Obama ready to hand off a healthy U.S. economy to his successor

The recent historical pattern doesn’t exactly inspire confidence. In 1992, after a lengthy period of Republican governance, a Democratic president took office in the midst of a weak economy. That Democrat helped turn things around and left office eight years later, handing off a healthy economy to his GOP successor.

That Republican squandered what he’d been given, leading the nation into an economic crisis, which he handed off to his Democratic successor – who also oversaw a sustained economic recovery, handing off another health economy to another Republican.
The U.S. economy grew faster than initially thought in the third quarter, notching its best performance in two years, buoyed by strong consumer spending and a surge in soybean exports.

Gross domestic product increased at a 3.2 percent annual rate instead of the previously reported 2.9 percent pace, the Commerce Department said in its second GDP estimate on Tuesday. Growth was the strongest since the third quarter of 2014 and followed the second quarter’s anemic 1.4 percent pace.
Politico’s Ben White took note yesterday of the conditions Donald Trump is inheriting from President Obama: healthy economic growth, record high stock prices, record high home prices, low unemployment, and rising wages. This is in line with fresh data pointing to improved consumer confidence and consumer spending.

Not too shabby.

In fact, I’ve heard from plenty of Democrats in recent weeks who’ve told me in casual conversation that the economy may have been too good to help the party win in the 2016 elections – because Obama’s economic successes may have created electoral complacency. Recent Republican presidents’ economic failures are no longer fresh in voters’ minds, and with such widespread progress in recent years, many Americans felt comfortable taking a gamble on an unqualified and incompetent presidential candidate.

Those debates can continue, of course, but in the meantime, Obama can take some comfort in the fact that he was a capable steward who’s leaving office with the country in vastly better shape than he found it eight years ago.



Barack Obama and Rachel Maddow Show Charts

Obama ready to hand off a healthy U.S. economy to his successor