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On the economy, Obama owns Trump

Former President Barack Obama
REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
Former President Barack Obama addressing a town hall of young leaders from across Europe at an Obama Foundation event in Berlin, Germany, in April.

Under which president did the stock market rise more during the first 27 months of his presidency? Donald J. Trump or Barack H. Obama? Under which did the unemployment rate decline more? How about GDP growth per president?

If it wasn’t for obnoxious braggadocio of the current incumbent — his incessant pitiful compulsion to exaggerate his own accomplishments and disparage those of all others (but most especially those of his immediate predecessor) — I would say the idea that economic indices reflect the wisdom and skill of the incumbent president is dumb. But if those are measures the self-glorifying Trump wants to use, let’s go there and review some actual, you know, facts.

On January 20, 2017, the day Trump took office, the Dow Jones industrial average was at 19,827. It’s had a good run during his first two plus years, and it closed Friday at 25,942. That’s an impressive gain of 30.8 percent, but let’s not be stingy. Let’s call it 31 percent. (Note: as of publication of this story Monday morning, the Dow was down more than 600 points, or 2.4 percent.)

Some find Trump’s policies despicable, racist, even (or perhaps especially) planet-threatening. But some argue that the good economy during Trump’s first two-plus years is a powerful offset against those factors. The movement of the Dow is not the best measure of economic performance, nor certainly of the overall cost/benefit analysis of his presidency. GDP growth would be better and, in terms of impact on ordinary Americans, unemployment would be better. And those have done well under Trump, too. But the Dow is very specific and often celebrated by Trump praisers.


But here’s the thing. During the same period of Barack Obama’s first term, from Inauguration Day 2009, until the close on May 12, 2011, the closest equivalent date during his presidency, the Dow rose from 8,280 to 12,696, a growth of 65 percent.

The stock market is not the best measure of economic performance, of course, and I’m not going to go through all the economic measures. And it would be hard to statistically measure the staggering (but non-monetary) decline in U.S. leadership in the world under Trump. How would one quantify the impact of the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement to combat global warming? Or from the U.S.-brokered deal to head off an Iranian nuclear weapon, which has now caused Iran to announce it will no longer abide by some of the terms of the deal, which makes Mideast war and even life-on-Earth-ending nuclear war a bit more likely?

Those things can’t be measured statistically. Maybe they’ll make America great again, although I have my doubts.

But back to things that can be measured. As statistics go, a rising stock market primarily benefits a relatively small, wealthy investor class (although certainly some benefits trickle down to the economy in general). So let’s do another one more that more directly affects average Americans, especially those who really need to work for a living, namely the unemployment rate.

The administration, among others, has spent recent days celebrating the decline of the unemployment to 3.6 percent, its lowest level since 1969. Congratulations to all those who wanted work and found it thanks to the drop in that rate, and one-hand-clapping to Donald Trump who, of course, claims this as a great personal accomplishment, which further demonstrates his success especially compared to his despised predecessor.

Given all that, let’s take a look at comparison unemployment data across the Obama and Trump years in this chart, which assigns an overall unemployment rate to each calendar year. Obama inherited a plummeting economy and the worst recession in decades from his predecessor, George W. Bush.

In 2009, the first year of Obama’s presidency, unemployment hit 9.9 percent, its highest level since the Great Depression. But starting in 2010, the unemployment rate fell for eight straight years, namely the eight years when the economy was essentially under Obama policy. By 2016, Obama’s last year in office, unemployment measured 4.7 percent (down from 9.9 percent.) In 2017, the first year of Trump’s term (but before many of his policies were implemented) it fell to 4.1 percent.

In 2018, with the Trump tax cuts and other magical elements of Trumpism on the books, it fell again to 3.9 percent. So, depending on how you count those swing years, unemployment fell by a 5.8 percentage points under Obama policy over eight years and 0.2 percentage points under Trump’s policies through the end of 2018.

Just a quick look at GDP growth, for which I’ll rely on this table from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, and this graph from Statista. Between 2009 and 2017, the eight years during which Obama’s policies should be blamed or credited, GDP per capita went up every year, with a total gain of $5,903. I would call that decent, maybe not great. Solid, steady but not astonishing growth of a little above or a little below two percent year with a best year of 2.9 percent in 2015 and an average of about 2.5 percent a year. (It’s “real” GDP so inflation is taken out.)


