Much has been said by pundits on the Left that the nation’s current economic dynamism is due in large measure to President Obama’s policies and initiatives. Setting aside that these talking heads happen to be economic illiterates they also have a great deal of animus toward President Trump which further clouds their thinking. It is incumbent on citizens, therefore, to go behind the curtain of demagoguery and propaganda and get at the facts.
On practically every measure that has economic significance President Trump’s economy is decidedly superior to the paltry results left behind by President Obama.
Some notable examples should suffice to make the point:
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average when President Obama left office stood at 21,126. The closing average on December, 2019 registered 28,652 points for a roughly 36% increase in stock values. Americans who own stock directly or indirectly through pension funds, 401K’s or mutual funds are the beneficiaries of this dramatic wealth creation.
- On a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) basis, perhaps the coarsest measure of a nation’s economic well-being, the nation’s performance under President Trump is superior. Under President Obama, the nation’s GDP averaged $16.375 trillion. Under President Trump, GDP has averaged $18.667 trillion. That amounts to a 14% improvement.
- GDP growth is similarly unsympathetic to President Obama. Growth under President Obama’s regime averaged 1.6% and in his last year in office he handed off an economy that was growing at a meager 1.6%. Under President Trump GDP growth has averaged 2.67%. There is more to this percentage increase than meets the eye for the simple reason that one has to take into account the base on which the growth is based. In effect, the growth of the Trump economy, adds approximately twice the real dollars than did the Obama economy to the GDP on an annualized basis.
- The unemployment rate under President Obama averaged 7.5%. Under President Trump the unemployment rate has averaged 4% for a nearly 50% improvement. The unemployment rate as of January 2020 was 3.6% for a roughly fifty year-low. The underemployment rate – the so-called U6 rate – which measures the unemployed, those that are not looking for work, and those that have had to settle for part-time work never got below 9.2% under President Obama and was at its highest in 2010 at 17%. In contrast, the underemployment rate is now running at 6.9%.
- The number of workers seeking work under the Obama Administration averaged 3.6 for every job opening. Under President Trump the number of workers seeking work is at par with the number of job openings. Which is to say that for every one job opening in the nation there is one worker seeking work.
- Wage growth for production workers during President Obama’s term in office averaged 2.3%. Wage growth under President Trump has averaged 2.9% for a 24% increase.
- Left unsaid in the sophistry which is dished out by the talking heads on the Left is that President Obama had nearly $700 billion of Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) monies authorized to spend with which to stabilize the economy. In the end, Wall Street Banks were the principal beneficiaries of the government’s largesse while approximately ten million homeowners lost their homes.
- President Obama ran up the country’s debt from $10 trillion to about $20 trillion while in office. It will take nothing less than a Herculean task by President Trump to undo the damage caused by the previous administration.
- The nation’s trade deficit accumulated over roughly four decades now stands at about $10 trillion. President Obama is responsible for roughly 40% of that total or about $4 trillion but he was not alone in his malfeasance. Prior administrations Democrat as well as Republican simply looked the other way as countries friend and foe alike excelled at cheating through currency manipulation, intellectual property theft, import tariffs, and prohibited commercial transactions. The current clamor which accuses the President of triggering a “trade war” ignores the fact that the trade deficit cost millions of workers their jobs, depressed wages, closed thousands of factories, contracted R&D, and exported capital to foreign shores. Under President Trump the trade deficit actually contracted by $11 billion from 2018 to 2019.
Facts are stubborn things and citizens owe it to themselves to learn those facts through self-study, reading, and research as a way to immunize themselves from the campaign of disinformation served up by the Left.