Tuesday, January 3, 2017
President Obama's 2017 Economic Report. Average to Good Results but Hillary still lost the election
President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers released the 2017 economic report on Dec. 15th, 2016. Overall the economy is in great shape compared to the 2007-2009 recession. We are also doing well compared to other developed countries (EU and Japan) . The economy is finally and completely out of the recession, jobs creation is consistently about 150K per month, the financial system is stabilized and 20 million additional Americans have healthcare. Even wages are rising slightly.
Hillary Lost and Trump is Inheriting a Great Economy
The best economic indicator, however, is Hillary's loss in the election. Obama and his economic wizards were unable to elect Hillary. The people who compiled the report, the people who helped Obama steer the economy, the people got 20 million Americans health insurance are now the very same people out of a job. So either the economic advice was not that good or their political skills were not that good.
Longer Term Problems
The report also shows a couple other worrisome points: 1) in the face of an incredibly slow recovery, they gave up on any kind of fiscal stimulus after being repeated blocked by the Republicans and 2) how tight the administration was with corporations who donate money but also suppress wages and export jobs. Overall it looks the the administration was too close to big corporations who destroyed millions of jobs during the recession.
However big, long term structural problems remain. Wages for the bottom 50% of earners have been dropping through the recession. They have been flat since about 1980. The economy is creating a surplus of jobs but lots of low wage jobs. Income and wealth inequality continue to increase. College costs continue to rise while wages for new graduates are flat. (Nearly 25% of college graduates opted for income based repayment). Finally, incomes for the 1% continued to rise.
Funny Report Highlights
The are also some funny moments in the report if you look closely. Income and wealth inequality continue to increase. But the inequality chart in the report includes ACA taxes, transfers and benefits allowing writers to conclude that Obama reduced inequality. Another interesting point is highlighting the pitifull 1.3% wage growth during Obama years as compare to 0% during the prior 30 years. Its sad when wage rose at 1.3% rate and it's a positive development.
You can read the report here.
2017 Economic Report of the President webpage
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