Trump’s Biggest ‘Accomplishment’ is Taking Credit for Obama’s Economy

Despite what Donald Trump, Fox News, and the rest of the conservative media say — or what their supporters want to believe — the economy was doing well long before this “president” was sworn into office. In fact, the economy was strong during the vast majority of Barack Obama’s presidency. Unemployment fell below 5 percent, we set a record for consecutive months of private sector job growth, corporate profits set records, as did the stock markets.



Yes, stocks have done remarkably well under Trump. However, as much as he likes to bring up the stock market, that’s just one of many indicators of how well the economy is doing. It also brings me back to my point that stocks were rising well before he started calling himself “president.” So it’s not as if they were flat, or trending down, prior to his election.

Any rational person can look at the economic data over the past year and see that it’s nothing more than a continuation of what we saw for most of Obama’s presidency.

Here are the unemployment rates for January for the years from 2010-2017:

  • 2010: 9.8%
  • 2011: 9.1%
  • 2012: 8.3%
  • 2013: 8.0%
  • 2014: 6.6%
  • 2015: 5.7%
  • 2016: 4.9%
  • 2017: 4.8%

For those wondering, as of writing this (January 19, 2018), the unemployment rate is 4.1%.

So as you can tell, there’s been a consistent, and constant, downward trend in the unemployment rate long before Trump became “president.”

As for jobs, while we did have a solid year for job growth in 2017, it was actually the worst year for jobs since 2010.

  • 2010: 88k
  • 2011: 174k
  • 2012: 179k
  • 2013: 192k
  • 2014: 250k
  • 2015: 226k
  • 2016: 187k
  • 2017: 171k

I’m not saying it was a bad year but, statistically, it was the worst year for job growth we’ve had in several years, creating roughly 16k fewer jobs in 2017 than we did in 2016. Also, at 171k jobs, it’s obvious that number follows the trend we’ve seen for job growth dating back to 2011.

Trump can brag about the economy all he wants, which is his right as “president.” All the while I’m sure his supporters will continue to give him credit for the current state of our economy — but none of that changes the reality of what the actual numbers tell us.


Yes, Trump just passed a massive tax overhaul. However, that bill had practically no impact on 2017’s economic numbers. We won’t see the effects of Trump’s tax bill for a while. If jobs and wages suddenly see a massive spike in 2018 then, yes, Trump would have the claim his tax bill led to those increases. Only time will tell as it relates to that.

As for 2017’s economic numbers, Trump had next to nothing to do with economic data that any sane person could look at and tell is a continuation of the economic success we saw during most of Obama’s presidency. The same economic success that Trump, himself, used to called “fake,” “phony,” and a “hoax” — that he’s now trying to use to make himself look good.

And Trump supporters wonder why so many people call them stupid.

At the end of the day, through Trump’s first year in office, his biggest “accomplishment” is conning millions of people into giving him credit for the economic success created by Barack Obama.

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Allen Clifton

Allen Clifton is a native Texan who now lives in the Austin area. He has a degree in Political Science from Sam Houston State University. Allen is a co-founder of Forward Progressives and creator of the popular Right Off A Cliff column and Facebook page. Be sure to follow Allen on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to his channel on YouTube as well.

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