I discovered something interesting a second ago: this is my 100th post on this blog. Wow. I guess it's appropriate that this post is about President Obama's first 100 days. Let's get right to it:
Yesterday I asked readers to grade the president's performance on three economic areas: his handling of the housing crisis, the Wall Street bailouts and the economic stimulus package. Now, here's my grade:
Overall, I give President Obama an "I" for incomplete on his performance on the economy. That's not a bad thing but it's not great, which is the point. Despite his high approval rating and Democrat-controlled Congress, the idea that the economy would improve this soon because of anything the president has done is unrealistic. It's easy to blame Bush's eight years for the problems but our economy had fundamental problems -- most notably all of us living off credit -- long before that.
On specifics, I give Obama a B on housing, mostly for signing a package that gives an $8,000 tax credit to new homebuyers. On the stimulus package, he gets a C. I'm optimistic that much of what's in it will help, but it's taking a while for federal and state bureaucracies to start spending the money, and I'm no fan of bureaucracy anyway. There's always waste and corruption involved. That grade could easily go to a B or an A, especially if any of this funding for improving passenger rail service actually happens.
Last, on the Wall Street bailouts, another C. Something had to be done to prop up the financial system. Obama stepped up to the plate depsite how unpopular investment bankers are and so far none of the remaining big banks has failed. But that doesn't mean they won't, and most people still can't get over the AIG bonuses.
What's your take? Do you think the economy is getting any better under Obama?