Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The Obama Economy

Regarding Hillary-Trump, some new economic numbers from 2015 suggest that it may just be game-set-match.

It's no secret that this race is all about President Obama. As Taneshi Coates says, Donald Trump is the direct result of the election of Barrack Obama. This is what conservatives mean when they claim that Trump's rise is somehow Obama's fault.

No. Obama is not to blame, obviously, but it is a fact that Trump is the effect of Obama's rise.

Obama's job approval has been rising this year. By definition this is great news for Hillary Clinton.

The latest polls show him at 58% the highest since his honeymoon in 2009. And they also show that Hillary is winning those in the 58% approval for Obama at a rate of 8 out of 10.

The reason for his 2016 rise is no doubt in part a reaction to the rise of Trump-which is in itself good news for Hillary.

Some of the 'Both sides do it' journalists insist that his rise is also a reaction to Hillary: ie, supposedly she is just as bad as Trump in the voters minds. This makes far less sense as there would be a lot of continuity between Obama and Hillary.

Anyway, while the comparison certainly helps Obama as now Americans see just how much worse they can do, there is another very important factor: the economy has really improved for the 99% in 2015.

I've talked about this in previous posts.

"Parenthetically Obama is popular party in the positive contrast with Trump but also partly because last year saw the 99% have their best year in almost two decades-the last 2nd term of a Democratic President-and Americans now feel the best about the economy they have in almost 10 years. "

Things have started to get better for the 99%. Of crucial importance: they are starting to notice. Obviously voters' perception of the economy is what matters in a POTUS election which was what hurt Bush Sr. in 1992. The economy was recovering but voters didn't feel it yet.

In any case some new numbers now show that middle incomes had their best year on record last year.

"The incomes of typical Americans rose in 2015 by 5.2 percent, the first significant boost to middle-class pay since the end of the Great Recession and the fastest increase ever recorded by the federal government, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday morning."

"In addition, the poverty rate fell by 1.2 percentage points, a statistically significant amount. There were 43.1 Americans in poverty on the year, 3.5 million fewer than in 2014. The share of Americans who lack health insurance continued a years-long decline, falling 1.3 percentage points, to 9.1 percent."

But I thought Trump was going to run against Obamacare? I thought if only he could start talking about the Obama economy Hillary was in trouble?

The numbers, from the government's annual report on income, poverty and health insurance, suggest the recovery from recession is finally beginning to lift the fortunes of large swaths of American workers and families.

Real median household income was $$56,500 in 2015, the bureau said, up from $53,700 in 2014. The gain was a combination of rising wages in the economy - spurred by a labor market where unemployment is falling and employers are being forced to compete more for workers - and low inflation."

"The gains brought median incomes nearly back to their levels before the recession, after adjusting for inflation, though they remain below 1999 levels."

"So we've finally filled the entire gap from the recession. 2015 was the best year ever but not quite at 1999 levels adjusted for inflation. 1999 being the last time a popular two term Democratic President was in his final year. "

But while Gore stupidly pretended not to know who Bill Clinton was, Hillary is hugging Obama tightly; and he is hugging right back.

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