For 2018, the first full year under Trump’s policies, Statista says GDP per capita grew 2.9 percent, equal to Obama’s best year, 2015. Although it’s a per capita number, it says nothing about the distribution of the gains, and one has one’s suspicions on that score. But, for today, we’ll leave it at this: The first year under Trump showed good overall growth. (If you look at the whole Statista table, you’ll see that the golden age of recent GDP growth was under Bill Clinton.)

Among the various aspects of Trump’s moral midgetry is intellectual dishonesty. Also immodesty. But intellectual dishonesty is a quality I particularly disdain. Sure, make your argument, but don’t deny the contrary evidence. To me, that borders on lying.

For example, I would acknowledge that Obama inherited an economy and a stock market and a labor market that had crashed under his predecessor, while Trump inherited one that had thrived under his predecessor, the much-belittled-by-Trump Obama.  

That might undermine the power of Obama absolutely besting, crushing, owning Trump as measured by two out of three important benchmark economic numbers during Obama’s presidency compared to Trump’s presidency so far.

I’ll consider the offsetting factor above if and when Trump acknowledges that he inherited a nation that was thriving, at relative peace (and the leader of several of the world’s most admirable and necessary multilateral agreements), and not one that was a hell-scape of carnage, dysfunction incompetence and decline he portrayed during his campaign and inaugural address.

But being intellectually honest in fairness to Donald Trump seems like unilateral disarmament. Let him try it for a while, then we’ll see. But don’t hold your breath.

Comments (69)

  1. Submitted by Wayne Van Cleve on 05/13/2019 - 12:23 pm.

    Please stop with all the FACTS. We don’t use them anymore. Also, never use the words “trickle down” again.

    • Submitted by Roger Hale on 05/13/2019 - 02:17 pm.

      Very large ships take 5 to 10 miles to execute turns. The US economy is an extraordinarily large ship… Like a supertanker or a nuclear aircraft carrier. Therefore, the actions put in place during the Obama administration are clearly what has been driving the economy. Granted, the Trump tax cuts gave a sugar pop to the last year or so in the economy but that is wearing off. Now, it appears that the Trump economic policies, such as they are, are having an effect and things will Start slowing down.

  2. Submitted by Jon Austin on 05/13/2019 - 12:26 pm.

    Mr. Black –

    One of the best sentences of all time: “But being intellectually honest in fairness to Donald Trump seems like unilateral disarmament.”

    I’m going to use it whenever possible and will make sure to give you appropriate credit much as I do for Rick Wilson who dubbed Mr. Trump the “Umber Jackhole.”

    Onward.

  3. Submitted by Misty Martin on 05/13/2019 - 12:31 pm.

    Eric:

    Thank you. I’m always telling my friends/colleagues who are ardent Trump supporters, that the economy had started to improve and that unemployment had started to decline while President Obama was still in office, and that President Trump couldn’t take all the credit that he’s taking, but I lack the facts and figures to prove my point. Thank you for your research and homework. It does my heart good.

    • Submitted by Misty Martin on 05/13/2019 - 01:05 pm.

      Breaking news today: the DOW has plunged 700 points after China retaliates against the U.S. with tariff hikes. I suppose that President Trump imposing higher tariffs against China to warrant their retaliation against us was just good business sense – like losing over a billion dollars in 10 years when he was just a businessman and not a politician. Makes me feel secure for sure, lol.

      • Submitted by Mike Schumann on 05/13/2019 - 02:15 pm.

        It certainly is good business sense that we finally have a President with the balls to call out the Chinese on their business practices. This should have happened 20 years ago when they were admitted to the WTO and started cheating on all of their promises.

        Trump certainly has his problems, but this constant drumbeat of anti-Trump hysteria is really getting tiresome. I know quite a few people who voted for Trump and are tired of his Tweets, etc. and are very much looking for someone else to back in the next election. However, if the political opposition keeps up with this anti Trump BS to the exclusion of actually doing something to move the country forward, the Democrats could be in for a VERY big surprise.

