Trump Blasts Obama 'Con Job,' As Ex-President Takes Credit for Economic Boom

Susan Jones | February 18, 2020 | 8:14am EST
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(Photo: Screen capture)
(Photo: Screen capture)

( - "Did you hear the latest con job?" President Donald Trump asked in one of his Monday tweets.

"President Obama is now trying to take credit for the Economic Boom taking place under the Trump Administration. He had the WEAKEST recovery since the Great Depression, despite Zero Fed Rate & MASSIVE quantitative easing. NOW, best jobs numbers ever. Had to rebuild our military, which was totally depleted. Fed Rate UP, taxes and regulations WAY DOWN. If Dems won in 2016, the USA would be in big economic (Depression?) & military trouble right now. THE BEST IS YET TO COME. KEEP AMERICA GREAT!"


Trump was responding to the following tweet from Obama on Monday:

"Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history."

Obama and his fellow Democrats thus signaled they will try to convince voters that the Trump economy, spurred by tax cuts, optimism, and record low unemployment -- is just a continuation of the Obama economy.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which President Obama signed into law in February 2009, called for $787 billion in new spending on infrastructure (shovel-ready projects that -- as Obama later joked -- were "not as shovel-ready as we expected").

The so-called stimulus also funded education and expanded the food stamp program, among others; and it spent millions on renewable energy programs. (Remember Solyndra, the solar panel firm that received $535 million from taxpayers two years before filing for bankruptcy and laying off 11,000 employees?)

According to a report from the Congressional Budget Office in February 2015, ARRA's policies had the following effects in calendar year 2014 compared with what would have happened without the stimulus:

-- ARRA raised real (inflation-adjusted) gross domestic product (GDP) by between a small fraction of a percent and 0.2 percent;

-- ARRA lowered the unemployment rate by an amount between a small fraction of a percentage point and 0.2 percentage points;

-- ARRA increased the number of people employed by between 0.1 million (100,000) and 0.3 million (300,000);

-- ARRA increased the number of full-time-equivalent jobs by between a slight amount and 0.2 million (200,000).

CBO said ARRA's effects on output "peaked in the first half of 2010 and have since diminished." And CBO estimated that the "employment effects began to wane at the end of 2010 and continued to do so through 2014."

In a section on ARRA’s "long-run effects," CBO said: "ARRA will reduce output slightly in the long between zero and 0.2 percent after 2016. But CBO expects that the legislation will have no long-term effects on employment..."

CBO estimated that "ARRA's long-run impact on the economy will stem primarily from the resulting increase in government debt."

In October 2016, one month before the presidential election, a Gallup poll found that Americans cited the economy more than any other issue as the country's most important problem, followed by dissatisfaction with the government.

Other Gallup polls show how Americans' optimism about the economy increased significantly after Trump took office.

President Trump routinely touts the soaring stock market and the plunging unemployment rate at his campaign rallies. But as has reported, the federal government spent a record $1,163,090,000,000 in the first three months of fiscal 2020 (October through December).

With the record spending in the October-through-December period exceeding the third-highest tax collections in history, the federal government ran a deficit of $356,578,000,000 during the period.

In its 2020-2030 budget and economic outlook, the Congressional Budget Office projects that the federal budget deficit will be $1.0 trillion in 2020 and average $1.3 trillion between 2021 and 2030. Projected deficits rise from 4.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2020 to 5.4 percent in 2030.

Because of the large deficits, CBO said, federal debt held by the public is projected to grow from 81 percent of GDP in 2020 to 98 percent in 2030 (its highest percentage since 1946). By 2050, debt would be 180 percent of GDP -- far higher than it has ever been.

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