by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Joe Biden – along with his amen chorus in the press – keeps insisting that he and President Barack Obama handed Donald Trump a booming economy when they left office in 2016.
“We left a booming economy, ” Biden said during the first presidential debate, “and he caused the recession.” Debate moderator Chris Wallace jumped in to help Biden, adding that job growth was faster in the last three years of Obama’s term than the first three of Trump’s.
One is a flat out lie, the other a clever deception.
After presiding over the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression, Obama and Biden left office with the economy stalling out, leading experts to warn that the nation was facing “secular stagnation.”
Look at the numbers. GDP growth sharply decelerated in 2016, falling from 3.1% the year before down 1.7% in 2016 – the second-worst year under Obama/Biden after the recession ended and the third year of below 2% growth on their watch.
Other indicators were equally distressing. Small business optimism had been on the decline before the November 2016 election. Business investment was stagnant. The rate of growth in blue-collar jobs was falling.
In Obama’s last year, the unemployment rate remained basically unchanged — it was 4.9% in Jan 2016, and 4.8% when Trump took office in Jan. 2017.
Real median family income didn’t budge from August 2015 to November 2016, according to Sentier Research.
The stock market had been flat for more than a year.
Here’s now the New York Times described the economy that Obama and Biden were leaving behind:
“For three quarters in a row, the growth rate of the economy has hovered around a mere 1%. In the last quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, the economy expanded at feeble annual rates of 0.9% and 0.8%, respectively. The initial reading for the second quarter of this year, released on Friday, was a disappointing 1.2%.”