"President Obama started with a much weaker economy than I did. No President - not me or any of my predecessors could have repaired all the damage in just four years."
A review of various economic indicators does show that the economy at the time of President Obama's inauguration was worse than it was just ahead of President Clinton's.
In the fourth quarter of 2008, real gross domestic product decreased at an annual rate of 6.3 percent. In the final three months of 1991, gross domestic product grew .8 percent.
Personal income in December 2008 decreased .2 percent, but in December 1991 it jumped 1 percent.
Unemployment in January 2009 rose from 7.2 percent to 7.6 percent, while in January 1991 it was static at 7.1 percent.
"The Recovery Act saved and created millions of jobs...."
The White House predicted that the stimulus, also known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, would create 6.8 million jobs by the end of the 2009. The stimulus, however, has not had that kind of impact, according to numerous studies, but "millions" of jobs have been created.
The White House-created Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), created to report to the president on the economy, was tasked with providing a report on the impact of the stimulus. In their last report, CEA estimated that through the middle of 2011, the stimulus increased employment between 2.2 million and 4.2 million jobs. The CEA credits the turnaround followed "quite closely with the Recovery Act."
The CEA notes that jobs were being lost at an average of 784,000 per month in 2009 and the economy gained an average of 166,000 jobs per month in 2011, calling the reversal "the largest on record."
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office credits the stimulus with job creation as well. A May 2012 report says the stimulus lowered unemployment between 0.1 and 0.8 percentage points and increased the number of full-time jobs between 0.3 million to 1.9 million just in the first quarter of 2011.
Although the stimulus peaked in 2010, but its effects are likely to be felt through 2012, CBO says, creating 200,000 to 1.3 million jobs in 2012.
"... and cut taxes for 95 percent of the American people."
In the stimulus, $116 billion of the $787 billion was spent on an individual tax cut known as the "Making Work Pay" tax credit. Individuals earning less than $75,000 per year received a $400 tax cut and couples earning less than $150,000 received an $800 reimbursement. The money was added incrementally to each paycheck and was in effect for 2009 and 2010.
Although the "Making Work Pay" tax credit was the most expansive tax credit, only 74 percent of working people benefited from it. Additional tax cuts were also included in the stimulus, including an expansion of the Alternative Minimum Tax, tax cuts for people with children, an increase in the Earned Income Tax Credit and tax incentives to purchase homes and obtain higher education. Seniors also received a $250 dollar payment from the stimulus, bringing the number of people who benefited from the tax cuts to 93 percent, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center.
After the "Making Work Pay" tax cut expired at the end of 2010, it was replaced with a payroll tax cut in 2011 and extended in 2012. It reduces a workers share of Social Security tax contribution from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent. It also cut employers contribution by 2 percent as well. According to the Congressional Research Service, 159 million workers - or 94 percent of people collecting a paycheck - received the tax cut at an average of $717 per employee.