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America’s recession

October 26, 2012
Estherville Daily News

During the past four years, America has suffered its worst recession, which started under the Bush administration, since the Great Depression. According to, President George W. Bush added $3.1 trillion to the national debt during his second term and this was during a time when the United States appeared to be doing well. When President Obama came into office it had become evident that the economy was in serious trouble and that in order to avoid a deeper recession or possible depression immediate steps needed to be take.

During this time, thousands of everyday working families' financial wellbeing hanging in the balance. Nov. 18, 2008, then Gov. Romney wrote in a New York Times article, "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" that US automakers should precede through managed bankruptcy. Romney's plan has been disputed by many analysts as not being viable due to credit market problems caused by subprime mortgage disaster. In the end, President Obama and we, the American people, managed to save the US auto industry. This is something we should be proud of considering the consequences had we not acted.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2009 and ending Dec. 31, 2012, $3.3 trillion was added to the national debt. Again, this was during some of the worst economic times the US has suffered since the Great Depression. An additional $1.9 trillion was added between Jan. 1, 2011 and June 30, 3012 for a total of $5.2 trillion during the Obama administration with the majority being spent in his first 24 months in office. Much of this money was spent on much needed things that any Republican president would have approved under the same circumstances- bailing out banks so that the American Financial System could avoid collapse, a stimulus plan that helped the economy from sliding further downward, ect... (

In addition, the Obama administration also made four significant accounting changes that more accurately report total federal government spending. These changes represent changes in accounting, not spending itself. Accounting for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the budget rather than through the use of supplemental appropriations. Essentially, this means that the wars used to be "off the book" and now they are not. Assuming the Alternative Minimum Tax will be indexed for inflation. Accounting for the full costs of Medicare reimbursements. Anticipating the inevitable expenditures for natural disaster relief. These changes will proved more accurate information going foward.

Middle class Americans have suffered due to the economic problems we have yet to fully recover form. But what would have been the result if President Obama had not bailed out the banks and American car companies? Did any of us (middle class, go to work everyday Americans) want to experience first hand what total economic collapse might have been? Certainly not.

I encourage you to vote for President Obama, someone who cares about the American middle class. Thank you.


Steve Erickson

Estherville, IA



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