Ed Rogers may or may not have written the headline “Everything is Obama’s fault,” but Rogers explains why the headline is accurate:
One of the questions I get all the time is: “How did we get here?” How did Donald Trump get the most votes? What is it that made a gadfly like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) come so close to picking off Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries? Why did their messages resonate? Well, there are political consequences to economic malaise. But don’t take my word for it. Leon Wieseltier, the Isaiah Berlin senior fellow in culture and policy at the Brookings Institution, wrote a smart, in-depth piece outlining how the white working class, in particular, has suffered economically in the past decade, with that personal suffering translating into “the enthusiasm of these despairing and deluded millions” for Trump. In other words, the rise of Trump and a host of other problems are President Obama’s fault. Let’s face it: There aren’t many problems that money won’t help solve. A lot of our country’s problems are because Obama deprived the economy of a lot of money. Period.
This month, Obama stood in Indiana and claimed that the U.S. economy is better than it was eight years ago. That may be true for Wall Street, but eight years ago we were in a recession, and today, many Americans on Main Street can’t tell the difference between the recession and the so-called recovery. The fact is, the economic recovery under Obama has been historically weak. TheJoint Economic Committee calculated that GDP growth under Obama has averaged only 2.2 percent. Well, GDP growth in the United States since 1948 has averaged approximately 3.2 percent. So during his time as president, if Obama had just managed to achieve the average economic growth since 1948, GDP growth would have been at least 1 percent higher each year. In 2015, an additional 1 percent of GDP growth translated to an approximately $170 billion increase in economic activity, give or take. If you multiply that by six, you get an idea of how much money is missing from our economy because of this administration’s failed policies.
Imagine what the United States and even the world would be like today if we would have had another $170 billion of economic activity per year for the past six years. Imagine all the paychecks that weren’t cut, the raises and bonuses that weren’t given, all the goods and services that were not purchased and the inequality that festered. Think about the erosion of the middle class and how much the national debt has skyrocketed. That all created the conditions for the rise of Trump and Sanders as well as a lot of uncertainty and unrest. And that’s just here at home. Our stagnant economy has also had a global impact, slowing the world economy and creating untold other consequences. What about the Brexit referendum? The mounting tensions with China? Who knows what would have been different if economic growth in the United States had been average or better than average under Obama.
The president and the Democrats are either oblivious or dishonest when they talk about their “economic success.” In what will probably be Obama’s most lasting legacy, he has run up the national debt by $10 trillion — more than all our other presidents combined — leaving future generations weighed down by the Obama debt. He has stifled small businesses with excessive taxation, perpetuated a punitive regulatory regime enhanced by a pointless passion for global warming initiatives and acted with an anti-business bias that has all amalgamated to slow growth and spread discontent across the country.
A bad economy has political consequences. Donald Trump is just one of them, but unfortunately, we won’t know the price we will ultimately pay for Obama’s destructive and reckless economic policies for years to come.