The sputtering economic recovering under President Obama, the last to follow a major recession, has fallen way short of the average recovery and ranks as the worst since the 1930s Great Depression, according to a new report.
Had the recovery under Obama been the average of the 11 since the Depression, according to the report, family incomes would be $17,000 higher, six million fewer Americans would be in poverty, and there would be six million more jobs.
"Obama's economic policies," said the report from the Heartland Institute, "produced the worst recovery from a recession since the Great Depression, worse than what every other president faced with a recession has achieved since the 1930s."
Author Peter J. Ferrara concluded that the president and Democrats have followed the wrong model and should have leaned in favor of Reaganomics. "Although presented to the public as a progressive, forward-looking thinker, President Barack Obama has actually taken the United States back to the thoroughly failed economic policies of the 1930s and 1970s, and so ultimately to the same results. Most academic liberals no longer believe in pure, unreconstructed Keynesianism, but Obama and his economic advisors apparently do," he wrote.
He cites several standards for measuring growth, especially jobs, and concludes that the last seven years have hurt the middle class.
"The slow growth and negligible job creation under Obama caused a decline in middle-class incomes. The Census Bureau's Current Population Survey shows real median household income fell by more than $4,500 during Obama's first term, approximately 8 percent, meaning the middle class lost the equivalent of one month's pay under Obama," said the report.
— Job losses: If the current recovery were as strong as the average of prior recoveries, the United States would have six million more jobs today.
— Household income: If the current recovery were as strong as the average, the average U.S. family would have $17,000 more in annual income.
— Poverty: Six million more Americans are in poverty today than when President Barack Obama entered office. The poverty rate in early 2016 was 14.8 percent, higher than when the War on Poverty was launched in 1966.
— Income inequality: Real median household income fell by nearly 8 percent in Obama's first term, equivalent to the middle class losing one month's pay each year. Income for the bottom 20 percent of households fell by a similar amount. Income has been rising only for the top 20 percent.
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org