Not Too Shabby

In many ways the Republican Party is splitting apart at the seams. There is one thing that unites all of its elements and Donald Trump is trying to exploit it. That thing is their hatred of Barack Obama. Much of it is based on racism. That is more than conjecture on my part. If racism and other prejudices were not major motivations of the GOP base Trump’s dog whistle (and often much more obvious) language would not have worked so well. Another is just the hatred of liberals who are more likely to help workers, raise taxes and try to protect the environment. All of those are inconsistent with insatiable greed.

Trump, along with other Republicans love to criticize the Obama administration. If you listened to them you would think Obama was as incompetent as, well, say George W. Bush. They like to link what in their verbiage is Obama’s dismal performance on the economy and the woes of less educated, older white workers who blame the system for everything.

First off, Obama is not running for President in 2016. His name will not appear on the ballot in any of the 50 states or the District of Columbia. If you write his name in you may as well write in Mickey Mouse. Obama is constitutionally ineligible to serve. Besides I think he and Michelle are looking forward to an active early retirement.

While I will admit I wish the recovery had included good jobs for many more Americans it is still difficult to fault Obama. Obama took office on January 20, 2009. In the last three quarters of 2008 and first four quarters of 2009 the American economy lost about 4.5 million jobs or an average of 750,000 jobs a month. Today only 17 American cities have a population of over 750,000 and they are located in just 9 states. Chances are your state’s largest city has a population smaller than the number of jobs we lost every month during that time period. Seeing as to how Obama wasn’t even in office for the first 3 and 2/3 months of that six month period and it takes time for his moves to take effect I think it is fair to blame all of that loss on the last Republican President, George W. Bush.

After seven and one half years of Obama’s rule we have added over 10 million private sector jobs while shrinking the government work force by 400,000. While Reagan had a better number for overall job growth numbers than Obama, (and Bill Clinton still better than him), Reagan had the help of adding over 1.4 million government jobs.

It is difficult to fairly evaluate the job creating performance of Presidents because they take over and preside during such different times. There is even a school of thought that contends you can’t really credit or blame a president for job growth or lack thereof during their administration. However here is the bottom line: we recovered from the second worse economic downturn in our history under Obama and have more jobs today than the day he took over despite taking over “in a hole”.

Obama did an admirable job as steward of the economy and, based on his history, there is absolutely no reason to believe that Trump would do nearly as well let alone better. In fact if you want to look at history having Bill Clinton sleeping in the White House again and advising Hillary sounds like a much better bet.

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