President Trump and former President Obama are arguing over who deserves credit for the economy’s performance. Given the less-than-ideal numbers for labor force participation, I’m not convinced we should be celebrating.
Regardless, here’s a quick assessment of whether Obama deserves praise, taken from yesterday’s interview with Neil Cavuto.
To elaborate, I generally don’t blame presidents if there’s a downturn as they take office. In many cases, such a downturn is baked in the cake thanks to bad monetary policy before they ever took office.
But I do hold them at least somewhat accountable for the economic performance after the recession. More specifically, is there strong growth for a year or two, allowing the economy recover the lost output? And does the economy then stabilize at the long-run trend of 3 percent growth (as illustrated by this chart showing U.S. growth from 1870-2008).
Remember, there is no substitute for long-run growth
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