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Tuesday, December 27, 2016
Obama's 'great' economy
It is amazing how supporters of President Obama just rewrite history. In the Washington Post today, Catherine Rampell spouts the Obama party line that the economy is "great."
Trump will soon take office with among the most favorable economic conditions - as measured by the government and private data sources - imaginable. And you can bet that he, and his supporters, will gleefully claim credit.
Until things go south, anyway.
For now, rose-colored economic data abound. The most recent jobs report shows the unemployment rate down to 4.6 percent. It hasn't been this low since August 2007, several months before the Great Recession began.
Or consider a broader measure of underemployment called the U-6. This includes workers who are part-time but want full-time work, and people who've given up looking for work but still want it. It's not quite at its pre-recession level, but it has also fallen dramatically.
Wages, too, have risen substantially. Adjusted for inflation, median weekly earnings for wage and salary workers were at an all-time high in the third quarter.
Gas prices remain low, as does overall inflation. Meanwhile, stocks have reached all-time highs, with the Dow Jones industrial average on the cusp of 20,000. Gross domestic productgrowth for the third quarter was revised upward last week, to 3.5 percent. (Apparently Trump is even making the economy great again retroactively.)
But there are a lot of numbers missing from this account.
Labor participation rate at 40 year low. Home ownership at 50 year record low. Inner city and youth unemployment exceptionally high, stagnant median income at best/ Skyrocketing health care costs. $20 Trillion in debt and rising, Government pension debt and other unfunded liabilities are massive. The slowest economic recovery in 70 years despite saver punishing interest rates that also destroyed pensions. Most of the jobs created in the last eight years have been part time jobs due to Obama Care. Who in their right mind would write a law that punishes businesses if they hire more than 50 people and have them work more than thirty hours?
President Obama stated in 2009 that 30 million couldn't buy health insurance which was a lie and now there are 28 million uninsured so why do reporters and the Obama admin state that 20 million have been covered because of Obama Care.
The article also gives credit to Obama for bringing us out of recession. Why couldn't it list which policies he wrote, passed and implemented in his first 130 days that caused that? Was it magic?
Wasn't the economy actually already heading towards recovery when he took office?
How about listing which of Obama's policies and regulations that he implemented in the last eight years that created jobs and helped the economy vs hamstringing small and large businesses alike. I am having trouble thinking of any.
I believe one thing that Obama has been extremely successful at and which he said he would do is bankrupt coal companies.