White House economic report blames Obama for slow recession recovery

By Ed Adamczyk Contact the Author   |  Updated Feb. 21, 2018 at 8:43 PM
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Feb. 21 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump's first economic report to Congress, released Wednesday, blames the Obama administration for a slow recovery after the Great Recession first started a decade ago.

The 568-page report argues that "anemic recovery from the Great Recession was not independent of policy choices, and accordingly we proceed to identify the exacerbating factors in the weakness of the post-2009 recovery and the current administration's strategies and menu of policy options to address them."

The report argues that by Trump changing the policies of the Obama administration the U.S. economy will grow by 3 percent per year for the next decade.

Growth during former President Barack Obama's tenure hovered at about 2 percent per year. Trump promised during his campaign regular 4 percent growth every year. The growth rate last year was 2.5 percent.

The report was written by Trump's Council of Economic Advisers. Lead author Kevin Hassett referred to "stagnation" in the U.S. economy prior to the Trump administration, saying, "One explanation for this historical slowdown is that Obama's tax and transfer policies worsened the wound."

In separate chapters on taxes, regulation, labor market policies, infrastructure, trade, health and cybersecurity, the report says modest increases to gross national product in each category will point to increases in output in the next decade.

After releasing the report, the council posted a list of economic achievements on the White House website.

"The U.S. economy experienced a strong and economically notable acceleration in 2017, with growth in real gross domestic product exceeding expectations and increasing to 2.5 percent, up from 1.8 percent during the four quarters of 2016, and the unemployment rate falling 0.6 percentage point to 4.1 percent, the lowest since 2000," it said. "Over the course of 2017, the economy added 2.2 million nonfarm jobs, averaging 181,000 per month, with particular strength in the manufacturing and mining sectors, which had lost 9,000 and 98,000 jobs, respectively, in 2016."

In unveiling the report, the team of advisers compared Trump's economic policies to what they called "transformative" efforts of former Presidents John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan.

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