GDP Report Confirms Our Commentary on Obama’s Economic Record
In this week’s Liberty Update, we highlight the falsity of the persistent claim that Barack Obama somehow prevented a great depression:
[T]he federal government’s own economic data shows that Obama actually inherited an emerging recovery. The American economy was already rebounding before he even officially became president. What he has done is impose policies that have resulted in the slowest decade of economic growth in recorded U.S. history.”
Yesterday’s official report on first-quarter 2016 economic performance provided same-day confirmation. More specifically, the U.S. Commerce Department announced that gross domestic product (GDP), the basic metric by which the economy is measured and by which recessions and recoveries are defined, grew at a disturbing 0.5%. Not only is that number alarmingly low, it amounts to the worst mark in two years. Echoing our own commentary, The Wall Street Journal emphasizes how this places Obama’s legacy in perspective:
The reality is that the first quarter is further evidence of what has been the weakest economic expansion in the postwar era. The 0.5% growth is subject to revision but it follows 1.4% in the fourth quarter. Growth over the last six months has averaged about 1%, and under 2% over the last 12 months… The American economy hasn’t grown by more than 3% since 2005 (3.3%), the longest such stretch of malaise that we can find in the Bureau of Economic Analysis tables going back to 1930. Even the Great Depression saw a snapback to rapid growth from 1934-1936.”
The explanation for that is simple. Obama has pursued the most hyper-regulatory, big-government, wasteful-spending economic policy in U.S. history. That’s illustrated among other things by his horrific deficit record, which saw four consecutive deficits in excess of $1 trillion dollars, and more accumulated debt than all previous presidents combined. Until America has a president and Congress that pursue the proven supply-side policies that result in economic prosperity (see, e.g., Ronald Reagan), this will likely remain the new normal.