There has been a great deal of comparison made between Pres. Donald J. Trump and former Pres. Barack Obama that is purposely misleading. Facts have been distorted, falsely reported or just skewed to make one U.S. president look better than the other. However, there is no escaping a one-to-one comparison between them in terms of the hard numbers kept by long-standing government agencies.
Contrary to some reporting, a president’s influence on the country begins on election night. When the final votes are tallied, foreign governments, Wall Street, major corporations and insurance industries among many others, brace themselves for change. What an incoming president plans to do is not a mystery to major institutions. They generally react in advance of a president taking the oath of office in January.
That’s why comparing the hard data between Pres. Trump and Obama starting from election night in 2008 and 2016 makes sense. These are the true facts about each president’s first two years in office.
Trump versus Obama on Unemployment
On election night 2008, Pres. Obama won his first term on a platform of “Hope” and “Change.” At the time of his victory speech, national unemployment stood at 6.8 percent. African-American unemployment was a staggering 11.5 percent, and Hispanic unemployment was 8.7 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS).
By election night 2010, unemployment had significantly increased during Obama’s first two years, according to the BLS. National unemployment rose to 9.8 percent, and Americans suffered a 2009 peak of 10 percent. Unemployment rates also topped 9 percent in 19 months of Obama’s first two years.
African-American unemployment increased from 11.5 percent during on his election day win to 16.2 percent over two years. The demographic also suffered 22 months over 12 percent unemployment and five months of 15 percent or higher. Hispanic unemployment was 12.9 percent in November 2010 and had hit a high of 13 percent in 2009. The demographic also suffered unemployment that hovered above 12 percent for 18 months.
Pres. Trump’s unemployment data tells a radically different story from his election night win to the recent 2018 elections. After his historic upset victory, the national unemployment rate stood at 4.1 percent. By election night 2018, unemployment stood at 3.7 percent with the nation being considered at full employment.
African-American unemployment was 7.9 when Trump won the presidency and has enjoyed all-time lows now hovering at approximately 6.2 percent. Hispanic unemployment stood at 5.7 percent in November 2016 and had hit a historic low of 4.4 percent. Unemployment decreased at a fairly steady rate since Pres. Trump won the White House.
Trump versus Obama on the Economy
It would be unfair to assign the year-ending GDP growth figures to each incoming president. These numbers are the result of previous policy and economic growth. However, the winds of corporate change can be relatively quick, and long-term policy tends to set the table for future success or failure.
In 2009, Obama took over a low-performing economy that posted a year-end number of 1.8 percent. Although the GDP was in steady decline since hitting 3.8 in 2004, Obama-era policies and regulations were unkind to the business sector. By 2008, the national GDP growth was a negative 0.3, and it bottomed out at negative 2.5 percent in 2009. It ranked among worst GDP losses in history. Growth rebounded to a modest 2.6 percent in 2010.
When Pres. Trump won his election in 2016, the GDP growth 1.6 percent, only slightly worse than when Obama took office. The GDP improved in 2017 to 2.3 percent growth and hit a 4.2-percent high during the second quarter of 2018. Third quarter estimates are expected to exceed 3.5 percent. Pres. Trump’s success in this area has been largely attributed to lowering business taxes, removing unnecessary business regulations and withdrawal from anti-worker trade agreements.
Trump versus Obama: Two Important Numbers
Unemployment and GDP growth are strong touchstones to measure the health of an economy. But there are a number of other significant numbers to consider when determining overall economic well-being.
- DOW Jones Obama: The Dow Jones was 8,943 when Obama won his first term and ended at approximately 11,200 by November 2010. Of note, the DOW Jones sank more than 300 points in one day upon Obama winning the White House.
- DOW Jones Trump: Pres. Trump assumed a DOW at 18,259.60. The day after he won, the market soared 257 points. At the two-year mark in 2018, the DOW stood at 25,635.
- Energy Independence: Obama took over a crude oil economy producing 5.74 million barrels daily in 2007. That figure dipped to more than a 50-year low to 5 million in 2018. Production increased to 5.478 million in 2010. Pres. Trump won office in 2016 at 8.8 million barrels daily. That figure rose to 9.352 million in 2017 and recently hit 11.3 million barrels daily, a historic high. The U.S. is currently the world’s leader in crude oil production for the first time in more than 50 years.
Although Democrats and even Obama himself have attempted to take credit for these improved economic numbers, the current administration made radical departures on trade, business regulations, corporate and personal taxation and other policies that are widely regarded as the reason for the booming economy.
It also stands to reason that Obama was not necessarily an “economy” president. His primary focus leaned toward social reform, climate change issues and other initiatives. Pres. Trump’s signature legislation to date has been the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
~ Conservative Zone