Proof That Obama, Not Trump, Saved Our Economy
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.
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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