News & Politics

The Media Is Trying to Credit Obama for Trump's Booming Economy

President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump shake hands following their meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Ever since Barack Obama entered the national stage, he’s enjoyed a media so smitten with him that they’ve done everything they could to cover up or ignore anything that could reflect poorly on him. The lack of vetting by the media made it possible for his meteoric rise to the presidency despite his lack of experience and extreme views. Their infatuation with him meant that eight years of scandals that would have been covered mercilessly for other presidents were instead ignored, downplayed, or excused. Obama’s talking points were repeated unquestioningly. When Obama claimed he saved the auto industry, that Obamacare was working, or that Iran Nuclear Deal was a good idea, they echoed him like lemmings.

But don’t think that because Obama is out of office that they’ve stopped covering for his failures. Nope. They’re still at it, working aggressively to paint the narrative that the strong economy we’re experiencing right now should be credited to Obama.

Investor’s Business Daily elaborated on this phenomenon:

A recent New York Times story says it all: “An Economic Upturn Begun Under Obama Is Now Trump’s To Tout.”

The article begins by admitting that “by nearly every standard measure, the American economy is doing well,” then spends the next 1,400 words arguing that the current good times have nothing to do with Trump’s economic agenda.

The economy, reporter Patricia Cohen declares, “is following the upward trajectory begun under President Barack Obama.”

Upward trajectory?

We seem to recall that the economy was stagnating in 2016 after the weakest recovery from a recession since the Great Depression.

This is how the New York Times described it in the summer of 2016: “For three quarters in a row, the growth rate of the economy has hovered around a mere 1%. In the last quarter of 2015 and the first quarter of 2016, the economy expanded at feeble annual rates of 0.9% and 0.8%, respectively. The initial reading for the second quarter of this year, released on Friday, was a disappointing 1.2%.” GDP growth for 2016 was a paltry 1.6 percent, the weakest in five years. So, what upward trajectory are they talking about? There were other indicators of stagnation, too: “Stocks had flatlined in 2016, with major indexes down slightly. Real median household income dropped that year, according to Sentier Research.”

Economic growth during Obama’s presidency was so bad that the media covered for him by claiming that mediocre economic growth was the new normal. In September 2016, CBS News reported that “with U.S. economic growth stuck in low gear for several years, it’s leading many economists to worry that the country has entered a prolonged period where any expansion will be weaker than it has been in the past.”

In short, there was no upward trajectory to the economy on anyone’s radar when Trump took office.

Now that the economy is outperforming everyone’s expectations, Trump’s critics want to pretend that the current boom was already baked in the cake.

We are the first to admit that the impact of federal policies take time to show up in the economy. But the fact is that optimism surged across the board as soon as pro-growth Trump won the election over stay-the-stagnant-course Hillary Clinton.

Now, after Trump’s deregulation and tax cuts are starting to take effect, we’re seeing still more signs of stronger growth.

Despite the media’s efforts to credit Obama for the Trump economy, polls show that Americans aren’t buying it. According to Rasmussen, “With the unemployment rate still among 18-year lows and the Dow Jones Industrial Average still among all-time highs, voters are slowly giving President Trump more credit than President Obama for the improving economy, though there remains a stark partisan divide.”