The Donald takes office in just a few more days. On his way out the door, President Obama has been singing his own praises, not least on job creation and the economy; trouble is, his praises ain’t very praiseworthy. Excerpt:
The last jobs report of President Obama’s presidency came out on Friday. What it says about his economic performance can be summed up in one word: Lackluster.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the economy created a modest 156,000 new jobs in December, while the unemployment rate remained essentially unchanged at 4.7%.
Reuters, however, took this news as evidence that the economy is nearing full employment, and the White House boasted that it marks the 75th consecutive month of job growth — “more than two years longer than the next-longest streak.” The current unemployment rate is as low as it was just before the recession hit.
But look at the job market in the proper context, and Obama’s record is pretty dismal.
Consider that in 2016, the number of jobs grew by 2 million. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? But the working-age population increased by 2.8 million.
Since 2010, the population climbed by an average of 2.5 million a year. Job growth, however, has averaged 2.2 million.
So while Obama brags about 15-plus million new private sector jobs created since early 2010, what he leaves out is that the population of people who can work climbed by almost 18 million.
The genesis of this awful job growth, of course, is our awful economic growth; during the entire Obama tenure GDP growh has never exceeded 3%. Compare that to the Reagan recovery! In 1983, the year the Reagan tax reform took effect, the nation saw over 7% growth, and no less than 3% growth for the rest of the Reagan/Bush41 years.
The Donald has sworn to fix all that. Whether he will or not remains to be seen; some of his promised policies may well start a trade war, which won’t be good for anyone involved. Still; if he focuses on tax reform and regulatory reform, he could accomplish a lot. We’ll see.
The IBD article concludes: Our view has consistently been that the economic recovery from the Great Recession could have been — and should have been — very robust. And that the only reason it wasn’t is growth-choking policies imposed by Obama: Dodd-Frank, ObamaCare, tax hikes, huge new regulatory burdens.
If Trump manages to turn these policies around, we have no doubt that the days of mediocre job growth will be a thing of the past.
The election just past was about jobs and economic growth, more than anything else. That’s what The Donald has to deliver – or he’ll be turned out in 2020.
So far he’s making all the right noises, but as they say, talk is cheap.