Obama again takes credit for economic recovery

Once again, this time while speaking in Las Vegas, former President Obama took credit for the economic recovery and blamed Republicans for the financial woes.

He seems to forget, as Carl Jackson at Townhall.com points out, that the mortgage crisis that started the Great Recession was the result of a bill signed by Jimmy Carter.

Nor does he pay heed to the fact the economic growth in his final year in office was down to 1.6 percent from the previous year’s 2.6 percent — the worst in five years.

The Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act actually started real job growth, while Obama continues to brag about taxing the wealthy, like himself.


A.F. Branco cartoon



26 comments on “Obama again takes credit for economic recovery

  1. Bruce Feher says:

    He spent 8 years blaming Bush for everything and now he wants to take credit, that Barack INSANE Obama for you!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Republicans and the wealthy constituents have cause every recession and democrats have continued to save the very economic system the oppresses their constituents.

    It’s ironic and sad all at the same time.

  3. Seem to recall FDR, like Obama, prolonged the economic downturn.

  4. Rincon says:

    “In 1995, economist Robert Whaples of Wake Forest University published a survey of academic economists that asked them if they agreed with the statement, “Taken as a whole, government policies of the New Deal served to lengthen and deepen the Great Depression.” Fifty-one percent disagreed, and 49 percent agreed.” https://money.usnews.com/money/business-economy/articles/2008/04/11/did-the-new-deal-work

    Bottom line: No one can say for sure, but it also suggests that we are still mystified about the complexities of economics, since we’ve had almost 80 years to ponder this and still cannot come to an agreement.

    Since Obama would have likely taken the blame had the economy stagnated for 8 years during his term, and does take blame for the recovery not being fast enough, it is reasonable for him to blame the Bush Administration for the recession, since they had a fairly free hand for 7 years before it began. If they weren’t the cause, they likely had the power to prevent it. By the same logic, it is also reasonable that Obama take credit for the recovery. Trump started with a good economy and proceeded to goose it more. We will pay for that.

    Conservatives agree that cutting taxes stimulates the economy, but cannot fathom that increasing spending can do the same. In both cases, the government spends borrowed money. Because more people get a bigger paycheck in both cases, the economy brightens. The Conservative contention that private spending energizes the economy and that government spending cannot is ridiculous on the face of it. Someone tell me how a family buying a Chinese-made TV stimulates our economy more than the government spending money repairing a bridge.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Arguing that democratic presidents didn’t rescue the economy quickly enough is funny.

    Coming from the same people most responsible for pushing it over the cliff initially.

    “hey doc, you’re saving his life too slowly. I got other things to do you know”

  6. No one can say for sure.

  7. It was Jimmy Carter’s bill that caused the Great Recession.

  8. Athos says:

    it’s all Reagan’s falt, right Anny? You’re a very funny Soros-bot!

    Rinny, apologizing for Pinocchio his so Beneath even you! Especially when a four-year-old knows Zero‘s economic record versus Trump’s. The real problem was that zero didn’t build any bridges (except the ones to nowhere). His trillion dollar stimulus plan was for pay offs (or don’t remember that?)

  9. Athos says:

    Oops! Fault not falt! That’s Trump’s fawlt!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Jimmy Carter never initiated a bill during his entire presidency.

    And pretending that, as far right wing “economist” Alan Greenspan said, that he overestimated the markets ability to force participants to do the right thing, wasn’t ultimately responsible for this, and every other recession, is…unsupported.

    “A long-time cheerleader for deregulation, Greenspan admitted to a congressional committee yesterday that he had been “partially wrong” in his hands-off approach towards the banking industry and that the credit crunch had left him in a state of shocked disbelief. “I have found a flaw,” said Greenspan, referring to his economic philosophy. “I don’t know how significant or permanent it is. But I have been very distressed by that fact.”


  11. Anonymous says:

    And Atholes, was that you that planted the bomb?

  12. Athos says:

    Anny, you worried you will get paid ?
    You can admit it. You’re just a greedy capitalist at heart, aren’t you dear one?

  13. Rincon says:

    If you give Trump credit for the economy last 18 months or so, then to be consistent, you have to blame the Bush Administration for the greatest recession in the last century. Ready to do that?

    Although I give Trump some “credit” for the roaring economy (after all, he and the Republicans goosed a thriving economy by running massive deficits), and I do blame the Bush Administration for failing to prevent the last recession, but not necessarily causing it, anyone with more than a pea brain knows that the causes of booms and busts are myriad, highly interactive, and not easily discernible, even to those who examine these things for a living. And yes, Reagan was part of the cause of at least one of today’s greatest economic problems – income disparity, although Conservatives don’t seem to feel that it’s a problem at all. Something about, “let them eat cake”, I think.

