The 2010 ECONOMIC REPORT OF THE PRESIDENT is written by the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers. An important vehicle for presenting the Administration’s domestic and international economic policies, it provides an overview of the nation's economic progress with text and extensive data appendices.
For more than sixty years, the Economic Report has provided a nearly contemporaneous record of how Administrations have interpreted economic developments, the motivation for policy actions, and the results of those interventions. This year’s volume has attempted to stay true to this proud legacy. It provides a detailed economic history of the first year of the Obama Administration. It examines the economic challenges that we face as a Nation, the many policy actions that have already been taken to address these challenges, and the President’s proposals for further action.
The economic challenges facing the Nation when President Obama took office were among the greatest in our history. Last January, the American economy was truly in freefall. Real GDP was falling at an annual rate of more than 6 percent and the U.S. economy was losing jobs at the devastating rate of almost 800,000 per month. Our financial markets, having narrowly avoided collapse in the financial panic of the early fall of 2008, were paralyzed with fear, and borrowers of all sorts, from households to small businesses to large corporations, were having trouble accessing the credit necessary for normal economic activity. As a scholar of the 1930s, I can say that the threat of a second Great Depression was both genuine and terrifying.
But as great as the immediate challenges were, our country’s economic problems were also deeper and more long-standing. For nearly a decade, typical American families had seen their incomes stagnate, instead of rising steadily as they had for generations. Much of the economic growth that the United States experienced in the past decade was fueled by consumers and the government running up large debts, aided by a financial system better at making short-term profits than managing long-term risks. Rapidly rising health care costs were squeezing both family incomes and the government’s budget. And as a country, we were failing to invest as we needed to in education, new energy technologies, and basic research and development.
Over the past year, the President, working with Congress, has sought to rescue the economy from the immediate crisis, rebalance the economy toward greater investment and exports and away from unsustainable budget deficits, and begin the process of rebuilding the economy on a stronger foundation of quality, affordable health care, better education and job training, clean energy, and innovation. The Economic Report of the President details both the actions we have taken so far and the President’s plans for continued progress.
This year’s Economic Report of the President is a blend of history, analysis, and prescription. It describes what we have been through during the past very difficult year. It describes the many actions we have taken to address both the near-term crisis and our longer-run problems. And, it contains an important agenda of policy actions that will help to ensure that the American economy not only recovers completely, but comes back even stronger than before.
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Published February 12, 2010
by The White House.
Education & Reference, Professional & Technical, Business & Economics, Political & Social Sciences.