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Opinion

September 13, 2013

Economy worse off under Obama

Economy worse off under Obama

Wayne Warner’s letter of Aug. 29 states “federal spending under President Obama is lower as a percent of gross domestic product than at any time in more than 50 years.” Regretfully, the facts do not support his contention.

Historically since 1960, federal spending has averaged in the low 20 percent range of GDP. The average from 2002 through 2008 was 19.7 percent, while the average from 2009 through 2012 was 23.8 percent. Mr. Warner is correct in that improvement has been made during that period.

Of greater interest is that the federal deficit was 3.2 percent of GDP in 2008 and averaged 8.6 percent from 2009 through 2012. Likewise, the federal debt was 69.9 percent of GDP in 2008 and was 102.3 percent of GDP at the end of 2012.

My source is “Economic Indicators,” a monthly publication of the Government Printing Office, prepared for the Joint Economic Committee of Congress by the Council of Economic Advisers

While President Obama may be granted some slack because he inherited a recession, the federal economy is worse off now than when he took office.

As a point of reference, The Maastrict Treaty has established guidelines for the European Union of sovereign (public) debt of 60 percent of GDP, and annual budget deficits of 3 percent of GDP.

William Dornburgh

Cooperstown

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