Is Obama’s Positive Spin on the US Economy Catching On?
Policy + Politics

Is Obama’s Positive Spin on the US Economy Catching On?

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

The American public seems to be slowly catching up with President Obama’s optimistic talk about a buoyant economy, according to Gallup’s latest daily economic confidence index reading.

The latest index stands at -7, well above the -66 recorded when Obama assumed office in 2008 in the middle of the Great Recession. Still, morale isn’t as high as it was in June 2015 when the confidence level stood at +7, according to Gallup.

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The data is based on phone interviews with 1,500 adults. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Respondents are asked to rate current economic conditions and whether they think things are getting better or worse.

While not in positive territory, the White House is likely to interpret the new findings as a win, especially as Obama travels around the country to tout his economic message after his final State of the Union.

In that address, the president blasted Republican presidential candidates for blowing “political hot air” and taking advantage of the anxiety Americans still feel as the country labors to improve after the 2008 crisis.

“Anyone claiming that America’s economy is in decline is peddling fiction,” Obama said.

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The president maintained that upbeat tone during a visit to Obama, Neb., less than 24 hours later, when he again took on the GOP for its doom and gloom rhetoric.

“It’s not what I see every day,” he said. “That’s not what I see in communities and neighborhoods all across this country.”

Of course, despite the new data, not everyone will be on board with Obama’s vision.

Thomas Donohue, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said Thursday he's not predicting a recession in 2016. Instead, he sees another year of tepid growth.  

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"When you add it all up, the state of American businesses in 2016 is filled with uncertainty, risks and challenge," he said during in his annual State of American Business address.

And while the business lobbying organization doesn’t endorse presidential candidates, Donohue chided the “very loud” voices in the Republican primary that have proposed “walling off America.”

"This is morally wrong and politically stupid," Donohue said, without naming GOP frontrunner Donald Trump or any other contender.

He also took issue with Democrats for calling for more spending and taxes.