Why Isn’t the Economy the Issue?

At the New York Post, Carl Campanile and Danika Fears make a good point: “Hillary, Trump too busy insulting each other to focus on Obama’s weak economy.”

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump are too busy trading barbs on hot-button topics like race and immigration to discuss the economy, which has slowed to a crawl under President Obama’s watch.

“The numbers are bad. There should be a concern about the weakness in the economy,” said Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former ­director of the Congressional Budget Office.

“I would have thought that the economy would be at the center of the presidential campaign. Instead we’re hearing about which candidate is more racist. It’s crazy. It’s sad.”

How bad is the Obama economy?

Commerce Department figures released Friday show that real GDP increased by a mere 1.1 percent annualized rate in the second quarter of 2016.

Barack Obama will leave office as the only president never to have witnessed a single year in which GDP growth hit 3%. Democrats tell us this is the “new normal,” that we should forget about the kind of growth that until Obama came along, we regarded as routine.

In 1992, Bill Clinton announced that “It’s the economy, stupid.” That was pretty much the sole theme of his campaign. He ludicrously claimed that the country was then experiencing “the worst economy since the Great Depression,” a lie that the press, to its everlasting shame, not just allowed but often endorsed. So what was the level of GDP growth that Clinton relentlessly denigrated?

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the quarterly growth numbers for 1992, in chained 2009 dollars, were 4.8%, 4.5%, 3.9% and 4.1%. That’s right–the growth that Bill Clinton derided as the “worst economy since the Great Depression” was around four times what we are now seeing under Barack Obama. And Hillary Clinton promises to continue Obama’s anti-growth policies.

By rights, the election should be over. The Democrats’ chronically lousy economy should guarantee that the next occupant of the White House will be a Republican. Unfortunately, that isn’t the way things are turning out.

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