by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
While some pundits like to compare President Obama to former Democratic President Jimmy Carter, economic historian Brian Domitrovic looks even further back in the American past and finds a different precedent for the type of economic record our 44th president has compiled in his single term. Domitrovic documents his findings in the latest Forbes.
In 2008, he gave no clue that his recession-fighting methods would take time—so much time that he’d be talking about the need for more time come the next election four years down the road.
In 2008, when he accepted the nomination, lest we forget, Obama’s gems were of this variety: “[M]any of [my] plans will cost money, which is why I’ve laid out how I’ll pay for every dime….I will also go through the federal budget, line by line, eliminating programs that no longer work and making the ones we do need work better and cost less.”
OK, so that was all cashiered in favor of $1.4 trillion deficits and one of the lamest economic growth programs of all time. And by the way, Obama’s attempt to associate the achievements of his first term with those of FDR’s is specious. Ex-federal government GDP growth in the four years after FDR accepted his party’s nomination in the summer of 1932 was about 30%.
Here’s Obama’s mark: negative 0.3% cumulative. This really should be the statistic brought down on this man’s head during the present campaign. Since Obama accepted, with soaring rhetoric, his party’s nod for president in the summer of 2008, economic growth excluding that of the president’s own federal government has been less than zero.
This is so pathetic that Obama has only one rival in the modern history of the presidency on this score: Herbert Hoover, who was also negative. Between Hoover and Obama, the worst a president had ever done in the four years between first and second nomination was to preside over 6.6% total ex-federal growth, a distinction belonging to George W. Bush as he stalled out the Bill Clinton-Newt Gingrich boom.