That Obama economy Hillary wants to continue did a 1.2 percent splat in 2016 2Q

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Published by: Dan Calabrese on Friday July 29th, 2016

Stay the course!

Remember how you heard at the DNC about how Obama and Biden were economic heroes for saving the economy and bringing us roaring back? You know how that doesn't really seem to comport to anyone's actual experience with the economy during the Obama presidency? Yeah. That's because it doesn't. What Obama has actually given us is a spending blowout that has produced the most sluggish economic growth in any post-recession period in the nation's history. We've averaged less than 2.0 percent annual GDP growth, and figures just out today continue the sad Obama record that Hillary vows to continue:

The U.S. economy expanded less than forecast in the second quarter after a weaker start to the year than previously estimated as companies slimmed down inventories and remained wary of investing amid shaky global demand.

Gross domestic product rose at a 1.2 percent annualized rate after a 0.8 percent advance the prior quarter, Commerce Department figures showed Friday in Washington. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 2.5 percent second-quarter increase.

The report raises the risk to the outlook at a time Federal Reserve policy makers are looking for sustained improvement. While consumers were resilient last quarter, businesses were cautious -- cutting back on investment and aggressively reducing stockpiles amid weak global markets, heightened uncertainty and the lingering drag from a stronger dollar.

“We’re just muddling through," said Joseph LaVorgna, chief U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. in New York, who had forecast a 1 percent gain in second-quarter GDP. “Consumer spending looks good, but the problem is that the rest of the economy is soft. The economy remains vulnerable to downside risks. The Fed is right to be cautious."

We pretty much write this story every quarter. It's become embarrassing, yet the media continues to let the Democrats talk about Obama's record as if it's some great success story. And it's all over the place. When consumers spend, businesses cut back on investment. When you get some growth, it's just because of one-time production of now pent-up inventories. Sometimes revenues creep up slightly, but never much and never for long.

And this is what Obama and Hillary want us to accept as the new normal, even as they refuse to reduce the size of government or do anything about entitlements.

Much of the argument for Hillary centers on the idea that she's been "in the arena" and she knows how things work. That gives her too much credit for understand what she's exposed to, but it also overlooks the fact that being in the arena doesn't mean you can recognize the problems in the arena. If Hillary has seen the results of these policies throughout Obama's presidency, and all she wants to do is continue them, then she understands nothing about economic policy and has no business whatsoever calling Donald Trump a policy ignoramus. At least Trump can recognize when something isn't working. Hillary can't even do that, even in the face of sorry results like this.

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