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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Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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