On a a day when Chinese authorities announced they had successfully produced “gene edited” babies, it’s reassuring to know that some things never change. To wit: the tendency of politicians to believe they can rewrite history. Make no mistake, this is a bi-artisan conceit. It happens on both sides of the aisle. Looking for a good laugh some days? Try reading presidential memoirs or political memoirs in general, usually a morass of self-deception and self-serving conceit.
The most recent instance of this practice comes to us from former President Barack Obama. Speaking to a crowd just prior to the recent election, he laid claim to the economic boom that followed on the heels of his stepping down from the presidency.
Claiming responsibility for the currently surging economy, Obama told the crowd at a rally in September, “Remember where this recovery started.” But facts are stubborn things.
Given that he took office in 2009 and inherited an economic mess from the outgoing Bush Administration, the best that can be said of Obama’s economic policies is that they didn’t make matters measurably worse. But “recovery”? An odd term to apply to the slowest rebound from a recession in our history, the only 8-year stretch of American economic history where the GDP failed to reach 3% growth.
I won’t go into all the numbers, but if you’d like to check them out, read this article from the Wall Street Journal of November 26, 2018: CLICK HERE
By any measure or yardstick, the economy did not turn around until Obama’s successor began cutting taxes, slashing regulations, and encouraging energy production.
The fundamental difference, as I see it, is that the Obama economic paradigm centered around the redistribution of wealth while the Trump policy is to generate more wealth for Americans of all economic levels, ethnic groups, and political persuasions.
One irony is that, while talking about narrowing the economic gap between rich and poor, the gap widened even faster during the Obama Presidency. And while Trump is seen by many (and most of the media) as a servant of the wealthy, the unemployment rate among Hispanic and Black Americans has never been lower than today, and more Americans have jobs than ever before. Over Trump’s first 21 months in office (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics) job growth has averaged 75,000 per month. Over Obama’s final 21 months in office, the number of job openings increased an average of 900 per month. For every job Obama’s policies created, Trump has created 80.
Other statistics show the same pattern. The current boom did not begin until the new policies of the Trump Administration began and unleashed the pent-up powers of the capitalist American economic engine.
As a defender of freedom of speech, I stand by President Obama’s right to say whatever he wants. But facts are facts, and in this case, it’s just another politician attempting to put lipstick on a pig.