        • Submitted by David Lundeen on 05/13/2019 - 03:11 pm.

          The hysteria you mention has good cause. I suggest you take an objective reading of the Mueller report along with our constitution. There is no hysteria regarding a president who believes he’s above the law, withholds information that prevents citizens from knowing whether he is acting in our own interest.

          In addition to the emoluments clause, and his obstruction, it is reprehensible that financial executives from nuclear technology companies are buying properties from the Kushner family in order to sell nuclear technology to Saudi Arabia. If you are not hysterical about that, I don’t know what else could deeply upset you about our government’s actions by any president.

        • Submitted by David LaPorte on 05/13/2019 - 03:53 pm.

          A major goal of the Trans Pacific Partnership was to isolate China unless it agreed to trade fairly and stop stealing intellectual property. That was negotiated by Obama but destroyed by Trump.

          Instead, Trump prefers trade wars, which are not working. And we have no allies to stand with us, because Trump has started trade wars with them, too.

          It’s no surprise that he lost $1.2 Billion over 10 years.

          • Submitted by Connie Sullivan on 05/14/2019 - 11:11 am.

            I read that Donald Trump doesn’t understand what tariffs are, either! He apparently thinks that the tariffs he imposes on China are a tax that China pays . He has no idea of international trade, and now, instead of just being the individual Biggest Loser in business, he
            s trying to ruin U.S, trde as a whole.

            Incidentally: Trump is paying now about $21 billion to farmers out of our tax dollars, to make up for iheir losses just in 2019 in sales to China and China’s tariffs.

            Thaty’s called buuing votes, isn’t it? With tax dollars?

        • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 05/15/2019 - 09:04 am.

          Mr. Schumann personifies virtually every Trump voter. They simply love a President who has a tantrum or lashes out against “Others” who have caused misery for “Me”. But, like any flash of anger, what are you left with after you’re done? Most of us would prefer addressing problems with something other than whining.

    • Submitted by Michael Joesph on 05/13/2019 - 04:57 pm.

      OK Thank You..Clinton’s Economy was Reagan’s Economy..I’ll take that !!..Finally the truth comes out about the Clinton Economy….

      • Submitted by ian wade on 05/14/2019 - 04:14 pm.

        You kind of skipped over the George H W Bush economy there, dude.

      • Submitted by jack jackson on 06/06/2019 - 01:48 pm.

        I’m not sure what you’re celebrating here or how you’re even making the connection. Reaganomics was a disaster for our country. Trickle down or supply side Econ theory is a complete failure. It gutted the middle class and gave us trump. There is a straight correlation between job displacement and counties that voted for trump. Neoclassical Econ theory is failing. Economies evolve and the fatal flaw in neoclassical Econ theory is there are several assumptions made in order for the models to work. Well the assumptions don’t hold.

  4. Submitted by Brian Simon on 05/13/2019 - 12:41 pm.

    “a rising stock market primarily benefits a relatively small, wealthy investor class (although certainly some benefits trickle down to the economy in general). ”

    Somebody ought to dig a little deeper into just what economic gains from a rising stock market trickle down to the economy in general.

    To the larger issue, the best economic measure of whether the bulk of us are doing better might be the rate of wage inflation, which has trailed the CPI for decades.

  5. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 05/13/2019 - 12:44 pm.

    This is why conservatives think the media is biased, and why they hate the media.

    • Submitted by David Lundeen on 05/13/2019 - 01:38 pm.

      They do not hate the media. The media is on buy a collection of huge corporations, basically the republican constituency. Rather, the media is a useful foil to generate hatred and mistrust of the government. It’s particularly useful because that means it’s less time Republicans have to spend talking about actual issues, and more time talking about “values”.

      • Submitted by Drew Gmitro on 05/17/2019 - 12:10 am.

        You’re kidding right ??? 99% of the media is far left. It’s not even remotely close. How you could think the GOP controls the media is completely ignorant.

    • Submitted by Robert Henderson on 05/13/2019 - 03:06 pm.

      You’re correct the right as we know it today (not necessarily all conservatives) think the media is biased and as you said “hate the media” and the why is because the media presents a lot of inconvenient facts. My gosh why would we want facts or analysis to muddy our thinking?

