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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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