Politics

Obama’s Disastrous Economic Legacy

High unemployment, high welfare dependency, low growth

With less than a year before President Obama leaves office, it is now clear that he has been terrible for the American economy.

“The simple fact is that in terms of economic growth, Barack Obama has been one of the worst presidents in American history.”

Obama touted 74 straight months of job growth on Friday, before declaring on Saturday that “our economy has recovered from crisis stronger than almost any other in the world,” during a commencement address at Howard University.

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But even presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton thinks the economy is broken, telling Anderson Cooper on May 5 that she is running “to really deal with the economy, get it working again.”

Indeed, while Obama’s presidency has been a stunning success in growing racial tension and political polarization, it has been an utter failure when it comes to growing the economy. GDP growth in the first quarter of 2016 was only .5 percent, down from an already embarrassing 1.4 percent growth in the final quarter of 2015.

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Obama’s pointing to job growth as a sign of economic success is misleading in the extreme. While the unemployment rate has improved since Obama took office — dropping from 7.9 percent in January 2009 to 5 percent in April 2016 — record numbers of Americans have simply given up looking for work.

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The Labor Force Participation Rate was just below 66 percent when Obama took office; now it’s down to just under 63 percent. Moreover, the percentage of families in which no one is employed grew from 17.8 when Obama took office to 19.7 in by the end of 2015, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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Small businesses, the backbone of the American economy, have suffered greatly during Obama’s presidency, in part due to the Obama administration’s overbearing regulations.

The number of small businesses (defined as any enterprise with fewer than 500 employees) that hire workers — employer small businesses — has decreased at a staggering pace since Obama took office.

In 2007, there were approximately 18 million employer small businesses in America. By 2010, there were approximately 16 million, and by 2012, the last year for which accurate statistics are available, the number of small businesses providing employment dropped to roughly 12 million.

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But wait, there’s more — and none of it is good.

The number of Americans who own homes has fallen by 5.6 percent since Obama took office. Real median household income also fell 2.3 percent, and the number of Americans living below the poverty line increased by 3.5 percent under Obama’s watch.

[lz_bulleted_list title=”The Obama Legacy, 2009-2016″ source=”Bureau of Labor Statistics, Census Bureau, U.S. Small Business Administration, Bureau of Economic Analysis”]Labor force participation rate fell from 65.7% to 62.8%|Number of Americans who own their homes fell 5.6%|Real median household income fell 2.3%|Number of Americans living below poverty line increased 3.5%|Number of Americans on food stamps increased by 39.5%|RGDP growth has averaged under 3% every year Obama has been in office[/lz_bulleted_list]

All of this has resulted in skyrocketing dependency. The number of Americans on food stamps has increased by 39.5 percent, from 33 million to 46 million, and nearly a quarter of Americans now live in a family that receives some level of federal assistance, according to the Department of Health and Human Services’ 2015 “Welfare Indicators and Risk Factors” report. During the final year of George W. Bush’s presidency, less than 6 percent of Americans lived in such a family. There are over 3 million more Americans collecting Social Security disability pay than there were when Obama was sworn in.

The simple fact is that, in terms of economic growth, Barack Obama has been one of the worst presidents in American history. “From 1790 to 2000, U.S. RGDP growth averaged 3.79 percent. America needs at least 3.0 percent economic growth — the nation cannot defend itself and pay its bills without it,” notes Louis Woodhill, an engineer and Forbes contributor.

However, “2015 will have been the tenth year in a row that RGDP growth came in at under 3.0 percent,” writes Woodhill, who also notes that, until now, the longest run of under 3 percent growth in U.S. history was only four years — four years which encompassed the 1929 stock market crash and the Great Depression.

“Making the wildly optimistic assumption that 2016 RGDP growth will come in at the CBO’s [Congressional Budget Office] current forecast [of 2.67 percent],” writes Woodhill, “Obama will be the only U.S. president in history that did not deliver a single year of 3.0+ percent economic growth.”

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