  6. Submitted by Don Casey on 05/13/2019 - 01:04 pm.

    Economic growth can be relative. Following a recession, “growth” is likely to be more rapid. Starting from a lower point, just regaining pre-recession levels is likely to appear as relatively vigorous. Sustaining growth after recovery is the trick.

    Basically, however, the economy does its own thing and far too much “credit” or “blame” is attached to the holder of the Oval Office at the time. In this country — at most — the actions of politicians only slightly exacerbate what the economy is going to do on its own. Presidents don’t create recessions or booms.

    • Submitted by John Evans on 05/13/2019 - 08:56 pm.

      Hmm … you’re kind of right, but there’s quite a lot that is done with fiscal and monetary policy. Fed monetary manipulation kept us out of a deep depression at the end of the last decade. Growth out of the recession was slow because the Republican Congress wouldn’t allow sufficient fiscal stimulus.

      Meanwhile, Republicans in state governments were slashing state payrolls, so overall, government fiscal policy wasn’t very expansionary at all. But that would have been the right time to expand, to to borrow money at a zero percent interest rate and build productive infrastructure! When Trump took office, Republicans in Congress changed course 180 degrees and ran up deficits at an unprecedented pace.With this high degree of fiscal stimulus, we should be seeing much faster growth, but the Republican Congress put most of the stimulus in the form of tax cuts for corporations and the rich.

      Corporations mostly bought back their own shares, which increases stock prices without actually investing in productive capacity. The rich used their tax cuts bid up the price of stocks, and of real estate in Manhattan, San Francisco, Boulder and Martha’s Vineyard.

      So now we have really massive ongoing deficits, solid but unspectacular growth, and no infrastructure improvements. What a waste. But my point is that government has real influence over the economy, for good and ill. That’s why it makes a big difference when we elect, or fail to elect, competent, coherent policy makers.

  7. Submitted by Ray Schoch on 05/13/2019 - 01:15 pm.

    “…This is why conservatives think the media is biased, and why they hate the media.” Indeed. Right wing propaganda is SO much harder to devise when it flies in the face of reality. But the truly dedicated (or easily duped) try their best, nonetheless.

  8. Submitted by joe smith on 05/13/2019 - 02:15 pm.

    Obama’s final six quarters the GDP rose 1.5%, under Trump’s first six full quarters it rose 3%. Obama’s last 21 months showed an average increase in jop openings of 900 a month, Trump’s first 21 months shows an average of 75,000 job openings per month. Obama’s last 21 months showed an increase in employed Americans at an average per month of 157,000, under Trump’s first 21 months average is 214,000 more Americans working. Weekly earnings rose under Obama $1.31 a month, under Trump it rose $1.84 a month with a staggering $2.31 a month increase since tax cuts.
    Compare for yourself and decide who’s economy is doing better.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 05/13/2019 - 03:44 pm.

      And maybe some day he will match Obama’s 4.7, 4.9, 5.1 GDP quarters.
      Any bragging on Trump tax cut needs associated debt expansion disclaimer or at least:

      “Deficits don’t matter, Reagan proved that…”

      Dick Cheney…

      • Submitted by joe smith on 05/13/2019 - 04:30 pm.

        You can only compare the first 21 months of Trump vs last 21 months of Obama, that is all that has happened so far. Decide for yourself. Both parties are terrible with deficit spending, Obama doubled our national debt, so don’t act like Republicans are the only ones spending. Bush ran a deficit of 4.8 Trillion for 8 years in office and in Obama’s first 38 months he outdid Bush with 3.9 Trillion dollar deficit spending.

        • Submitted by David Lundeen on 05/13/2019 - 06:54 pm.

          Umm, have you looked at the deficit when Bush 43 took office? He is the one who blew up the deficit, even more than Reagan. Also, please read David Stockman’s book on Reagan, as he was the budget director.

          Conservatives, at least since Reagan, are nothing close to actual conservatism in the classical liberal definition. Reagan ran a Keynesian economics policy based on state dollars funding the defense industry against no credible threat. Newt Gingrich was happy to rip on welfare, but was also accountable for the most federal dollars being allocated to his district. You should remember these things if you’re going to talk about jobs and the deficit.

