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Watchdog: Study finds Obama spent little time on economy

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Mark Tapscott,Watchdog Blog

Former Bush White House speechwriter Peter Schweizer - already famous for his landmark 2011 book, "Throw them all out" - says President Obama may claim to be "obsessed" with the economy, but a study of his official calender shows otherwise.

Schweizer's Government Accountability Institute (GAI) released a study today in which his researchers found that during his first 1,257 days in the Oval Office:

* President Obama has spent less than 4 percent of his total time in economic meetings or briefings of any kind (assuming a six day, 10-hour workweek).

* President Obama has spent 412 hours (or forty-one 10-hour workdays) in economic meetings or briefings of any kind.

* There were 773 days (72 percent), excluding Sundays, in which the President had no economic meetings.

* Throughout his presidency, President Obama has spent an average of 138 minutes a week in economic meetings.

* In 2012, President Obama has spent 24 total hours in economic meetings of any kind.

In calculating what constituted presidential time devoted to the economy versus time devoted to other topics of all kinds, Schweizer and his researchers said they assumed a meeting last two hours if the official schedule did not indicate an end time. They excluded Sundays from the total of presidential days without meetings in which the focus was on the economy. And they assumed a six-day, 10-hour per day workweek totalling 60 hours.

The heart of the study is a chart listing of hours spent in meetings on the economy and the percentage of those meetings of all Obama time. During February of 2009, for example, when the Obama economic stimulus program was working its way through Congress, the GAI calculation found the chief executive spent only 6.3 hours or 2.6 percent of his time in meetings in which the economy was the issue at hand. Obama signed the $757 billion stimulus program on Feb. 18, 2009.

Go here for the full report.

Mark Tapscott is executive editor of The Washington Examiner.

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Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner