Obama on Republicans, Democrats recessions and Trump economy claims

Trump obamaPablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

  • Former President Barack Obama pushed back on Republicans
    attempts to take credit for recent economic strength during a
    speech Monday.
  • “So when you hear all this talk about economic miracles right
    now, remember who started it,” Obama said.
  • Obama also made the argument that Democrats in general are
    forced to “clean up” after Republicans hurt the economy.
  • “I do think it’s interesting, I just hope people notice that
    every time there’s a pattern where they run things into the
    ground and we have to come back and clean things up,” he said.
  • While a majority of recessions since 1950 began while a
    Republican was president, it’s hard to pin an economic downturn
    just on a president’s — or one party’s — policies at the time.

Former President Barack Obama once again disputed Republicans’
attempts to take credit for the US economy’s recent strength.

Obama, speaking at a midterm-election rally in Nevada, said
Monday that President Donald Trump and the GOP should recognize
just how long the current economy recovery has been going on and
when the recovery began.

“So by the time I left office, wages were rising, the uninsured
rate was falling, poverty was falling, and that’s what I handed
off to the next guy,” Obama said. “So when you hear all this talk
about economic miracles right now, remember who started it.”

This isn’t the first time Obama has weighed in when Trump has
taken credit for the strong US economy. During
a speech in September
, the former president pointed out that
the recent stretch of job growth numbers
are roughly equal
to Obama’s last few years in office.

In essence, Obama is arguing that the recent boom is
simply a continuation
of the
long upswing that began
when he was in office.

Republicans, by contrast, argue that policies enacted under Trump
— specifically deregulatory acts and the GOP tax law — are
materially improving the economy over the trend lines from the
Obama era.

Obama also zoomed out and pointed to historical trends in
economic downturns as further evidence of Democrats supposed
advantage on economic issues.

“I do think it’s interesting, I just hope people notice that
every time there’s a pattern where they run things into the
ground and we have to come back and clean things up,” Obama told
a crowd in Nevada.

While it’s nearly impossible to pin the blame for various
recessions on one president or political party, nine of the 10 official
did start while a Republican was in the White
House (the lone exception being the 1980 recession that began
under Jimmy Carter).

It would be unfair, however, to pin the blame for recessions on
newly-elected presidents. For instance, George W. Bush was
inaugurated just two months before the recession triggered by
dot-com bubble burst
 officially began. Additionally,
during many of these downturns, Congress was at least partly
controlled by Democrats.

But again, a president’s policies can contribute to a downturn,
but a variety of factors — monetary policy, international events,
credit growth, and a slew of other issues — help contribute to
the onset of a recession.

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