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 05/13/2019 - 09:34 pm.

          You pick:

          Come in at the valley of the worst financial crisis in 75 years or after a steady 7 year recovery.

          Can you image the Trump blather if he inherited the GWB economy and just matched the fist 3 years of Obama!

          I guarantee that “National Emergency Funding” would have already been put in place to get Trump his self selected spot on Mount Rushmore.

          Trump inherited a strong economy, did not screw it up (yet), and goosed it with an unneeded tax cut that did more deficit damage than economic good.

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/14/2019 - 08:56 am.

          “You can only compare the first 21 months of Trump vs last 21 months of Obama, that is all that has happened so far. ”

          No, you can’t. The US was barely starting its recovery from a very deep recession during the first 21 months of Obama’s administration. Trump came into office while the economy was growing, and had been growing for some time before that.

          • Submitted by joe smith on 05/14/2019 - 09:37 am.

            RB, simple, Obama’s last 21 months versus Trump’s first 21 months. Trump inherited the last 21 months of Obama’s economy, he didn’t inherit the first 21 months. Obama had 8 years to fix it, he delivered the slowest economy coming out of a recession ever. The statistics speak for themselves. “You didn’t build it” vs lower taxes and less regulations. Folks can look and determine for themselves what works better.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/14/2019 - 10:24 am.

              You’re kind of lashing out, there, rehashing the old “you didn’t build that” line.

              There is a big difference in bringing an economy out of recovery vs. inheriting one in which the recovery has been underway for a good long time.

              “Folks can look and determine for themselves what works better.”

              Do you really think “folks” are going to overlook the utter lawlessness and all around loathsomeness of this administration, for another $25 per week in their paychecks? If so, the soul of America has been sold more cheaply than I would have thought possible.

            • Submitted by Sean Olsen on 05/14/2019 - 11:40 am.

              It’s funny how Republicans were willing to dump $2T in economic stimulus into the U.S. economy after years of economic expansion but balked at $800B of stimulus during the worst economic conditions since the Great Depression.

            • Submitted by Rick Jacques on 08/25/2019 - 09:34 am.

              Joe Smith
              > he delivered the slowest economy coming out of a recession ever
              With the Republicans opposing him at every step. They wanted the recovery to lag so Obama wouldn’t get credit. They put their party above the American people.
              The stimulus plan – R’s insisted one third be in tax cuts, which stimulate the economy much less than money direct spending.
              Cash for clunkers – R’s insisted that foreign made vehicles be included, when what we needed were American jobs.
              Tax Holiday – Cut to SS tax for all workers, R’s killed it by attaching repeal to a must-pass bill.
              Republicans will always put their party and the billionaires ahead of the American people.

    • Submitted by Dave Paulson on 05/15/2019 - 09:13 pm.

      Please be smart and don’t even comment on somebody’s idea who thinks that the President owns the economy (“his”) in his first 21 months. That ridiculous idea is drummed out of students heads in Econ 101 and it is beneath the level of discourse on this site.

      If 21 months is relevant outside of a cherry-pickers manipulation, it is the period when a new president’s actions or policies has no influence on the economy.

      Just repeat the ridiculous statement or premise if it is actually brief) and state – Logic Error – false premise”

  9. Submitted by Steve Roth on 05/13/2019 - 02:34 pm.

    Regarding any and all unemployment numbers, aren’t they all rigged? I mean that’s what we were repeatedly told. Oh, wait…

    • Submitted by Steve Rose on 05/13/2019 - 03:23 pm.

      There are presently 1 million more jobs than Americans looking for a job. Trump owns that. Obamaconomy has nothing comparable.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/13/2019 - 06:45 pm.

        Source?
        Are those jobs that pay a living wage?

      • Submitted by David Lundeen on 05/13/2019 - 06:56 pm.

        What about Obama do you have so much? He was centrist president.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/13/2019 - 08:03 pm.

        Now that wages are finally starting to rise after a 20 year stagnation, we may see more people moving back into the work force. This does assume that the wage increase trend continues.

      • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 05/14/2019 - 07:56 am.