  14. Rincon says:

    BTW, by at least one important measure, Obama’s economy beats Trump’s. During its last 3 years, the Obama economy saw close to double the real wage growth that Trump has seen so far. https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2018/06/30/the-rich-world-needs-higher-real-wage-growth

  15. bc says:

    Trump is sitting in the big chair now so he gets the credit for today. Obama sat in it before so he gets the credit for climbing out of the recession and Bush gets the credit for getting us into the recession.

    The recession had been building for several years with the cost of housing rising far faster than income, was only a matter of time until the price outstripped what folks could pay and with the financing of this “irrational exuberance” being so much less than solid, not a surprise that it all fell into a heap. Given the politics of the time I am not sure that Bush could have prevented the housing collapse, but it would have been better if he had tried.

    Bush pushed through the tools needed to deal with the crisis that was exploding at the end of his term, Obama used these tools to keep the worst recession in half a century from turning into a full blown global depression.

    Obama believed that regulation of the economy was the path to prosperity and social justice, a likely factor in the slower pace of growth than in most recoveries. Trump has worked to reduce the amount of regulations and corporate taxes to let the economy grow at a stronger pace, a result that has so far proved correct. The lack of fiscal sanity in his budget along with his penchant for trade wars may well prove the undoing of his economic miracle, time will tell.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Bush not only didn’t try to prevent the housing crisis, he did all he could to ensure that it happened. Its important to remember that “a home for every American” was part of the republican message suggesting that the fact that Americans were able to buy homes, meant that republicans were doing a good job with the economy. There was no way that they were going to do anything to undermine their message about how good they were with the economy but that meant that they weren’t going to be able to intervene to prevent the bubble from bursting until long after it was too late.

    But we will have to disagree that Trumps actions of reducing regulations and corporate taxes have resulted in anything “good” because rules don’t just “happen”. Those rules came only AFTER something “bad” happened whether it was people stealing, robbing, cheating, or otherwise, a rule is only instituted to prevent something in the future, that has already happened. And usually, happened ALOT with lots of bad consequences, otherwise there wouldn’t be the call for a rule. Getting rid of a rule, that came about only after all the bad happened, is merely re-opening the flood-gates for it to happen again. There may be some short term benefit, to a very few people, while the rule is gone, but inevitably, the problem will simply reappear, the consequences will follow and the many will again be adversely affected all so that a very few people can benefit biggly.

    It reminds me of a guy that says “I’m just going to stop paying my taxes” thinking that, for the next few paychecks, he’s just going to make out like a bandit. That’s Trump.

  17. Rincon says:

    Thomas: I believe the difference between our graphs is that the one from the Economist shows real wage growth, i.e., after taking inflation into account. The graph from Trading Economics is just labeled, “Wages and salary growth.

  18. Rincon says:

    I think you’re both mostly right. The question of whether Trump’s management is yielding, “a result that has so far proved correct.” can only be properly judged after a goodly amount of time has passed. After, all, Bush looked equally as good in 2006. At this time, no one can be sure whether Trump’s and Congress’ actions are correct or not.

  19. bc says:

    the “Home for every American” was pretty bipartisan. Both sides believe that home ownership is a key to stability and wealth growth and both sides have always encouraged it.

    My experience with rules from the Feds is not nearly as benevolent as you indicate. There needs to be rules in place, as a superintendent told me in my younger days in construction “rules are what keep us all honest”.

    Fed rule makers are in the business to make rules; in many of the areas of life that they have laid down rules the easy low hanging fruit has been plucked long ago. In their quest to continue to make the world perfect through rule making, and stay relevant and employed, the rules tend to get overly complicated and rely on assumptions that do not work in reality. You get rules based on the concept that “if a small portion of people are safer by doing “x”, we’ll make everybody do “x” and that will make everybody safer, but in reality “x” only helps the small portion of folks and the rest are saddled with extra cost, headaches and inconvenience that do not benefit either themselves or society as a whole.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I’d say it’s harder to get a rule made today at the federal level than any time since I’ve been alive. And it’s been made more difficult over the last 30 years in part because of the partisanship and in part because one side doesn’t see their job description as including the making of laws but rather getting rid of laws.

    Ironically, it is the incredible changes that are happening so quickly today, and during the last 40 years that make new rules absolutely essential.

