Economic responsibility passes to Obama

WASHINGTON, May 3 (UPI) -- The transition period is over and U.S. President Barack Obama has taken full ownership of the country's economic problems in the public's eyes, analysts say.

With Congress's approval last week of his $3.5 trillion budget plan, smoothing the way for ambitious moves to reform the nation's healthcare system, responsibility for the United States' economic fortunes has firmly passed to Obama, experts told Sunday's Los Angeles Times.


"It is now absolutely his economy," Paul Light, a New York University professor who specializes in presidential transitions, told the newspaper. "I don't think that the public will continue to believe that this was all George W. Bush's doing. And every day that goes by, it becomes more Obama's than Bush's."

With each new dose of bad economic news, such last week's revelations the U.S. economy shrank by 6.1 percent in the first quarter and the bankruptcy declaration of automaker Chrysler LLC, Obama has gotten political cover by pointing out he inherited an economic crisis. But that cover will no longer be available, a Republican pollster told the Times.

"The perception will be that Barack Obama owns this bankruptcy," said Neil Newhouse. "He owns this economy."

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