Hillary Gave Obama an A for This Economy?

In a interview last week Hillary Clinton said she would give President Obama’s economic record an A. Three days later the Commerce Department issued an economic report deserving of a D at best.

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew a feeble 1.5% in the third quarter, ending September 30th. This is below average, even for the anemic Obama era and not nearly strong enough to restore the job market and normal American prosperity.

The Obama Administration insists that his economic record be measured not from the beginning of his first term but six months later when the recession ended and economic recovery began.  So, the first chart below compares the twenty five quarters of the Obama era post-recession recovery with the first twenty five 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.GDP-through-2015-Q3-era-addedObviously, our current “recovery” ranks tenth out of ten. 

The next chart shows the same post-recession economic growth data (green bars) plus the increase or decrease in government spending during the first two years of the preceding recession (blue bars.)

GDP-&-spending-through-2015-Q3

We included the second chart because the President and the Democrats promised us back in 2009 that their massive spike in government spending would buy a “robust recovery” and put America back to work.  The President promised that just one element of his borrowing and spending binge, the so-called stimulus, would, in his words, “immediately jumpstart job creation and long term growth.”   To cheers of approval from the political-media establishment the stimulus package was enacted on the 23d day of his Presidency.  We’re still waiting for that jumpstart.

The President, the media, and progressive economists were unanimous: A monster program of government borrowing and spending would bring about prosperity.  But, as the second chart shows, the historical data does not support this progressive article of faith.  There is no historical example of the government borrowing and spending the nation into prosperity. 

Obama’s reckless, seven year experiment has generated an alarming $6.2 trillion in deficits and increased government debt held by the public by 112%.

And, as the charts show we’re still suffering through the weakest post-recession recovery since the government began issuing quarterly GDP reports 66 years ago.  Yet Hillary Clinton and the Democrats insist the problem is government still hasn’t spent nearly enough!  They call for huge new spending programs, so many we can’t keep up.

A year ago the Administration spiked the football on news of two quarters in a row exceeding 4% growth.  We were told the President’s policies were working and prosperity was growing. But the four quarterly reports since then average an unacceptable 2%.  So there was no celebratory boasting from the White House this week.

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 of the business start-ups and expansions that create jobs and grow the economy.

Polls show that because Candidate Obama promised so much more than President Obama has delivered voters are restive and dissatisfied.  Yet Hillary Clinton, gives him an A and promises more of the same!

The clear, 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.

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