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

US Firms Concerned About China's New Cyber Regulations

New rules would require technology companies doing business in financial sector to hand over their source code, adopt Chinese encryption algorithms More

WHO Focus on Ebola Shifts to Ending Outbreak

Focus to be less on building facilities and more on efforts to find infected people, manage their cases, engage with communities and ensure proper burials More

US Scientist Who Conceived of Groundbreaking Laser Technology Dies

Charles Townes, Nobel laureate, laser co-creator paved way for other scientific discoveries: CDs, eye surgery, metal cutters to name a few technologies that rely on lasers 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.
Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Webi
X
January 29, 2015 9:58 AM
Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video As Ground Shifts, Obama Reviews Middle East Strategy

The death of Saudi Arabia’s king, the collapse of a U.S.-friendly government in Yemen and a problematic relationship with Israel’s leadership are presenting a new set of complications for the Obama administration and its Middle East policy. Not only is the U.S. leader dealing with adversaries in Iran, the Islamic State and al-Qaida, but he is now juggling trouble with traditional allies, as White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Saved By a Mistake - an Auschwitz Survivor's Story

Dagmar Lieblova was 14 when she arrived at Auschwitz in December 1943, along with her entire Czech Jewish family. All of them were to die there, but she was able to leave after several months due to a bureaucratic mix-up which saved her life. Now 85, with three children and six grandchildren, she says she has a feeling of victory. This report by Ahmad Wadiei and Farin Assemi, of RFE/RL's Radio Farda is narrated by RFE’s Raymond Furlong.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.8815
JPY
USD
117.85
GBP
USD
0.6581
CAD
USD
1.2420
INR
USD
61.404

Rates may not be current.