Barack Obama

During the Trump administration, the economy grew

During the Trump administration, the economy grew

The United States economy has grown since Donald J. Trump became president, until the pandemic. How does the growth compare with the previous administration? This chart holds plots of real gross domestic product (GDP) added over two periods of 12 quarters each. One line starts with the first quarter of 2017, which is the first quarter of the Trump administration. It ends with the fourth quarter of 2019, which is the last quarter that was not affected by the response to the pandemic. The other line starts with the first quarter of 2014 and covers the last 12 quarters of…
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The Trump record on job creation

The Trump record on job creation

The United States economy has created many jobs since Donald J. Trump became president. How does the record compare with the previous administration and others? The nearby chart holds plots of cumulative nonfarm jobs created over two periods of 37 months each. One line starts with February 2017, the first full month of the Trump administration. It ends with February 2020, the last month not affected by the response to the pandemic. The other line starts with January 2014, which covers the last 37 months of the previous president's administration. Question: Which line belongs to each president? No matter which…
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Partisan Conflict Index

Partisan Conflict Index

Have you suspected that the country has become more partisan? An index supports that. The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia produces a monthly index that measures one aspect of political partisanship. The authors explain: The Partisan Conflict Index tracks the degree of political disagreement among U.S. politicians at the federal level by measuring the frequency of newspaper articles reporting disagreement in a given month. Higher index values indicate greater conflict among political parties, Congress, and the President. The index is an outgrowth of recent Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia research that finds that the index tends to increase near elections…
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Before pandemic, Trump economy created jobs

Before pandemic, Trump economy created jobs

There is no doubt that the United States economy has created many jobs since Donald J. Trump became president. How does the record compare with the previous administration? This chart holds plots of cumulative nonfarm jobs created over two periods of 37 months each. One line starts with February 2017, the first full month of the Trump administration. It ends with February 2020, the last month not affected by the response to the pandemic. The other line starts with January 2014, which covers the last 37 months of the previous president's administration. Question: Which line belongs to each president? No…
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Trump economy continues to grow

Trump economy continues to grow

There is no doubt that the United States economy has grown since Donald J. Trump became president. How does the growth compare with the previous administration? This chart holds plots of real gross domestic product (GDP) added over two periods of 12 quarters each. One line starts with the first quarter of 2017, the first quarter of the Trump administration. It ends with the fourth quarter of 2019. The other line starts with the first quarter of 2014, which covers the last 12 quarters of the previous president's administration. Question. Which line belongs to each president's administration? No matter which…
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Trump economy creates jobs

Trump economy creates jobs

There is no doubt that the United States economy has created many jobs since Donald J. Trump became president. How does the record compare with the previous administration? This chart holds plots of cumulative nonfarm jobs created over two periods of 34 months each. One line starts with February 2017, the first full month of the Trump administration. It ends with November 2019. The other line starts with April 2014, which covers the last 34 months of the previous president's administration. Question: Which line belongs to each president? No matter which administration's line is blue and which is grey, I…
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Lessons from Kansas tax reform

Lessons from Kansas tax reform

What can the rest of the nation learn from our experience in Kansas? Come to think of it, why haven't we learned much? Economists from American Legislative Exchange Council have looked at Kansas and derived some lessons from our state's struggle with tax reform. The document is titled Lessons from Kansas: A Behind the Scenes Look at America‚Äôs Most Discussed Tax Reform Effort. A few remarks and quotations: It may be difficult for us in Kansas to see how the rest of the country views our state. But it's all about the struggle between those who want more government, and…
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Obama’s stimulus, in retrospect

Obama’s stimulus, in retrospect

A positive effect of the 2009 Obama stimulus appeared only long after its forecasted date. Many people remember that President Barack Obama warned that the unemployment rate would rise to a high level without a stimulus program. In January 2009 two Obama administration officials, including Christina Romer (who would become chair of the Council of Economic Advisers) wrote a paper estimating what the national unemployment rate would be with, and without, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan, commonly known as the stimulus.[1. Romer, Christine, and Bernstein, Jared. The Job Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment plan. https://www.economy.com/mark-zandi/documents/The_Job_Impact_of_the_American_Recovery_and_Reinvestment_Plan.pdf.] That plan…
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Holding politicians to their boasts and promises

Holding politicians to their boasts and promises

There are useful lessons we can learn from the criticism of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback, including how easy it is to ignore inconvenient lessons of history. Tax cuts in Kansas were promised by Governor Brownback to be a "shot in the arm" for the Kansas economy. Opponents of the governor and tax cuts take great delight in reporting the generally anemic growth of the Kansas economy since then. Month after month, the tax cuts are condemned by Kansas newspaper editorial writers and the governor's detractors. I don't think it's a particularly strong form of argument to defend someone by showing…
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The unprecedented campaign against free speech

The unprecedented campaign against free speech

The political left's campaign to silence opponents and reorder society in accordance with their personal beliefs is in many ways the single greatest threat to America's experiment in self-governance, writes Mark Holden. The unprecedented campaign against free speech By Mark Holden. Originally published in The Hill. The liberal Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once warned of the biggest danger facing free speech: "If you have no doubt of your premises or your power, and want a certain result with all your heart, you naturally express your wishes in law, and sweep away all opposition." Yet many lawmakers today are…
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