Jeff is a computer professional who takes a great interest in politics and tries to always distinguish fact from opinion.
Donald Trump frequently tells us that before he became president, our economy was in a shambles. Unemployment was sky high, the stock market was in the dumps, and nobody could find a job.
But then President Trump stimulated new job creation, brought unemployment way down, lowered African American unemployment to near record lows, and created a booming stock market. So, let’s take a closer look at each of these claims.
Who Really Gave Us Low Unemployment?
Look closely at this chart of the unemployment rate for the period from 2007 to 2020. When Obama was president, unemployment dropped from 10.1% all the way down to 4.7%. That 4.7% rate is what Donald Trump inherited when he became president.
Since Trump became president, unemployment has dropped from 4.7% to 3.6%.
Of course, it’s not fair to compare Obama’s 8 years in office to Trump’s 3 years. So let's look a little deeper at the rate of job creation during Obama's last 3 years compared to Trump's first 3 years as president.
Trump Has Slowed the Rate of Job Creation
According to the numbers compiled by the Department of Labor, the economy added a little over 8 million new jobs during Obama’s last 3 years as president. Yet during Trump’s first 3 years, the economy created only 6.5 million jobs. That means 1.5 million more jobs were created during those 3 years under Obama than during the 3 years under Trump.
To put it another way, the rate of job creation over Obama's last 3 years in office was 23% better than the rate of job creation since Trump became president.
You can confirm all these numbers by following this link to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and see the raw job creation numbers for yourself.
Obama Presided Over the Drop in African American Unemployment
One of the things Donald Trump most often likes to brag about is how he has brought the rate of African American unemployment to near record lows.
Once again, if you look at the actual numbers over the past ten years, you can see that almost all of the decline in the rate of African American unemployment occurred during Obama's presidency and not Trump's.
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The Stock Market Set Record Highs for 3 Years Before Trump Became President
President Trump would have us believe that the stock market was stagnant before he was in office and that only after he became president did it begin setting record highs.
In reality, as this chart shows, the stock market recovered from the recession early in Obama's presidency and began setting new record highs in early 2014, 3 years before Trump became president.
As you can see, the stock market has continued to do well in recent years, but again, this is a continuation of the trend that started during Obama’s presidency.
The Budget Deficit Is Growing Rapidly Under Trump
In 2009, after millions of Americans lost their jobs and many companies went out of business due to the recession of 2008, it resulted in the loss of hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue which caused the federal budget deficit to balloon up to 1.4 trillion dollars.
As the graph shows, while the economy got better each year and millions of people went back to work, the deficit got smaller throughout the Obama presidency. But since Trump has been president, even though unemployment is low, the annual deficit has been growing rapidly—to over a trillion dollars a year. At this rate, if Trump serves 8 years as president, he will likely add more debt than any president in history.
This is perhaps the only change in our economy that Donald Trump can actually take credit for.
Trump Is Taking Credit for Obama's Accomplishments
When you look carefully at the actual numbers, it’s clear that all the positive economic trends that Trump takes credit for began under Obama, several years before Trump became president.
The only real change we’ve seen since Trump has been president is that he’s slowed down the rate of job creation and he’s on track to add more debt than any other president in history. There is no statistical evidence that Trump has done anything that improved the US economy during his presidency.
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Questions & Answers
Question: You mean Trump is lying?
Answer: Trump lied about the state of the economy he inherited.
His supporters mindlessly believed all the lies that they parroted.
He lied about the stock market and the rate of unemployment
He lied about his job creation to everyone’s annoyance.
Trump lied about putting immigrant children in cages, and the amount of time he spends on vacation.
He lied about paying his workers their wages, and his fraudulent charitable foundation.
He lied about the death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria.
He lied about pay raises for American troops and disarming North Korea.
He lied about Trump University, one of his fraudulent business schemes.
He lied about releasing his taxes and harassing young beauty queens.
He lied about a crisis on our southern border and the rate of immigrant crime there.
He lied about paying the porn star to keep quiet about their affair.
He said Obama’s birth certificate was fake and swore he had documentation.
He lied about opposing the war in Iraq and “job-killing” EPA regulation.
He lied about how he profits from cutting the billionaire tax rate.
He lied about his medical records. He even lied about his own weight.
He lied about the size of his inaugural crowd. He lied about the size of his brain.
He lied about his “perfect” phone call with the president of Ukraine.
He lied about terror attacks in Sweden and the illegal immigrants he’s hired.
He lied about the American jobs he exported and the reason James Comey was fired.
He lied about Mexico paying for the wall and how a Turkish reporter had died.
He lied about Russian electoral meddling “I know the best words”, he lied.
He lied about his contacts with Putin and Russian ties to his campaign.
If you point out his incessant lies he’ll just whine, gripe and complain.
By now you can’t help but wonder. How many lies he can keep on his plate?
His lies contradict each other. He can’t even keep them all straight.
Question: What is the job creation total in Obama's 1st 3 years in office compared to Trump's 1st 3 years in office?
Answer: Obama inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression. The economy was losing 750,000 per month, so it took a few years to bring true prosperity back to America.
Donald Trump, however, inherited a robust economy, thanks to President Obama, so, even though Trump slowed down the rate of job creation, the economy continued to do well despite his poor leadership.
This is why it is pointless and misleading to compare the first three years of each president's term in office.
Question: I thought Obama said these jobs weren't coming back! So which is it?
Answer: Obama was correct. Generally speaking, jobs that went overseas did not come back. Fortunately, Obama presided over the creation of 12 million new jobs in the US.
Question: What contributes to the deficit, is it both tax and spend?
Answer: In simpest terms, the deficit is the amount by which the government spends beyond what it takes in.
Revenue comes in from taxes, fees, tariffs, fines and other sources.
When Obama first became president, the deficit was huge because millions of people lost their jobs in the recession and there was suddenly hundreds of billions of dollars in tax revenue no longer coming in. As millions of new jobs were created, the deficit got much smaller each year of Obama's presidency.
Under Trump, even though the economy continued to do well, the deficit is suddenly growing out of control again because of the Trump tax cuts.
Question: If Trump wins the election will the economy fall to its record low or to record high?
Answer: This is just my opinion, but since Trump is doing the same things George W. Bush did as president (rely on tax cuts to stimulate the economy), I expect it to have similar results. Tax cuts have a very short term effect to help the economy and do not do much in the long term other than add to the national debt. So I expect the economy to respond under Trump the same as it did during Bush's presidency.
If Trump remains in office, then it is only a matter of time before the economy tanks and millions of people lose their jobs. Then it will once again take a Democratic president to pull us out of the abyss and restore our economy.
Question: This was really insightful why did you put it together?
Answer: This article was written to respond to the false claims that Donald Trump and his supporters have made about the "wonderful" things Trump has done for the economy. Many Republicans wrongly think the unemployment rate didn't drop below 8% and the stock market didn't start setting new record high marks until Trump became president. As the article points out, all the economic gains were made during Obama's presidency long before Trump was elected.
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