Newspaper article News Sentinel

Economic Growth Rate Is Declining

Newspaper article News Sentinel

Economic Growth Rate Is Declining

Article excerpt

During Barack Obama's first seven years as president, annual GDP growth has averaged 1.7 percent, peaking at 2.5 percent in 2010, his second year in office. Since the U.S. began recording such data, Obama is the first president during whose term of office the economy never grew more than 3 percent in a year.

It would be easy to blame Obama; he has been the most philosophically anti-business president since Woodrow Wilson.

Yet the Federal Reserve, under both Ben Bernanke and, to a lesser extent, Janet Yellen, has been the most accommodative and business- friendly central bank in the history of the United States. The Fed used every tool at its disposal to spur economic growth. When that didn't work, it invented a new tool -- three trillion dollars' worth of quantitative easing -- and yet the economic and wage growth are still anemic.

Former presidential candidate Jeb Bush built his tax, spending, jobs, national defense and deficit-containment plans on returning the U.S. to 3 percent annual growth. Superficially, it seemed reasonable, as the median annual GDP increase since 1930 has been 3.6 percent. Using that logic, however, it would be superficially reasonable to expect Princeton, winner of the most NCAA football national championships, to beat Alabama in the 2017 playoffs.

Like college football, the economy has changed.

From 1950 to 1999, annual GDP growth exceeded 3 percent 34 times, or 68 percent of the years. …

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