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

At Khmer Rouge Court, Long-Awaited Verdict Approaches

First phase of trial, which is coming to an end, has focused on forced exodus of Phnom Penh in 1975 - and now many are hopeful justice will be served More

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities More

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

Downing of Malaysian airliner, allegations of cross-border shelling move information war in war-torn country to a new level 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.
Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
July 31, 2014 8:13 PM
The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Information War Rages Alongside Real One in Ukraine

The downing of the Malaysian airliner two weeks ago, and allegations that Russians are shelling Ukrainian troops across the border, have moved the information war swirling around the Ukrainian conflict to a new level. VOA's Al Pessin reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video When Fighting Eases, Gazans Line Up at Bakeries

When there is a lull in the conflict in Gaza, residents who have been hunkered down in their apartments rush out to stock up on food and other necessities. Probably the most important destination is the local bakery. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Gaza City.
Video

Video US-Funded Program Offers Honduran Children Alternative to Illegal Immigration

President Obama and Central American leaders recently agreed to come up with a plan to address poverty and crime in the region that is fueling the surge of young migrants trying to illegally enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden looks at one such program in Honduras - funded in part by the United States - which gives street kids not only food and safety but a chance for a better life without, crossing the border.
Video

Video 'Fab Lab' Igniting Revolution in Kenya

The University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park is banking on 3-D prototyping to spark a manufacturing revolution in the country. Lenny Ruvaga has more for from Nairobi's so-called “FabLab” for VOA.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7305
JPY
USD
101.53
GBP
USD
0.5830
CAD
USD
1.0656
INR
USD
60.075

Rates may not be current.