    As a single examples during the last housing crisis, an absolute previously unknown “security” instrument, the CDO began to be used. Some saw this instrument as potentially destructive and wanted it regulated but the bush administration balked and refused. These unregulated securities played a large role in the eventual meltdown.

    Course even after, few changes to regulate CDOs have been instituted mostly because they are profitable for the people that have the most influence on the people making the law even while the consequences from the lawmakers failures fall on the masses.

    As do most of the consequences; the very few benefit, and the rest of us pay the bills.

  21. bc says:

    You may be right when it comes to securities, Lot of money and visibility may make rulemaking more difficult. Not always a bad thing.

    I work for a truck manufacturer. During the Bush administration the Feds approached the industry about shortening the stopping distance of trucks, so when a driver hits the brakes in a panic stop the truck will stop faster and cover less distance before stopping. After a lot of discussions with industry the Feds said that this will be the new rule and set the date. Technically the rules were challenging, but after some serious work and engineering the industry met the new rules and now trucks are safer. The Feds believed that technology had advanced enough to make a change and industry answered the challenge. A good example of rulemaking.

    During the Obama administration the Feds looked at the driver. Commercial drivers have always been required to have regular physicals. The driver went to his or her doctor, the doctor did a regular physical and filled out a form. There were medical issues that can disqualify a driver but for someone in decent health most of them can be treated without any serious issues.

    The first change that the Feds did during this time was that the driver can no longer go to his or her regular Dr., they must now go to a Dr. on the Feds list. The next change was if the driver is over 40 and snores when they sleep, then they must go to a clinic and have a sleep study (cost about $1,000) and then be treated for sleep apnea for even more money. They must wear the mask every night and they must prove to the Dr. that they wear it at least 70% of the time, the mask has a chip that tracks how much it is used and that chip must be turned into the Fed Dr. on a regular basis. This is not their own Dr. prescribing this treatment after discussions with the patient, this is the fed Dr. commanding them to undergo this treatment,

    It does not matter that only a small percentage of people really have health issues requiring treatment for sleep apnea, the feds have decreed that these working class folks must follow their rules and there is no appeal. They are bullying and badgering these folks simply because they can. They have to show that they are making regulations to justify their position and since there is no visibility, the feds can do what they want. Whatever happened to having a choice on medical treatments?

    You may think that it is very difficult for the Federal Government to create a regulation, That is not what I see here at my level. In my job I see some regulations in the European Market as well, what I see there is worse than here and I am not surprised to see the beginnings of a revolt against Brussels.

  22. Rincon says:

    Both of your examples are good ones, bc, and they highlight how rule making itself has failed to enter the 21st century. I suspect the truck driver rules were made to address a very real problem, but the feds, who require extensive documentation from so many other people may have failed to do enough documentation of their own.

    Before formulating these rules, these questions are critical, but I suspect were inadequately answered by the bureaucrats: How many people are injured or killed by drowsy truck drivers. How many of these drowsy drivers were caused by sleep apnea? How effective are the sleep apnea treatments? How many lives and injuries would the rules likely save? The costs of the proposed rules and the costs of the lack of rules must be weighed, and the most important piece of information is missing – and unnecessarily so: How much spending is worth each life and injury saved? It cannot be an infinite number, but a number should be agreed upon and consistently applied in all situations, not just trucking regulations.

    And finally, the simplest question: Why not just install the recently available and reasonably priced drowsiness detectors on the trucks in question? It might also pay to develop drowsiness detection technology based on eye movements. Although somewhat expensive, it might quickly pay for itself if it was effective enough that some of the rules regarding number of hours driven could be modified or scrapped. I suspect drowsiness is only loosely related to number of hours of driving.

  23. Anonymous says:


    That was an interesting story and there’s probably more to the story but nonetheless thanks.

    Another story though, from your own field of endeavor, is illustrative I think of how republicans especially are ignoring the dangers that are very likely to occur in your industry and it will be a very long time, and many deaths from now, that the issue will be addressed.

    I’ll preface this by saying I love technology and innovation and there is certainly a line at which too much regulation can interfere with progress and drawing that line is difficult and one that needs to take in lots of considerations and the efforts of well intentioned people.

    The Trump administration on Thursday wrapped trucks into its updated driverless vehicle policy, saying it will “no longer assume” that a commercial motor vehicle driver has to be a human or that a trucker — or anyone else — necessarily needs to be in the cab.

