While President Obama proudly claims to have pulled the U.S. economy off the brink of depression and into robust growth, a leading economic expert says Obama’s claims are nothing more than “calculated deception” and that America’s emergence from the financial crisis is the worst economic performance in 80 years.
In recent weeks, Obama has told crowds of supporters his administration has achieved a historic economic turnaround.
“Thanks to the hard work of you and some actually pretty smart policies by us, we have come farther and recovered faster than almost any other advanced nation on earth,” said Obama at a recent event.
“So despite what you may hear, there is no doubt we are making progress. By almost every measure, we are better off than when I took office,” added Obama.
Heartland Institute Senior Fellow Peter Ferrara is author of the institute’s report titled “Why the United States Has Suffered the Worst Economic Recovery Since the Great Depression.” He told WND and Radio America Obama’s message is largely smoke and mirrors.
“I describe President Obama’s rhetorical style as calculated deception,” Ferrara said. “Those clips are the most perfect example I’ve heard of that to date.”
Far from agreeing with Obama’s assessment, Ferrara wonders when America ever had a recovery.
“There’s been no economic recovery from the 2008-2009 recession to this day,” he said. “You’re going to see that happen now under Trump. You’ll see what a huge difference it is when you have a real economic recovery instead of the paltry, weak excuse of a recovery we had.”
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Heartland Institute senior fellow Peter Ferrara:
Obama and his defenders often point out the recovery was especially strong given the depths of the financial crisis. Ferrara said that’s exactly backward.
“The American historical record is the worse the recession, the stronger the recovery. So there should have been an economic boom coming out of the recession in the summer of 2009. Here we are, eight years later, and that still hasn’t happened,” Ferrara said.
He said it has not happened because Obama pursued a Keynesian economic strategy that is a proven failure.
“Keynesian economics is a doctrine that the road to economic recovery is to increase government spending, deficits and debt. If that sounds crazy, it is crazy. It was introduced in the 1930s. It failed to end the Great Depression, but extended it and made it even worse,” Ferrara explained.
“That’s been the experience under Keynesian economics. It should be expected. If you increase government spending, government deficits and debt, that’s anti-growth, not pro-growth. That just delays the recovery, which is what it’s done every time it’s been tried,” said Ferrara, who added that Obama’s aggressive pursuit of a bigger regulatory state and destabilizing monetary policy are also major factors in the sputtering economy.
“You had twice as much economic growth under Jimmy Carter as you had under President Obama in his first term,” Ferrara said.
He said Obama did the exact opposite of what President Reagan did to kick-start massive economic expansion.
“Reagan had a four-point economic program,” Ferrara explained. “It was cut tax rates, deregulation, reduce government spending and have a strong dollar monetary policy. President Obama’s policies have been exactly the opposite of each one of those four.”
As a result, Ferrara said, poverty rates skyrocketed and the middle class suffered a fiscal punch to the stomach.
“Incomes for the middle class have fallen just about continuously throughout his entire two terms in office,” he said. “During the first term alone, the middle class lost the equivalent of about one month’s pay a year.”
So despite the rosy Obama rhetoric, Ferrara said the middle and working classes know what the economy has done to their bottom line, and their frustration boiled over in November.
“That was the fundamental element in this past election,” Ferrara said. “The blue-collar workers smartly saw that they had been abandoned by the Democrats. They were the original backbone for the Democratic Party. But the Democratic Party has forgotten that for so long that they’ve given up on the Democratic Party, as have so many other groups.”
Ferrara said if the U.S. economy stays on the pace set by Obama and America keeps seeing 2 percent growth instead of 3 to 4 percent, the U.S. is on its way to a Third-World economy within half a century.
“It’s $521 trillion over 50 years in loss of economic growth and prosperity,” he said. “That’s the net cost. The entire American economy is only $18 trillion a year. $521 trillion. How many American economies is that? That’s the biggest economic loss in world history.
“So if we keeping growing at the two percent or less that Obama has, and we keep that going year after year, we’ll eventually descend to the status of a Third-World country,” he said.
However, Ferrara does not expect that to happen since President-elect Donald Trump appears ready to pursue a Reagan-like economic agenda.
“The reason Trump is going to create a boom is because every one of the key policies is doing the opposite of what Obama did,” Ferrara said. “He has proposed to cut taxes like Reagan did. He has proposed to reduce regulatory burdens like Reagan did. He will appoint good members to the Fed that will restore sound monetary policy that will stabilize the dollar over the long run.”