Capitol Showdown: Is the unemployment rate a major determining factor in this year’s election?
In a crucial election that is centered on the economy of the nation, the unemployment rate is indeed a major factor. Unemployment higher than Natural Unemployment (five percent) is always a concern. Since the start of the 21st century, unemployment has ranged from 3.8 percent in April 2000 to 10 percent in October 2009. Since the passing of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, the unemployment rate has maxed out at 10 percent of the population. Three years later, the current unemployment rate has dropped to 7.8 percent of the population. President Obama touts this bill as the reason the recession slowed down and the unemployment rate did not skyrocket to levels of the Great Depression.
The President’s plan to combat unemployment includes giving small businesses tax breaks to encourage the hiring of new employees, strengthening worker compensation laws and increasing access to unemployment benefits and wage insurance. The President realizes that private sector needs to be more confident to hire new workers, so he has lowered payroll taxes on employees, in hopes that they spend that extra money. Consumer spending is the real engine of the economy. To have the unemployment rate go down, the middle class needs to spend more money on goods and services. This in turn will prompt businesses to hire more employees.
President Obama’s unemployment reduction plan is working.
Although sluggish, the unemployment rate has gone down every quarter since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was passed. The economy has grown and created new jobs in the private sector for the past 31 months under Obama’s leadership.
As of this month, there is an increase of 600,000 more jobs than when Obama took office in 2009.
Having four years to fix an economy that has completely crashed is an unparalleled achievement. The job is not done however. We are still 2.8 percent above the Natural Unemployment level, which is when the economy can produce at maximum effectiveness. The President has sent multiple job bills into the gridlocked Congress. The majority of bills have been blocked by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. Job growth has been slowed due to the lack of many of these job creation bills being shot down.
The voting is completely partisan as well. So as Election Day draws closer, Mitt Romney cannot say that the President does not do enough for job creation, when in reality, one party really does not want the President to succeed.
President Obama is hands down more capable of handling unemployment than his challenger due to his record, his vision and willingness to get the job done, even in the face of the Republican obstruction.
Nick Aaron, College Democrats of Towson
Unfortunately for President Barack Obama, the unemployment rate will be a major factor in this year’s election. Perhaps if there were fewer people unemployed then maybe it wouldn’t matter too much, but you can be sure that those who are unemployed will be voting for change this November.
After the release of the September jobs report, which showed that unemployment went down, the only reason that it did go down is because more people are now not looking for work therefore are not receiving unemployment checks from Uncle Sam. These people who are out of work can surely be counted as likely voters this November.
I am merely stating that the people who are included in the unemployment percentage will likely be a force to reckoned with, however the percentage itself will also play a major role in how the election turns out. For example, the state of an economy has a lot to do with consumer confidence.
Needless to say, consumer confidence in our economy is not high. A drop in the unemployment rate will restore more consumer confidence in the economy and then boost President Obama’s appeal.
On the other hand, if the unemployment rate gets worse or stays the same, people will still have many doubts in the President’s policies.
Also in an election that is so centered around creating jobs and with a challenger who has made a career of making jobs, any sort of negative movement in unemployment will cause the trust in President Obama to go down.
The unemployment rate would not matter as much if Mitt Romney was not known for being a successful business man an being able to create jobs.
In the end if people trust Governor Mitt Romney over Barack Obama to create jobs, Romney has a good chance of winning the election.
One of the main reasons our economy is still doing so badly is because the unemployment rate is still so high. If more people were working, people would be spending more money and if people are spending more money, the economy gets better. plain and simple.
The economic crisis is the focus of this election, if it were not the unemployment rate would not be a major factor, unfortunately for President Obama it is.
Daniel Blakeney, Towson College Republicans