Donald Trump is the living embodiment of the concept that if you repeat a lie loudly and often, more people will believe it. He attributes his political success to this tragic weakness of human material.Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe!
And boy has Trump given some bullshit. In terms of seriousness, something like claiming that the violent mob of his supporters bent on overthrowing democracy was “patriotic and peaceful” is probably over the top.
Still, one of Trump’s many crass lies has had so much purchase even beyond the motley ranks of his most ardent supporters: that he is far better than any Democratic challenger at promoting economic growth.
Trump repeatedly promised that his policies would result in annual economic growth of more than 3%. He didn’t.
During the first three years of Trump’s presidency, before the pandemic hit, the average quarterly economic growth rate was 2.5%. This was roughly the same rate of growth during Obama’s second term, when quarterly economic growth averaged 2.4%.
Overall GDP grew by only 1.6% during Trump’s entire term. This was the lowest growth rate in office of any president since Herbert Hoover (although it is not entirely fair to blame the economic effects of the pandemic on Trump).
There were a few quarters in which growth temporarily exceeded 3% under Trump, and one really anomalous quarter during which GDP recovered the pandemic-related decline from the previous quarter. But it never had the sustained growth of “greater than 3%” that Trump had promised during his campaign, and it certainly did not have “the greatest economy in the history of our country” as Trump repeatedly claimed. Have done.
Meanwhile, what is the latest quarterly growth rate under the Joe Biden presidency? A blockbuster 5.2%.
Although the 5.2% quarterly growth rate was quite high by historical standards, it will take some time to calculate final numbers for 2023, and growth was significantly slower in 2022. Nevertheless, the first year of the Biden presidency, 2021, saw the US economy grow by 5.7% – the largest full-year economic expansion since 1984. The one-quarter booming economy during the Biden presidency is not a fluke or temporary anomaly. Biden has been able to achieve the sustained rate of growth that Trump promised but was never able to achieve himself.
Of course, if you’re determined to convince yourself that the economy was better under Trump than under Biden, there are several ways to do so. Perhaps the most popular point is that inflation has been high.
Although the Fed seems to have inflation under control now, it was actually a problem. Still, you can pick any metric and tie it to the health of the overall economy until the cows come home. Sure, inflation was higher under Biden than Trump, but so was unemployment – you could go on all day.
However, on this narrow criterion, there is no need to endlessly redefine what exactly constitutes the “economy” or debate about its overall status. Trump made a very specific promise: economic growth above 3%. We can and do measure this with some accuracy, and we know that Trump failed to achieve his goals while he was president.
Biden, on the other hand, has achieved sustained economic growth rates above 3%. He defeated Trump at his own game. It is a bit foolish to judge a president too harshly when it comes to GDP growth, as many factors beyond any president’s control affect the growth rate of the economy. Likewise, when Trump is losing by his own standards, it’s worth pointing out.
Unfortunately for Biden, the lie that Trump brought something magical to the economy is particularly persistent. Poll after poll shows that more Americans trust Trump than Biden on the economy.
The people responding to these polls who expressed their confidence in Trump are disappointingly, tragically wrong. But there’s one thing we should all have learned over the last eight years: If you have a MAGA in your heart, no amount of data or facts or objective reality is going to change your mind.
Jonathan Wolf is a civil litigator and author Your debt-free JD (affiliate link). He has taught legal writing, written for a variety of publications, and made being financially and scientifically literate both his business and his joy. Any views he expresses are probably pure gold, but are nonetheless entirely his own and should not be attributed to any organization with which he is affiliated. He wouldn’t want to share the credit anyway. can be reached [email protected],