When former President Barack Obama broke precedent by publicly attacking his successor and taking credit for his successes (wait, I thought Donald Trump was the only President ever to act in a classless manner and brag about his accomplishments?), the initial response was largely focused on how unprecedented that was and whether Obama did deserve credit for the economic boom – except at the liberal media outlets, which focused as always on how wonderful Obama is.
But now that analysts have had a few days to chew over Obama’s self-aggrandizing speech (he said the word “I” 102 times in 47 minutes– again: wait, I thought Trump was the first narcissist ever elected President), some more interesting points have come to the fore. Some pundits are even suggesting that by reminding people just how bad things were under him, Obama might have revived his reverse Midas touch that cost the Democrats so many state elections and that, to paraphrase his famous line from 2008, this was the moment when the blue wave began to recede.
Here are a few of the latest talking points:
Obama attacked Trump for his slamming of the media, which to my mind is like criticizing a boxer for punching back at his opponent. Obama’s exact words, including, of course, the words “I” and "me":
“I complained plenty about Fox News, but you never heard me threaten to shut them down, or call them ‘enemies of the people.'”
At the link, a reminder of the many ways in which Obama waged war on Fox News, repeatedly attacking their credibility, attempting to ban them from pool coverage of interviews for asking questions he didn’t want answered, and his DOJ labeling Fox reporter James Rosen as a criminal co-conspirator so they could spy on him to try to learn his source for a story – that was an example of officially branding a reporter an “enemy of the state” just for doing his job. And don’t forget the Obama DOJ’s wholesale seizure of the records of more than 20 phone lines for the Associated Press and its reporters, which the head of the AP called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion.”
As for Obama’s claim that demonizing the opposition is something he never did, I’ll bet all the conservatives bitterly clinging to their guns and religion would beg to differ – particularly the cops who were branded as racists before investigations were even conducted, the Tea Party groups harassed by the IRS, the Christians prosecuted into bankruptcy for declining to be forced to participate in same-sex weddings, and the charitable order of nuns hauled into federal court and threatened with ruinous fines for not wanting to pay for birth control and abortion drugs.
As for Obama’s claim that Trump inherited the booming economy and record-setting unemployment from him, author/blogger/corporate executive Joe Hoft dug up the numbers to show that fails to pass the smell test on virtually every level.
Comparing Trump’s and Obama’s first 600 days, a long enough period to allow a new President’s policies to start showing effects, we see the stark difference between Obama’s economic record and Trump’s. For instance, under Obama, the Dow fell by 30% during that period; under Trump, it closed at all-time highs 99 times. Under Obama, the debt-to-GDP ratio increased by 40%; under Trump, it’s actually gone down (recall that we were told the tax cut would make the debt skyrocket.)
Obama and his supporters would be quick to remind us that he inherited the economic crash of 2008, so naturally, his early numbers are worse than Trump’s. But that doesn’t explain why they remained so dismal for eight years, long after the economy should have roared back. It didn’t, thanks to typical Democratic policies: heavy regulation, crushing business mandates such as Obamacare, and huge increases in the capital gains tax and the top income tax rate. Trump has reversed all of those policies.
The results: even after 7-1/2 years, the final two quarters of GDP growth under Obama were around 1.5%, which is abysmal. As for job creation, in the last 19 months of Obama’s reign of error, only 26,000 manufacturing jobs were created. In the first 19 months under Trump, 830,000 new manufacturing jobs were created. And in the most recent quarter, GDP growth was 4.1%.
It’s mindboggling to see Obama not only credit himself for growth over 4%, but think about this: he’s taking credit for something that he scoffed was no longer possible without a magic wand! Then again, he’s also taking credit for the return of manufacturing jobs that he told us were never coming back. If those successes really are the result of Obama’s policies, then even Obama didn’t have any faith in Obama’s policies!
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