There is currently a rather aggressive debate ongoing about who is responsible for the surge in the economy over the last year: Barack Obama or Donald Trump. Of course each sides is taking credit and as well as the economy is doing, both certainly want all the credit. But a simple examination of the data will reveal the truth.
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. Although 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 at a significant rate 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, and had openly said so. They wisely 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 18,000 to more than 26,000, as businesses expanded and investors freed up capital to invest and expand. The economy then grew by more than three percent in every single quarter throughout 2017, which has everything to do with the election of Trump. So I say, case closed.
But let us be charitable and give Obama his just rewards, for he also did his part – by leaving office.