On Sunday, Fox News pundit Brit Hume suggested that the economic recovery from the Great Recession had already begun by the time that President Obama was elected president, when in fact the country was in the deepest part of the recession just as Obama took the reins.
“There’s a lot of things wrong with the idea that Barack Obama dug us out,” Hume argued, saying that Obama should be held accountable for the sustained economic difficulties following the crash under former President George W. Bush:
The truth is, the worst of the recession was over by the time Barack Obama took office, the economy began to grow again in June of 2009 before the stimulus spending had really begun to take effect. So, these are arguments that are available to the Republicans. Oddly, though, we haven’t heard them made effectively.
In fact, the two worst months of job losses during the Great Recession were January of 2009, the month that Obama took office, and March of that year. Layoffs in the private sector peaked in February of 2009, but were back to pre-recession levels by the time the stimulus had been in place for a year.
And while it is true that the bleeding of jobs slowed slightly before the stimulus took hold, major improvements in the United States’ GDP didn’t come until one quarter after the stimulus had hit the economy. Overall, the stimulus created or saved 3.3 million jobs: