They say Donald Trump was born on third base while insisting he hit a triple. And so it goes with the economy. Frankly, Biff should be praising Barack Obama every damn day because it's the strength of the Obama economy that's propping up Trump's approval numbers to an artificial 40-ish percent despite his monstrous behavior, his incompetence, his treason and his childish obnoxiousness. Without the Obama economy, Trump would've been frog marched out of the White House months ago.
It's no wonder Trump and his army of Red Hats are busily lying to each other about the comparative "success" of today's Trump economy versus the alleged "American carnage" we experienced during the second Obama term. While it's true that the economy remains relatively strong, Trump's actions have very little to do with the continued positive economic indicators. But that's not what he's telling his people, and it's definitely not what his people are telling each other. Think about the mass delusion and lies of Trump and his Red Hats this way: they're like a dysfunctional couple that keeps giving each other crabs.
Today we learned the economy grew in the second quarter of 2018 at a rate of 4.1 percent. This announcement was followed by much exaggerating and mountains of social media horseshit doled out by the Trumps and their legion of cult members. For example, Donald Trump Jr., who's facing questions about lies he told regarding his father's knowledge of the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, tweeted the following ridiculousness this morning:
Of course Junior's lying about Obama's GDP record. It turns out there were 15 quarters -- which is more than zero -- in which Obama era GDP growth exceeded two percent. Furthermore, the latest GDP numbers were merely the fifth highest since 2009. In other words, there were four quarters during Obama's presidency in which the quarter-to-quarter GDP grew at a rate higher than today's numbers. CNBC's John Harwood reported via Twitter:
—5.1% Q2 2014
—4.9% Q3 2014
—4.7% Q4 2011
—4.5% Q4 2009
Yep. Those numbers, which are definitely higher than Trump's best quarter so far, were collectively referred to as part of the alleged Obama era "American carnage," according to Trump's inaugural address.
And that kind of says it all. The real difference between the overall status of economic growth today versus pre-Trump GDP is how nincompoops like Trump and, to a certain extent, the news media talks about it. During the Obama years, unemployment steadily declined to where it is today. Gross domestic product (GDP), meanwhile, has remained generally solid since Obama's 2009 economic stimulus yanked the economy out of the throes of the Great Recession -- and without an artificially inflated bubble. Oh, and bonus, the budget deficit was cut by a record-smashing trillion dollars under Obama. But due to the fact that a black liberal was president, the economy was defined by Trump and Fox News as "carnage" while the Trump economy, which is merely a continuation of what occurred before, is considered the greatest economy in the history of economies.
Trump's luck along those lines appears to be dwindling, though. The Dow, for example, has been wobbly since his whimsical trade war of choice began, with several record-breaking crashes in the mix. The budget deficit is on track to jump to more than a trillion dollars by the end of the year -- a convenient though (cough) socialistic means of economic stimulus. And when the impact of the tariffs kick in for real, the economy will sadly take another hit, perhaps dragging the economy into another recession. The hit, though, might occur after the Democrats retake Congress, allowing Trump to conveniently blame congressional Democrats for the decline, even though voters typically tend to blame the president for economic downturns. Trump, as we've learned, enjoys the latitude of his own set of rules, so who knows which side will get the blame.
Bear in mind my usual caveat: I hope I'm wrong. I hope the economy remains solid into the future, especially since the Great Recession was a shit show for so many Americans including yours truly. But Trump is too erratic and too incompetent to be a successful steward of the economy. After all, we know two main things about Trump. First, Trump always makes things worse for Trump. Always. And, second, everything Trump touches turns to shit. Thus, he and his Red Hats have no choice but to lie about the Trump record. They'll keep lying, too, hoping voters, the news media and future historians will bend to the constant barrage of Trumpian mendacity. But the numbers and real history will prove otherwise, and the numbers don't lie.