America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew at a pathetic 0.5% in the first quarter 2016. The media and the candidates seemed not to notice.
Serious candidates for President often express frustration with media personalities who ignore their ideas and dwell instead on “horse race” questions, like what does the candidate intend to do about his/her low rating in a recent poll of married, suburban Hispanic women over fifty in New Jersey?
Donald Trump on the other hand, rarely puts forward any specific ideas beyond “build a wall” and “make great deals” with someone to magically “bring jobs back.” The media give Trump more air time than all the other candidates combined because almost all he talks about is the horse race stuff they like. In speeches and interviews he rambles on and on about polls, the size of the crowds at his stadium events, and alleged deficits in his opponents polling of various groups.
Because of media obsession horse race distractions, a devastating economic report came and went on Thursday with virtually no notice. Neither Democrat Candidate expressed any concern or offered any ideas about what government could do to help restore normal GDP growth. Their “economic” policies consist of extravagant promises to the various, aggrieved identity groups the Obama campaign engendered and nurtured, combined with loathing of business owners and investors.
Genuine, free market GOP candidates – like Ted Cruz and Carly Fiorina – make a powerful case against Democrat’s progressive economics simply by citing the results, as expressed in the charts below. Unfortunately, the media have no time for such discussions which they brush away as “too down in the weeds.”
This chart compares the 28 quarters of the Obama era post-recession recovery with the first 28 quarters of every previous recovery since the government began issuing quarterly GDP reports. In each case measurement begins with the first quarter of positive GDP growth after a recession. Obviously, the Obama “recovery” ranks tenth out of ten.
Mrs. Clinton claims that President Obama “lifted us out of recession” with his massive, “stimulus” program of deficit spending. But the next chart debunks her claim. Every previous recession has ended with little or no government intervention. The chart below shows the spending increase or decrease during the first two years of each of the recessions that preceded the recoveries in the chart above.
We included the second chart because the President, the Democrats and the media promised us back in 2009 that a massive spike in deficit spending would buy a “robust recovery” and put America back to work. The President promised his so-called stimulus would “immediately jumpstart job creation and long term growth.” The media and progressive economists were unanimous: A monster program of government borrowing and spending would result in prosperity. The stimulus package was enacted on the 23d day of his Presidency.
Seven years later we’re still waiting for the promised jumpstart. But American taxpayers will be paying the interest on Obama’s debt for generations. His reckless experiment has so far generated an alarming $6.2 trillion in deficits in seven years. U.S. Government Debt held by the public is 135% greater than it was seven years ago.
The American economy, while the most resilient in human history, struggles under the weight of decades of accumulated government intervention in the form of excessive regulation, taxation, and bureaucratic mandates, the most recent being Obamacare and the massive, Dodd-Frank financial regulation law. These government intrusions into the private sector, and the generally anti-business, anti-investment attitude of the Obama Administration discourages and deters entrepreneurs and investors, resulting in dramatically fewer business start-ups and expansions and, of course, fewer of the jobs they create.
The manifest, easily understood failure of Obama’s textbook, big government ideas presents an historic opportunity for a Republican Presidential candidate, not only to win the election but to do so with a genuine mandate for reduction of federal taxes, regulation and intervention in the economy.
Unfortunately, the media’s favorite GOP candidate has ignored this opportunity and chosen instead to form a cult of personality around himself. His “make America great again” without any policy details, is the mirror image of Obama’s meaningless “Hope and Change,” a blank screen upon which voters with varied and diverse views project their own thoughts and ideas. Thus, at his raucous, Obama style, stadium events, each of the cheering fans believes he/she is among thousands of like-minded disciples, even though the person in the next seat may have very different views.
Like Obama’s true believers, Trump’s fans will be disappointed if he becomes president and the promised millions of jobs don’t “come back from China” and it turns out that Trump’s idea of a “great” America is, simply, America with him as President.