Since taking office, Trump has said on more than one occasion that he inherited a mess from President Obama. I have run across Trump supporters in comment sections repeating this absurd assertion, once again proving that Turmpland is a fact-free amusement park where you can believe any old thing you want. The earth is 6,000 year’s old? Sure. Dinosaurs and people coexisted? Okay. There’s no such thing as human-influenced climate change? You betcha. Barack Obama left Trump a country in the midst of economic ruin? Why not?
I am not a huge Obama fan, and I believe some of his decisions during his tenure were misguided and not in the best interests of America BUT, for Trump to claim Obama left him a mess simply flies in the face of reality. And let’s also try and be honest about President Obama’s tenure. During his eight years in the White House, the man was faced with a Republican congress that tried, and in many cases succeeded, in thwarting the President’s policy agenda at every turn. The fact that Obama got as much done as he did seems amazing based on his relentless opposition in congress. And the economic mess that George Bush left behind (remember 2008?) put Barack in a hole before he even started.
What Trump actually inherited is a country with an economic expansion that was the third longest on record; an economy that had been adding jobs every month for the past six years; and a federal deficit that had sharply declined from a high of 9.8 percent at the height of the last recession to 3.2 percent last year. In addition, worker wages have been climbing for the past four years and the median household income jumped 5.2 percent in 2014-2015 (the last years records are available).
This isn’t to say everything was rosy when Obama left Washington. Unemployment, income inequality and sluggish growth remained problematic, but has anyone heard from Trump solutions to these issues that don’t involve massive program cuts and tax breaks for the wealthy? No, the mess is currently underway and will only get worse over time. Trump’s plan for the economy will work just as well as Bush’s did, with huge, untenable deficits, declining jobs and wages falling further behind the rising cost of living.
The one who is going to inherit a mess is the president following Trump.