        From that liberal, MSM demon, FOX Business:

        “Trump’s steel tariffs cost US consumers close to $900,000 per job, analysis finds”

        If he keeps on creating new jobs we will be as bankrupt as a Trump Casino…

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/14/2019 - 08:58 am.

        So why are we worried about illegal immigrants stealing our jobs?

        • Submitted by Steve Rose on 05/17/2019 - 09:35 am.

          I have to agree, due to the strengthening economy, that is no longer a big issue.

          Border Security is important to stop the flow of illicit drugs that are killing 300 Americans per week. We are losing more Americans per year to drug overdoses than we lost over the course of the entire Viet Nam war.

          Strong borders are also needed to curb human trafficking.

          • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/17/2019 - 11:20 am.

            Illicit drugs come in through established ports of entry. Despite Rep. King’s not-at-all-creepy musings about illegals with thighs the size of cantaloupes hauling in marijuana, that is not how illegal drugs are entering the country.

            Illegal immigrants are less prone to criminality than native-born Americans. The Cato Institute has found that illegal immigrants are incarcerated at half the rate of native-born citizens.

            • Submitted by Steve Rose on 05/17/2019 - 05:30 pm.

              Not really possible to know how the drugs come in that make it in undetected. Established entry points do well at detection, which is why we need to control our borders – it works.

              No rebuttal regarding human trafficking?

              • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/20/2019 - 09:12 am.

                Human trafficking is a different issue from illegal immigration. There is some overlap, but they are not the same thing (even though unscrupulous businesspeople – job creators – participate in the illegal trafficking of illegal migrants).

                It makes no sense to have illegal migrants mule drugs. They are uniquely vulnerable to arrest, they travel in small groups and can carry only limited quantities, and are not reliable transporters.

  10. Submitted by richard owens on 05/13/2019 - 04:51 pm.

    Trade wars hurt everyone, and break the basis for peace between nations.

    Autocrats use crisis and war to control their populations.

    This admin is an international nightmare.

    Republicans still support this insanity.

    Hold your loved ones close as the consequences come due.

  11. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 05/13/2019 - 05:28 pm.

    FRED as usual good trend graphs. For GDP over the past dozen years, see
    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/CPGDPAI
    At best, and overall slight decrease since the peak of 4.t in 2009 Q4.
    For a broader view see
    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GDPC1
    Hard to see much deviation from a steadyincrease, other than the 2008 recession.

  12. Submitted by Carl Brookins on 05/13/2019 - 05:35 pm.

    My family’s careful savings over many years for retirement is being destroyed by a draft-dodger failed businessman and tax cheat. Thanks Mr. Trump.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 05/14/2019 - 10:45 pm.

      Even basic savings rates have gone up along with the stock markets, where on earth is your retirement money that is rapidly disappearing?

  13. Submitted by Michael Joesph on 05/13/2019 - 05:46 pm.

    Obama needed the Feds Quantitative Easing for 7 years to keep his economy going…Obama’s last year ( 2016) GDP was 1.6%…GDP Annual Avg under Obama ( 8yrs old) 1.8%..Horrendous Economy..Feds raised prime rate only 1 time during Obama’s Presidency..Feds have already raised the prime-rate 4 times since Trump took Office…

  14. Submitted by Joe Musich on 05/13/2019 - 06:50 pm.

    Just a couple of words ….wage stagnation….

  15. Submitted by Tim Smith on 05/14/2019 - 08:58 am.

    Once again, there are a flurry of virtually this this same article written in the last week by left wing media who appoarently sync their message with the dem party. It’s just too obvious.

    Also, you left out that Obama left office with the lowest growth rate in history.

  16. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 05/14/2019 - 09:39 am.

    Now Trump’s chief economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, gave Trump the soft and fuzzy version of former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s Trump judgement:

    “He’s a @#$%^ moron”

    A few great insights from Kjell Bergh, local auto dealer and past president of the National Association of Auto Dealers:

    “Today, the auto industry is without exception an international enterprise; a truly global supply chain gives these companies the best components at the lowest price, which ultimately benefits the consumer. Consider these facts:

    • The American-built car with the highest U.S. content is Honda.

