Obama: ‘It’s Pretty Hard To Find An Economic Measure Where We’re Not Significantly Better Off’

Brendan Bordelon | Contributor

President Obama put his rosy glasses on for an interview with CNBC on Thursday, claiming “It’s pretty hard to find an economic measure where we’re not significantly better off.”

Obama spoke with CNBC’s Steve Liesman about the economic policies pushed by the White House and what the federal government expects going forward.

“What can you tell average Americans about the outlook of the economy?” Liesman asked, noting that even Obama’s own former economic advisor Larry Summers is forecasting lower growth over the next few years.

Obama dismissed that notion. “If you think about where we were, Steve, when I came into office and where we are now — it’s pretty hard to find an economic measure where we’re not significantly better off.”

The president pointed to the massive ballooning of the stock market and corporate profits under his administration, the decline of workers seeking unemployment benefits and a recovering auto industry. He even took credit for the nation’s natural gas boom and the moderate rollback of the federal deficit.

“There are a lot of things there that give me confidence we’re poised to take off,” he continued. “But there are some things that are holding us back.” Those things, of course, were “inactions by our federal government.”

Liesman pushed back. “Sorry Mr. President — I can confirm most of your data, but median family incomes, that’s one that is not doing better.”

Obama agreed, blaming trends like globalization, structural income inequality and inaction on minimum wage in Congress — not White House policy.

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