Survey: Obama has better grasp of economic issues
But both he and his GOP challenger flubbed key points during their first debate.
Both candidates, however, botched opportunities during last night's debate to articulate their economic visions for the country.
The survey examined the candidates' views on a variety of issues, including the economic recovery, tax reform and China. Academic economists, who lean Democratic, tended to give better grades to Obama, while business economists, who were divided politically, gave the edge to Romney. Independents rated Obama higher overall but backed Romney's views on tax reform and entitlements by a clear margin.
Overall, economists gave Obama's economic policies a grade of 3.15 (out of a maximum of 5) and Romney's a 2.14. Many supporters of the president, however, thought the he failed to inspire voters during the debate, whose primary focus was, in theory, supposed to be domestic policy. Romney won the debate in part because he effectively painted Obama as a tax-and-spend liberal. The question of tax rates was a case in point.
Obama argued that his tax plan would return rates to the levels they were under President Bill Cllnton, a claim refuted by FactChecl, which pointed out that people making more than $250,000 a year "would actually pay more than they did under Clinton due to new taxes imposed on upper-income people to pay for the health care law."
Perhaps Obama didn't want to emphasize that his signature legislative achievement raises taxes, but he missed a golden opportunity to underscore his commitment to the middle class.
Tax cuts for the wealthy might not stimulate the economy as much as people may think -- because their effective rate has been falling for decades, thanks to declines in levies on investment income. That's the main reason Romney paid an effective tax rate of 14% in 2011, far lower than the 20% paid by his less wealthy running mate Paul Ryan. Warren Buffett has claimed for years that the disparity is unfair to most Americans and that the wealthy should pay more taxes.
However, more misleading were Romney's blunders, such as his claim that Obama "doubled the deficit" when, as FactCheck noted, they have stayed about the same. He also gave inflated figures about the loss of income to the middle class and about the numbers of Americans who will lose their health insurance when health care reform goes into effect next year.
Indeed, given the misstatements of both candidates on economic issues, one wonders whether the economists who participated in the survey would want to change their grades.
Follow Jonathan Berr on Twitter@jdberr.
Almost forgot - check-out the Chris Matthews meltdown after the debate,video on this website from MSNBC. Unbiased reporting? Laughable!
What a hack (supported by MSNBC - YES, MSNBC)!!
Obama better on the economy? Your ready to drink the Kool-Aid.....
Scrape Obama off the stage! Romney schooled the President ,showed up prepared and with a Mastery of all Topics. It is refreshing to have a candidate and next President actually proud of who we are as a country & people. He has a plan, and is a leader. He is inspiring and brings a new hope to this battle.
Looks like Obama will have "great flexibility" after the election after all.
IN WHAT FANTASY LAND IS THIS 'WRITER' LIVING IN?
OH THE SAME FANTASY WORLD AS OBAMA AND HIS
BRAINWASHED LIBERAL DOPES!
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