President Barack Obama inherited an American economy in severe trouble. Immediately upon entering the White House, Obama introduced the most wide-reaching state-led counter-crisis measures since the New Deal of the 1930s. The Obama administration's "New New Deal" includes bank bailouts, the largest peacetime economic stimulus package, a "toxic asset" plan, government takeover of General Motors and new financial regulations. Obama has said that getting the economy back on its feet is his number one priority, and it's likely that his handling of economic affairs will be a major factor in determining whether his presidency is considered a success. Many praised the new American president for taking bold action and showing dynamic leadership. Polls have showed that Obama's personal popularity has remained high, but as the recession has dragged on and unemployment has continued to rise, a growing number have begun to question the effectiveness of his policies.Has Obama gone too far in increasing government spending, or not far enough? Are the resulting huge US government deficits a temporary phenomenon, or will they cause a fiscal crisis in the near future? Does his government's ownership of car companies and banks provide just short-term restructuring assistance, or do such moves herald a greater direct role for the state in the economy?This session will seek to cut through the superficial assessments about Obama-s popularity and examine to what extent his administration-s initiatives can not only address the immediate downturn, but lay a foundation for longer-term economic growth.moreless
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