Obama wants credit for faster growth, but compare Obama’s last 21 months to Trump’s first 21.
Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said last month that the U.S. is experiencing “a remarkably positive set of economic circumstances.” The superb numbers speak for themselves, but who gets the credit? For eight years under President Obama, the growing burden of government suppressed the economic recovery that should have followed the recession of 2008-09. Mr. Obama nonetheless has claimed responsibility for today’s boom, asking Americans in September to “remember when this recovery started.” Yet it wasn’t until President Trump took office that the economy surged. His administration’s pro-business policies—cutting taxes, slashing regulations and encouraging energy production—released the pent-up dynamism of American capitalism. The result is a rising tide that is lifting boats across every class and region of the country.
The last recession officially ended in June 2009. During a typical recovery, the economy grows at a rate between 3% and 4%, and the Obama administration predicted such a surge in its 2010 midsession review. It never came. The “recovery” of those years often felt much like a recession. In the postrecession period under Mr. Obama, gross domestic product grew an average of 2.2%.
GDP growth staggered along at 1.5% in Mr. Obama’s final six full quarters in office. In contrast, growth doubled to 3% during Mr. Trump’s first six full quarters. And through three quarters of 2018, the economy has grown at a 3.3% clip and is on track to hit at least 3% for the full calendar year. That would make this year the first with 3% growth since 2005.