President Donald Trump loves to tout the strong economy as a supposed hallmark of the supposed success he has enacted in the United States — but there’s more to the story than that. A close analysis of the numbers reveals that for Trump’s first just over two years in office, he has presided over significantly less jobs getting added to the U.S. economy than Barack Obama presided over during his final little more than two years in office. On average since Trump’s first full month in office of February 2017, there have been 194,000 jobs added per month — while on average in Obama’s last months in office, there were 221,000 jobs added per month. That adds up to Obama leading Trump by about 810,000 jobs, and if the present trend continues through the end of the year, the lead seems poised to cross one million.
The rate at which jobs have been added to the U.S. economy has slowed over recent months; the average for the last 12 months is 192,000 a month while the average for the last three months is just 171,000 per month.
The real situation is a far cry from the situation Trump has claimed is unfolding in which he’s cleaning up the “Obama-Biden mess,” which he’s termed that in preparation for possibly facing Obama’a second-in-command, Joe Biden, in the 2020 general election. Biden is running his campaign on the idea that he will bring a real voice back to middle class and overall lower income Americans who Trump has ignored despite promising not to.
More numbers back this idea up — in the generally Midwestern counties that flipped from Obama to Trump heading into the 2016 election, there’s been no dramatic uptick in the local economic condition. In fact, it’s gotten worse — these counties have all experienced “slower growth in employment, a slower rise in the number of [businesses], and a more pervasive decline in prime-age workers than consistently Democratic or Republican counties.”
Still, Trump isn’t letting up with his claims that he’s enacted some kind of economic utopia. He and those closest to him like to point to the improving stock market as supposed evidence that he’s done great things for the United States — but what about the many, many people who have no stake in the stock market whatsoever and are instead living basically paycheck to paycheck? He likes to also point to the low unemployment numbers, which clearly began their decline under Obama — but what about the people who are underemployed and/or having to work more than one job just to make ends meet?
Democratic presidential candidates have promised to address these issues if elected. During a recent debate, California Senator Kamala Harris said she would reverse the massive tax break Trump gave the wealthy in the United States on the first day she was in office if elected. That late 2017 tax reform package sent corporate taxes plummeting to their lowest level in decades — and surprise, there’s been no kind of magical development in which “trickle-down economics” means anything in the real world.
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