Politics

Yes, Trump Did Wave His Magic Wand — Tax Cuts and Deregulation

Barack Obama was doubtful the president could fix the economy, but look what's happening now

Former President Barack Obama was doubtful the man who followed him into the Oval Office could fix the sluggish U.S. economy, but a federal report made public Friday provides solid evidence President Donald Trump is doing just that.

“How exactly are you going to do that?” Obama demanded of Trump during a PBS Town Hall in 2016. “What are you going to do? There’s no answer to it. He just says, well, I’m going to negotiate a better deal. How exactly are you going to negotiate that? What magic wand do you have, and usually the answer is he doesn’t have an answer.”

Obama tried to defend his record by making the case during the town hall that the economy wasn’t in decline. Trump won largely by appealing to workers struggling in the economy who felt the political powers weren’t listening to them. He also apparently has a magic wand as well, based on the latest quarterly report for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Related: Trump Boom Hits 4.1 Percent Growth Rate in Second Quarter

The Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) found that the national GDP increased by 4.1 percent during the second quarter of 2018. The last time the economy grew at a higher rate was 5.2 percent in the third quarter of 2014. But the economy was still struggling through a sluggish recovery brought on by the Great Recession of 2008.

The GDP tracks the total dollar value of all goods and services produced over a specific time period and is commonly used to determine the economic performance of a country or region.

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The Great Recession of 2008 and the Obama administration’s explosion of new regulatory burdens on business hindered economic growth throughout much of the past decade. Trump came into office last year promising tax cuts, regulatory reform, and the elimination of foreign tariffs on U.S. exports.

The result has been multiple positive trends since Trump began implementing that agenda. The unemployment rate fell to its lowest level since 2000 at 3.8 percent in May. The stock market has been seeing record gains, with a steep rise that started right before he entered office.

There has also been a record high in job openings, with 6.7 million unfilled positions in June. That month saw more job openings than people unemployed for the first time since 2000. Unemployment among Blacks, Hispanics and women is now at record lows.

Democrats claim Trump is merely enjoying gains prompted by Obama since some of the positive trends started towards the end of his presidency. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) recently credited the former president for the improving economy while unveiling an update to his job growth platform Monday.

Related: Dem Credits Obama for Trump Economy While Unveiling Jobs Plan

The BEA previously found that economic growth increased at an annual rate of 2.2 percent during the first quarter of 2018, based on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Economic growth also increased by 2.9 percent in the fourth quarter, 3.2 percent during the third, and 3.1 percent during the second quarter of last year.

The BEA stresses that the second-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source data that are incomplete or subject to further revision. The finalized report will be released September 27.

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