Donald Trump Is Drafting on Obama’s Economy

How is the economy doing? Pretty well. But is it doing any better than it did under President Obama?

Here are nine metrics that tell the story. In all cases, I’m comparing the last three years of Obama with the first three years of Trump. And to keep everything on a level playing field, I’m measuring growth, not absolute numbers. That is, how much better was 2016 than 2013? And how much better was 2019 compared with 2016?

Take GDP. In the last three years of Obama’s term it increased 7.2 percent. In the first three years of Trump’s term it increased 7.8 percent. So Trump did slightly better, largely thanks to Republicans deciding they no longer cared about ballooning deficits.

In some cases, of course, higher is better, while in others lower is better. I’ve labeled each one to show which president turned in the better performance. Needless to say, all figures are adjusted appropriately (i.e., corrected for inflation, rate per million, percent of GDP, etc.).

I don’t think anyone cares much about this, and it certainly won’t do any good on the campaign trail. A good economy is a good economy, regardless of how it happened. This is just for the record.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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