Former President Barack Obama once again disputed Republicans’ attempts to take credit for the US economy’s recent strength.
Obama, speaking at a midterm-election rally in Nevada, said Monday that President Donald Trump and the GOP should recognize just how long the current economy recovery has been going on and when the recovery began.
“So by the time I left office, wages were rising, the uninsured rate was falling, poverty was falling, and that’s what I handed off to the next guy,” Obama said. “So when you hear all this talk about economic miracles right now, remember who started it.”
This isn’t the first time Obama has weighed in when Trump has taken credit for the strong US economy. During a speech in September, the former president pointed out that the recent stretch of job growth numbers are roughly equal to Obama’s last few years in office.
Republicans, by contrast, argue that policies enacted under Trump — specifically deregulatory acts and the GOP tax law — are materially improving the economy over the trend lines from the Obama era.
Obama also zoomed out and pointed to historical trends in economic downturns as further evidence of Democrats supposed advantage on economic issues.
“I do think it’s interesting, I just hope people notice that every time there’s a pattern where they run things into the ground and we have to come back and clean things up,” Obama told a crowd in Nevada.
While it’s nearly impossible to pin the blame for various recessions on one president or political party, nine of the 10 official recessions did start while a Republican was in the White House (the lone exception being the 1980 recession that began under Jimmy Carter).
It would be unfair, however, to pin the blame for recessions on newly-elected presidents. For instance, George W. Bush was inaugurated just two months before the recession triggered by the dot-com bubble burst officially began. Additionally, during many of these downturns, Congress was at least partly controlled by Democrats.
But again, a president’s policies can contribute to a downturn, but a variety of factors — monetary policy, international events, credit growth, and a slew of other issues — help contribute to the onset of a recession.