The re-writing of history has begun in earnest. Barack Obama and his biggest defenders are out in force taking credit for the surge in the US economy over the past year. During a speech in Chicago recently, Obama actually thanked himself for all that is right with the economic world.
Austan Goolsbee, who served as one of Obama’s economic advisors and has been a reliable defender of “progress” under the previous regime, appeared on a recent episode of Hannity and credited the former President for the robust economic growth and the surge in the stock market.
Let me say that I agree with this line of thinking. Obama is responsible for the surge in the economy over the past year – because he left office.
Much of what happens in our economy is based on perception every bit as much as on actual policy. The business community and investors base many of their decisions on who is in office, who will likely be in office, and what policies they are likely to enact. The dismal economy over the previous eight years under Obama, in which he became the only President to serve at least two terms yet not have a single quarter of at least three percent growth, is because of one person: Barack Obama.
In fact, if you look at the economic meltdown that struck the housing and financial sectors in September 2008, which helped propel Obama into office, the evidence is clear. Though Obama and the Democrats blamed it on Bush and the Republicans, squawking about the economy shedding 750,000 jobs per month, the data reveals the real truth. US companies did shed some jobs in September and October, as the crisis unfolded, but did not begin massive layoffs until November, the very month of Obama’s election.
Why did they wait? Business leaders wanted to see who would be in the White House – Obama or McCain. And the worse months for jobs losses were in January and February 2009, when the Obama administration took power. The economy did not grow during those eight years because businesses were not willing to invest and expand with an avowed socialist in office who would only punish their success. They kept their foot on the brakes for eight years.
Fast forward to November 2016. America rejects the politics of wealth confiscation and elects a businessman as President, Donald Trump. And even though the naysayers and wishful thinkers on the Left warned the public to prepare for an economic hurricane and stock market crash, the markets and the business sector responded very positively. The stock market jumped from around 17,000 to nearly 25,000, as businesses expanded and investors freed up capital to invest and expand. The economy has grown by more than three percent in every single quarter throughout 2017, which has everything to do with the election of Trump and nothing to do with Obama, except his retirement.
Now, as the new tax reform package has passed Congress, a plan that cut the corporate rate from 35 percent, the third highest in the world, to 21 percent, businesses are responding very positively to it. Many major corporations announced new initiatives within hours of the bill’s passage. For example:
- Wells Fargo announced that it is raising the minimum wage for its employees to $15 per hour and will earmark $400 million for philanthropic initiatives in 2018.
- Fifth-Third Bancorp bank will also raise the minimum wage for all employees to $15 per hour and give 13,500 workers a $1,000 bonus.
- AT&T will likewise bonus $1,000 to 200,000 of its US based employees and expand its US expenditures by $1 billion.
- Boeing announced $300 million in investments, with $100 million toward corporate giving including employee gift-match programs, $100 million toward workforce development, training and education and $100 million toward enhancing Boeing’s workplaces.
- Comcast NBC Universal is giving more than 100,000 employees a $1,000 Christmas bonus and announced plans to spend $50 billion in investments over the next five years.
What do these statistics show? That businesses are not the evil, greedy institutions that liberal Democrats portray them to be. They did not horde all the cash they will reap from the tax cut, despite liberal predictions to the contrary. Instead they gave it to their employees and announced new investments, which will mean new jobs and a growing economy.
With the tax cut package, and Trump’s gutting of burdensome regulations, many financial experts are predicting the US economy will surge in 2018. Merry Christmas America!