Donald Trump likes to claim that he’ll be better at growing the economy than President Obama. Of course, he still falls short.
President Obama took office as the Great Recession was in full swing. Millions of jobs and trillions of dollars were lost, leading to an economic slump not witnessed since the Great Depression in the 1930s. But Obama led America back from the brink of economic collapse and ended up scoring a record 75 consecutive months of job growth and a record-breaking stock market, all while lowering the deficit.
Trump is still benefiting from Obama’s economic legacy. And no matter how much he brags about good economic reports and Wall Street success, he is still taking credit for things that Obama achieved. That’s because Trump is still operating on Obama’s budget and has not signed a single piece of economic legislation. Now, if his tax bill passes, we’ll see what affects it has on the economy. Then we’ll finally know what Trump can really take credit for.
One thing he won’t be able to take credit for is a 6 percent GDP.
During remarks about his decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, Trump made that very claim. He even had the gall to say that he was right to brag about getting to 4 percent because America supposedly would have reached it had it not been for the hurricanes. Of course, that’s just one quarter, not a full year.
Here’s the video:
In reality, the hurricanes only affected GDP by a few tenths of a percentage point, which means GDP would not have reached 4 percent anyway.
This isn’t the first time Trump has bragged about GDP.
When Trump bragged about reaching 3 percent in August he used it to bash President Obama.
“And on a yearly basis, as you know, the last administration during an eight-year period never hit 3 percent,” Trump said. “So we’re really on our way.”
But that’s an unfair comparison. In fact, the Wall Street Journal reports:
The quarterly GDP growth rate was above 3% eight times during President Barack Obama’s eight years in office. GDP growth exceeded 3% in four quarters on a year-over-year basis, though it never grew 3% over a calendar year.
One of those quarters, the third quarter of 2014, saw a 5.2 percent GDP growth, far beyond what Trump has overseen thus far during his first year in office.
But most economists know that achieving 4 percent yearly GDP, let alone 6 percent GDP, is impossible.
From 1945 to 2004, the yearly GDP hovered between 3 and 4 percent. That was a time of economic boom that will likely never happen again unless Trump reduces the country to rubble and America starts over again as a third-world country.
Massive infrastructure spending could get us back to 3 percent, but that would involve Republicans actually giving a damn about something other than giving tax cuts to rich people and corporations.
Trump has even cited other nations getting to 7 percent as proof that America can do the same thing. The problem is that the countries Trump cites are emerging economies. In other words, developing nations that are rapidly industrializing like China and India.
America has lost much of the manufacturing sector that made us an economic powerhouse. Outsourcing and mechanization have shrunk that sector of our economy. Furthermore, America’s unemployment level is low enough that our nation is once again considered fully employed. There’s not a lot of room left to expand.
Basically, President Obama brought us out of the Great Recession so successfully that Donald Trump has little room to expand our economy even further. That’s why he has been reduced to taking credit for Obama’s economic successes.
To put it bluntly, there is no way Trump is going to achieve 4 percent yearly GDP. And 6 percent is a wet dream that will never happen.
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