate in Washington, agreement may be unlikely.

But one issue that could unite both parties is the need to broaden the tax base. That’s why immigration reform is crucial, said Steve Bell at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. “If we don’t have intelligent immigration, we are not going to have enough workers to pay the taxes we need for the programs we have in place now,” he said.

Moving forward, other factors could have an adverse impact on U.S. growth. They include a slowing Chinese economy and an extended recession in parts of Europe. And here in the U.S., a new survey by the National Association for Business Economics suggests rising interest rates and a looming budget battle in Congress over the debt ceiling could slow the pace of hiring - just as the U.S. economy is beginning to gain momentum.

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8874
JPY
USD
120.83
GBP
USD
0.6497
CAD
USD
1.3271
INR
USD
66.162

Rates may not be current.