Over the course of modern American economic history, every president has presided over a year’s worth of 3 percent GDP growth while in office. That means even the worst presidents in the modern era had at least one year of 3 percent growth. But not President Obama.
Barring a large and unexpected growth upswing, President Obama will end his second term with zero years of 3 percent growth. He’ll leave with one of the worst economic records in history – on par with Herbert Hoover, Andrew Jackson and Teddy Roosevelt. The numbers tell the story all too well.
Real Q2 GDP growth was 1.1 percent, which is substantially less than the pre-report consensus of 2.6 percent! With such sluggish growth, it’s pretty safe to think we won’t hit 3 percent growth before a new president takes office in 2017.
Lackluster growth is only one issue at play – another important one is unemployment. We hear about sub-5-percent unemployment numbers, but that is the “U-3″ rate, which only counts those without jobs who are seeking full-time employment.
The truer measure of unemployment, in my opinion, is the “U-6″ rate, which counts all those in the “official” rate along with people who are underemployed (part-timers who want full-time work) and those too discouraged to look for work anymore. That rate stands closer to 10 percent.
The point is to keep all this in mind during election season. What we hear from left-leaning politicians sounds a lot different than the reality batting .000 on economic growth and nearly 10 percent of people unemployed or underemployed.