    • The largest automotive exporter in the U.S. is BMW. (Its South Carolina plant is the biggest BMW assembly plant in the world.)

    • General Motors sells and produces more cars in China than in the U.S. (GM imports large numbers of vehicles from China and will be badly hurt by tariffs.)

    • Chrysler (now Fiat Chrysler) is no longer American; it is controlled by an Italian group, with headquarters in the Netherlands, but is considered British for tax purposes, and its executive offices are split between Turin, Italy, and Auburn Hills, Mich.

    • Virtually all new automobile assembly plants built in the U.S. in the past 20 years have been built by international nameplates. There are 17 such plants in this country, employing 126,500 American workers.

    • During the same period, the “Detroit Three” have built their new plants in Mexico, Canada and Brazil. (Their capital investment in the U.S. has been primarily in retooling or in some cases expanding existing plants.)”

    • Submitted by Tim Smith on 05/14/2019 - 12:14 pm.

      Mfg jobs added last two years of Obama – 60,000, Trump first two years, 491,000. Who owns who now?

      • Submitted by David Lundeen on 05/14/2019 - 01:27 pm.

        I hope their is enough manufacturing jobs for farmers. They are at risk of permanently or, severely losing, a huge export market to China. Argentina and Brazil take market share.

        And now he wants to run a socialist bail out for farmers. Oh, the irony.

        • Submitted by Heidi Craig on 05/17/2019 - 06:57 am.

          Our family owns wheat ranch property in Montana – to compensate us for the thousands of dollars we lost this winter when wheat prices tanked thanks to the tariffs we received a whopping check of $6.00.

          Thank you, Mr. I Don’t Understand Tariffs, nor, I guess, does he understand what compensation means.

          I will mention, too, that the check was late due to the government shut down.

      • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 05/18/2019 - 04:28 pm.

        Sorry TS, according to the Govt. statistics it looks like the continuation of an existing trend, but hey lets look at who really turned the corner in 2010! We all know the “T” guy and his cohorts want to take all the credit for something that some others have done! Ever hear of the word momentum?

        https://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES3000000001

  17. Submitted by Tim Smith on 05/14/2019 - 11:51 am.

    To say Obama owns Trump is partisan and apples vs oranges, the prior inherited a world wide recession, the world came back from it. Hard to pinpoint any policies Of Obama’s that brought us and the world back. Feds almost never raised rates under Obama. Our economy was full of holes at the end of 2016, of which dems never pointed out but they sure do look hard now.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 05/15/2019 - 09:47 pm.

      TS, a perspective, Obama agreed with Bush on the TARP program, a great decision from this perspective, (Kind of like a penicillin shot in the butt/you really don’t like the medicine but at the end of the day “wise choice” ) Something we can agree on?

  18. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 05/15/2019 - 08:29 am.

    I can’t remember the last time someone from the media or government was intellectually honest about the economy, left or right. W

    The numbers mentioned here say absolutely nothing about what it is to live paycheck to paycheck in America. The executive, salary and investor classes love to quibble about which political party is better at managing the economy, while the majority of us trying to eek out a living by our labor recognize both parties actively working against our interest.

    For many of us out here among the working poor, smug defines the followers of Obama and Trump. Smug self assurance that this economy that is so bad for the earth and so bad for most people is somehow good.

    • Submitted by Drew Gmitro on 05/17/2019 - 12:18 am.

      Yea, and Socialism and Communism have done so much more for their people. Give me a break. Go spend some time in Venezuela, China, or Russia and tell me how us “working class” have it so much worse here in America. I’m blue collar, with a HS education, and made 160K last year working on the RR with full health care and retirement. There’s lots of similar jobs like mine but you have to be motivated, which too many in this country aren’t. Everyone’s a “victim” and wants to cry about “how they’re getting screwed by the man”. Give me a break. I’ve never been hired by a poor person.

      • Submitted by Ed Leitze on 05/17/2019 - 12:29 pm.

        Union?

        • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 05/20/2019 - 10:31 am.

          And many years of tenure, I’ll wager.

          Tell a kid out of high school that he’ll be earning $160K working for the railroad in a few years when the transport industry is working hard on getting AI to take over the functions of human employees..

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