Op-Ed: What Biden gets wrong about the Trump economy

This article originally appeared on The Washington Post on May 23, 2019.

At Joe Biden’s May 18 campaign kickoff rally in Philadelphia, the Democratic presidential contender said “President Trump inherited an economy from the Obama-Biden administration” that Trump is now “in the process of squandering.”

Can’t blame Biden for trying to polish up the record of the years when he served as vice president, but — seriously? Democrats continually try to diminish the current administration’s economic achievements by suggesting that Trump was handed a booming economy in 2016. Biden in particular seems likely to hit that theme throughout his campaign. And he’ll be just as wrong next year as he is today.

For example, soon after Trump took office in January 2017 and the administration forecast 3 percent growth in gross domestic product (the most widely accepted measure of economic health), former Obama administration economist Lee Branstetter said it was “essentially mathematically impossible to get the growth they’re talking about.” A few weeks later, Jason Furman — a former chairman of President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers — predicted a decade of GDP growth “around 2 percent a year.”

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