With President Obama, Democrats and their media fellow travelers having failed to win the hearts and minds of voters, they are now trying to build a legacy on the big lie: “The president is handing his successor an economy that’s now the envy of the world.”
David Corn of the progressive Mother Jones magazine claimed on November 7: “the election is a referendum on the explicit use of hate in politics — a reckoning toward which the GOP has been hurtling for half a century.” But Donald Trump won by campaigning on making the election a referendum on President Obama’s failed economic policies.
The 2016 election results were the worst performance by the Democrat Party since the 1870s. Republicans now hold the presidency, both houses of Congress, 33 governorships and control of both legislature chambers in 32 states. The Democrats only control both legislature chambers in just 13 states.
Middle class voters, especially in “flyover country,” came to believe on November 8 that the Obama administration’s economic recovery was the worst since the Great Depression in the 1930s, according to Peter J. Ferrara of the Heartland Institute.
Ferrara suggests that despite $6 trillion in deficit spending during President Obama’s first term, median household income after inflation fell by more than $4,500, about the equivalent of losing one month’s pay per year. He adds that after another $4 trillion in deficit spending in Obama’s second term, after-inflation median household income did stabilize. But the average American family would have $17,000 more in annual income if 8 years of the Obama recovery had equaled the average recession recovery since World War II.
But the Obama administration continues to claim that pushing the unemployment rate down from 10 percent will be the centerpiece of the outgoing president’s legacy. Jason Furman, Chairman of Obama Administration’s Council of Economic Advisers, told CNBC on December 2, “I didn’t think I’d ever see the unemployment rate that low,” after the Labor Department reported that the November unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent.
But more than half of that supposed decline during the Obama Administration was due to the equivalent of about 7.5 million Americans giving up looking for a job or dropping out of labor force. Furthermore, the current level of part-time employment, at 18.3 percent (about 27.8 million), is a higher percentage than at any time since the Great Depression.
One advantage for Democrats of having a lousy recovery for workers, is that the interest rates stayed so low that U.S. house prices just hit a new all-time-high.
But most of those gains went to the rich. The percentage of families that own a house dropped from 67.5 percent, when President Obama first took office in January 2009, to 62.9 percent in November. The last time the rate of home ownership was that low was 1966, when Lyndon Johnson was President.
George Friedman, founder of Geopolitical Futures. commented after the election that it was the disbelief that Trump, as an amateur populist, could even compete, is the “reason Hillary Clinton lost.” The Democratic Party “that Franklin D. Roosevelt crafted or that Lyndon B. Johnson had led” abandoned its core white working-class voters, which Trump proved are “single largest ethnic and social group in the country.”
Friedman observes: “Liberals are concerned with inequality. People in the lower-middle class are simply concerned with making enough money to live a decent life. They are two very different things.”
Friedman credits Trump for also understanding that “these people had lost the culture wars that had been waged for the past generation.” Their churches and parents raised and taught them “gut values.” The pride that comes to the lower- and middle-class from working hard and making a good living for their families was lost had been displaced. In order to be politically correct, the “values they were taught as children could no longer be expressed in public.”
Democrats and their media allies are working hard to build a legacy of the Obama administration’s accomplishments. But Friedman suggests the election demonstrated that the “middle-class group no longer had a place in the Democratic Party” that only has contempt for them.