    The administration said it would work to ease the federal process for exempting trucks and other vehicles from existing safety standards that might inhibit the use of automation, as long as companies can make the case that their vehicles are likely to achieve “an equivalent level of safety.”


    So here’s my problem; voluntary rules, or rules that permit voluntary compliance, are effectively no rules at all. Many on the right have for years wrangled laws that make the companies responsible for monitoring and reporting violations of the law and this, in my opinion,would be akin to permitting child molestors the same privilege. A business is in business to make money and some naive (at best) belief, that a company is going to report themselves for violating some law or rule that will subject them to further scrutiny or penalties is simply irrational.

    Your own industry will, in the very near future, he undergoing tremendous changes including removing drivers from trucks. Do you really believe making adherence to rules voluntary, for these new automated vehicles, is going to make the roads safer?

    Again, just another single example of an area where rules are necessary and certainly where permitting some “voluntary” adherence to the rules is ignorant.

  24. bc says:

    Driverless trucks are coming just a matter of time. What they will likely entail is long haul trucks where the driver turns on an autopilot or something. Cars are coming as well.

    You ask about voluntary rules, under the assumption that they have no impact on a company’s actions. Some regulations need to be in place, minimum safety requirements for example that require all of us to be able to meet a standard and follow the same the test procedure to be sure that we can compare our results to the standard.

    Voluntary standards do have their place. I am not advocating voluntary standards for driverless vehicles, myself I believe that those who believe that this is an easy thing to design and implement are very misguided, but you miss a critical part of the voluntary standard. When a product fails to meet a standard, even a voluntary standard, there can be very strong consequences to the maker both in damage to reputation and exposure to lawsuits from consumers and government. Most of industry actually would rather have real regulations rather than “Voluntary” regulations because that levels the playing field in a competitive industry. The question is do the regulations make sense and does industry have some say in those regulations.

    As for Rincon’s questions about sleep apnea, yes, reducing drowsiness is the goal of the regulations. For those few who are truly affected by throat structure issues sleep apnea is a real problem and treatment is called for and is very helpful. Federal Regulators have extrapolated the issues faced by a very few with a serious problem over the greater population and imagined some magic number of lives saved by forcing the population of older drivers to undergo a medical treatment they have no need or desire to undergo, the decision to undergo this treatment does not come as a result of discussions between a patient and his or her own doctor but by a nameless regulator in DC and there is no recourse.

    The example was not to discuss the merits of this one issue but to propose that many regulations are written without sound science and consideration behind them but rather are written to “do something” to fix an issue. Much of the push for PPAP treatment for drivers came from the accident between the Walmart truck and Tracy Morgan when the driver fell asleep on the road. A crash that was an unbelievably preventable tragedy but had nothing to do with sleep apnea.

    In our industry we are installing equipment in our vehicles that sense when the driver is dosing off; lane departure warnings, automatic braking application along with automatic driver time logging devices that require drivers to stop when legally required, the use of which is now federally mandated. I would imagine that if the technology can be developed to sense drowsiness based on eye movement we will incorporate that as well.

    We are at the early stages of great changes in our industry. Advanced safety systems, alternative fuels and yes, driverless technology make it an exciting time to be in trucks.

    As for driverless vehicles, remember that as soon as the driver’s hands come off the wheel the driver will be watching videos or working on a computer. This is the same for cars as for trucks. The Tesla driver that killed himself a year or two ago was watching a video when he crashed.

  25. Anonymous says:


    I appreciate your considered opinion regarding these issues and it’s clear that your own experience has given you valuable insight.

    My experience is somewhat differwnt however and as yet another example of why I believe as I do; that rule making in this country is far more difficult than it ought to be, and that it typically follows years of harms done, I offer the following for your consideration:

    An example involving a decades long effort to put rules in place to regulate generators. The kinds people use when their power goes out. Beginning sometime around the year 2000, the Consumer Products Safety Commission realized that people using generators in enclosed spaces were dying at alarming rates because the emissions from the generators, the deadliest ones anyway, were odorless so they would build up without people knowing it and the people were dying. A VERY interesting look into the efforts by this government agency charged with overseeing every household item used in homes today, over the course of more than 16 years.

    “To make any rule, the CPSC is required to conduct a cost-benefit analysis. In this case, the commission estimated that new portable-generator restrictions would save $145 million annually, accounting for the government-computed value of the lives saved. (The industry took issue with those figures.) The commission rarely votes on mandatory rules. Indeed, Congress requires the agency to try to get industries to implement voluntary standards first. But the portable-generator makers had not done so.”


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