Obama recovery

The Obama Recovery Is the Worst Since World War II

The media continues to praise the Obama recovery but there is no basis for doing so unless you want Americans to suffer.

The truth about the Obama recovery comes out in a Wall Street Journal article. The headline declares it has been “the weakest of the post-World War II era.”

Even seven years after the recession ended, the current stretch of economic gains has yielded less growth than much shorter business cycles.

In terms of average annual growth, the pace of this expansion has been by far the weakest of any since 1949. (And for which we have quarterly data.) The economy has grown at a 2.1% annual rate since the U.S. recovery began in mid-2009, according to gross-domestic-product data the Commerce Department released Friday.

The prior expansion, from 2001 through 2007, was the only other business cycle of the past 11 when the economy didn’t grow at least 3% a year, on average.

Total growth this expansion ranks just 8th of the past 11 cycles. The U.S. economy, at the end of June, was 15.5% larger than it was when the recession ended in 2009.

Why does this matter? According to Politico, the main concern is that it gives Donald Trump an advantage.

Hillary Clinton is counting on a strengthening economy to help convince wavering voters, especially across the industrial Midwest, that Donald Trump’s version of a crippled America in rapid decline doesn’t really exist.

She got some very grim news on that front Friday morning with a new report showing the economy grew just 1.2 percent in the second quarter, a sluggish pace for an expansion that is remarkably durable but also shallow, uneven and deeply dissatisfying to most Americans. The news was even worse in the details of the report, which revised first quarter growth down to just 0.8 percent, showing an economy dangerously close to stall speed, handing Trump a handy talking point. The second quarter growth rate was less than half the 2.6 percent expected by Wall Street analysts.

Friday’s report, dragged down by business inventories and investment that swamped increases in consumer spending, could get revised higher later this summer. But it highlights a critical dilemma for the Clinton campaign and a big opening for Trump. How do you sell Americans on four more years of Democratic control of the White House when the economy seems stuck in the mud?

When John McCain said the fundamentals of the economy were sound, in 2008, Barack Obama used his words against him. But now that we have had years of the Obama recovery, Democrats (including the media) want to pretend that the bad economy is just bad luck.

In the meantime, many people are “underwater” in their homes.

Barack Obama’s commitment to doubling the national debt and hoping that wealth trickles down from the well-connected wealthy has been an economic disaster.

Remember, Hillary Clinton believes government creates jobs. This is how Hillary pretends to be able to save us from the problems she refuses to admit Barack Obama caused—another round of stimulus.

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Joe Scudder

Joe Scudder is the "nom de plume" (or "nom de guerre") of a fifty-ish-year-old writer and stroke survivor. He lives in St Louis with his wife and still-at-home children. He has been a freelance writer and occasional political activist since the early nineties. He describes his politics as Tolkienesque.

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