Over at AOL, John Merline notes that the trouble with this dating is that the downturn ended . . .
. . . just as the stimulus money started to get spent. According to the White House’s own 100-day stimulus report, issued at the end of May 2009, only $45.6 billion in spending and tax relief had gone out the door by then. In other words, less than 6 percent of the stimulus money was in the economy as the recession ended, making its role in stopping the downward spiral somewhat murky.
“This news,” he adds, “also makes it harder for Obama to blame President Bush for the nation’s current economic troubles.” Obama may have “handed a terrible economy”* , but “the recession he inherited was just five months away from being over when he took office.”
Merline trots out a number of statistics to compare the current recovery to the Reagan recovery which begin in 2003 — right as his policies were kicking in:
Fourteen months after the 1981-1982 recession ended, the unemployment rate had dropped to 8 percent, the Consumer Confidence Index had soared to more than 103, and the economy was cooking along at an average 7.7 percent quarterly growth.
This time around, unemployment is stuck at 9.6 percent, consumer confidence is at a depressing 53.5, and economic growth since the recession ended has averaged a comparatively paltry 3 percent
This makes us wonder whether the “stimulus” and additional regulatory burden took steam out of a recovery that was just around the bend as Obama was taking the oath of office?
*Handed? not quite, he volunteered for the job.