Lies, Damned Lies, And Steve Rattner’s Statistics
If liberal economists could win the economic debate with honest arguments, they would make them.
As President Reagan once joked, “Well, the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” In his New York Times op-ed, Steve Rattner adds his name to the list of people willing to compromise their reputation to mislead the American people.
No serious economist would measure a president’s performance blindly from the day they stepped into office until the day they left. The Trump administration should be evaluated for its response to the pandemic, but not for the pandemic itself. With eight years to shepherd the economy, President Obama should be measured by how his policies left the economy relative to the economy prior to the financial crisis, rather than by the economy’s growth from a temporary recession as if the recession were permanent.
By that measure, the Obama administration’s polices grew employment by seven million workers over employment prior to the financial crisis at end of 2007. His policies did so at a time when the population of 25 to 64 year-olds grew by 8.6 million people. So, after eight years at the helm, the Obama administration created 1.6 million fewer jobs than the growth in working-age adults — the supposed “new normal.”
In contrast, the Trump administration’s policies grew employment by 6.6 million workers at a time when the population of 25 to 64 year-olds grew by 1.4 million people. In three years, President Trump’s policies created 5.2 million more jobs than the growth in working age adults. Unemployment consequently fell and workforce participation rose. No honest person could compare the two administrations and conclude the Trump administration’s economic performance was inferior.
Read more on National Review Online