Obama Built Most of Trump’s Good Economy
Phil Gramm and Mike Solon (“Voters’ Choice: Growth or Stagnation,” op-ed, July 9) give demonstrably false credit to Republicans for a strong economy. The real facts are undeniable: President Obama turned around the worst recession since the Great Depression, and President Trump coasted on that economic success.
At the beginning of 2020, the U.S. economy was already in its 11th year of expansion with historically low unemployment and steady job creation. President Obama, who was in office for the first eight of those years, took a staggering 10% unemployment rate and drove it down to 4.7% in his final days. That rate dropped just slightly during President Trump’s tenure to 3.5% by 2020. However, it was already at 4.1% by the time his signature tax cuts took effect in 2018.
Job growth fared better under President Obama, too. During the last 33 months of the Obama administration, nonfarm job growth averaged 224,000 a month. The first 33 months of the Trump administration saw an average of 34,000 fewer jobs a month. Moreover, the so-called “rocket fuel” President Trump touted in the 2017 Republican tax cut only ended up supercharging stock buybacks and providing one-off bonuses for a handful of companies’ employees.
Finally, for nearly a decade, median household income was on a downward slope under President George W. Bush, but President Obama turned that trend upward in 2015, which continued into the Trump presidency. In President Obama’s final two years, annual median household income increased by $4,800—over three times the $1,400 increase during the first two years of the Trump administration. President Obama gift wrapped a great economy and hand delivered it to President Trump.