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Analysts Debunk the White House's Myth of the Booming 'Trump Economy'

September 12, 2018 in Blogs

By Cody Fenwick, AlterNet

Trump thinks he's created a booming economy all on his own.

President Donald Trump frequently lies when he boasts about the performance of the economy under his presidency, just as he lied when claimed the positive economic data under President Barack Obama was “phony.”

But on Monday, Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers Kevin Hassett offered a much more thorough and systematic approach to defending the claim that the Trump administration has led to a booming economy. (Hassett also acknowledged that Trump's recent boast about the economy on Twitter was off by an order of magnitude.)

However, as multiple responses to Hassett's claims have revealed, even this more sophisticated argument fails to make the case for a Trump-induced boom.

Writing for the Washington Post, Matt O'Brien explained:

During President Barack Obama’s last 19 months in office, the economy added an average of 208,000 jobs a month; during President Trump’s first 19 months in office, it’s added an average of 189,000 jobs a month.

During Obama’s last 19 months, the share of 25- to-54-year olds who have a job rose 1.1 percentage points; during Trump’s first 19 months, it rose 0.9 percentage points.

During Obama’s last 19 months, wage growth went up 0.3 percentage points; during Trump’s first 19 months, wage growth went up 0.2 percentage points.

These are the facts that the Trump administration seems to think it can transform into evidence that it’s made the recovery better than it was before.

He explained that, despite Hassett's efforts to squint at the data and see a major impact after the 2016 elections, the trends tell basically one story: the economy under Trump has essentially been a continuation of the economy under Obama.

Some of the changes the White House attributes to Trump, he continued, are more plausibly attributable to other factors.

“The Trump administration likes to think that investment has gone up because of the magic of the Republicans' big corporate tax cuts. But the reality is a lot more mundane: It’s oil,” he wrote. “Drilling, you see, makes up a big part of business investment, so it should be no surprise that it …read more


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