Trump vs. Obama on the Economy. Read Wayne Winegarden’s Analysis in The Hill

Trump vs. Obama on the Economy. Read Wayne Winegarden’s Analysis in The Hill

Trump, Obama spar over economy. Who’s right?

By Niv Elis

By many metrics, the economy is booming, and both President Trump and former President Obama want you to know that they are the one to thank.

Under Trump, the stock market hit new highs, the unemployment rate dropped to lows not seen in decades, and consumer and business confidence has soared.

“The Economy is soooo good, perhaps the best in our country’s history (remember, it’s the economy stupid!),” Trump tweeted last week, before blasting Democrats over their own economic bona fides.

But, Obama says, Trump’s achievements may not have been so significant if he hadn’t come into office with an economy that was already humming along smoothly. Obama inherited the worst recession since the 1930s, he often reminds voters, and helped turn it around.

“When you hear how great the economy is doing right now, let’s just remember when this recovery started,” Obama said in remarks at the University of Illinois last week.

So who’s right?

Economists and experts say both presidents make good points, but both are also wrong to a certain degree . . .

Trump’s economic policies have their critics, especially when it comes to trade relations, an area where Trump has entered a high-stakes game of tit-for-tat tariffs with major trading partners like China and the European Union.

“If you don’t see a trade war, I think what you’re going to see is a pivot point around where these policies took place,” said Wayne Winegarden, senior fellow in business and economics at the right-leaning Pacific Research Institute. “But we need time to let those policies play out.”

. . . And while Trump inherited a strong economy from Obama, Obama took the oath of office in the midst of a global economic and financial crisis.

“President Obama came into one of the worst financial disasters we’ve had in a very long time, undoubtedly, and the economy certainly recovered during that time,” said Winegarden, adding that he thought growth during the Obama years was inhibited by regulation and taxes.

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