This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Economy, Debates Reveal Obama, Biden Haven't Got What it Takes: Opinion

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- This election should be about the economy -- the recovery is too slow and Americans are hurting. The performances of President Obama and Vice President Biden in the debates on the campaign trail tell us why.

Both say endlessly that they inherited a huge mess, but Americans have seen challenges like these before -- and with better leaders, they licked those more quickly.

When Mr. Obama took office, financial markets were in turmoil. Unemployment peaked at 10% in October 2009.

Since, the Obama-Biden team has managed 2.2% economic growth. Unemployment is down to 7.8%, but only because millions of adults are stuck in part-time positions or have quit looking for work altogether. Factoring in those folks, the jobless rate is 14.7%.

Ronald Reagan inherited an economy reeling from soaring oil prices, double-digit interest rates and inflation. Unemployment peaked at 10.8% in November 1982.

When he sought re-election, the economy was growing at 6.3%. Unemployment was down to 7.3%, even though millions more Americans were looking for work. Eventually, it fell to 4%.

Ronald Reagan believed in American grit and imagination. He unleashed innovation by sweeping away needless regulations, while keeping those that made sense. He lowered tax rates by throwing out and limiting many deductions and credits; developed domestic energy resources; and fixed an overvalued dollar with the historic 1985 Plaza Accord, which substantially revalued the Japanese yen.

Bill Clinton later reaped benefits with an export-driven expansion, but at the behest of Treasury Secretaries Robert Rubin and Larry Summers, he swept away Glass-Steagall in 1999. Ultimately, that permitted Goldman Sachs (GS), Citigroup (C) and a handful of other Wall Street banks to become reckless behemoths that nearly destroyed the global economy. Those continue to stymie regional banks that do much of the lending to America's small business -- the greatest jobs creators on the planet.

George W. Bush deserves blame for sleeping while those giants manufactured the global financial crisis. However, Mr. Obama has done little positive to fix things. Wall Street did much to finance his ascendency to high office, and as autoworkers can attest, he is not shy about paying campaign debts with federal favors and dollars.

1 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
DOW 16,919.59 +80.85 0.48%
S&P 500 1,981.60 +9.86 0.50%
NASDAQ 4,527.5140 +19.2020 0.43%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs