Democrats and progressive economists like to tout the economic “boom” Obama has left to President Trump. But here is a reality check, as reported by the WSJ. According to the Commerce Department, “growth clocked in at 1.9% for the last quarter of 2016, which was a major deceleration from 3.5% in the third quarter after three previous quarters of about 1.1%.”
The spin had been that a strong end of the year would leave President Trump with economic momentum, which after eight years of slow growth is like a runner who takes six hours to finish a marathon but sprints the last 25 yards.
Speaking of weak, growth for all of 2016 clocked in at 1.6%, the slowest since 2011 and down from 2.6% in 2015. That marks the 11th consecutive year that GDP growth failed to reach 3%, the longest period since the Bureau of Economic Analysis began reporting the figure. The fourth quarter also rings out the Obama era with an average annual growth rate of 1.8%, which is right down there with George W. Bush for the lowest among modern Presidents.
Mr. Obama inherited a deep recession, but that makes the 2.1% growth average since the recession ended all the more dismaying. You have to work hard to suppress growth after a deep downturn, and Mr. Obama did that by putting income redistribution ahead of growth as a policy priority. He achieved the remarkable feat of slower growth and more inequality.
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