#Fakenews? How The Media Misleads About Obama’s And Trump’s Economic Records

Frank Cannon | President at American Principles Project

It’s amazing to what lengths the mainstream media has gone to downplay President Donald Trump’s economic successes in his first year.

The same press corps that breathlessly endorsed President Barack Obama’s trillions of dollars in wasted spending in 2009 and 2010 via the failed stimulus package and Obamacare now worries about how government will “pay for” $1.5 trillion over ten years in tax cuts. (Remember, they’re talking about your money — not the government’s.)

And now the media is trying to downplay the impressive gains in the stock market President Trump has presided over since his election, instead crediting President Obama for much of that growth.

The problem is one of timing. Typically, President Obama is being credited with all stock market growth between his inauguration in 2009 and Trump’s in 2017, leading headlines to proclaim that he grew the stock market “140 percent” during his term. This means that market growth is being ascribed to Obama which happened after Trump’s election, while also ascribing the declines which happened following Obama’s election instead to President Bush.

The claim ignores, however, the way the stock market actually works. In reality, markets pay attention to changes and react to those changes in advance. Therefore, market growth following Trump’s election last November could also realistically be attributed to an anticipation of Trump’s market-friendly policies, even though Obama was technically still president.

If one revises the “Obama market” dates to begin the day after Election Day 2008 and end on Election Day 2016, Obama’s 140 percent growth shrinks to just 90 percent — a good number, but not nearly as impressive.

Meanwhile, the media uses the same tactics to de-emphasize how significant the Trump stock market boom has been — first, by comparing one year under Trump to two full terms under Obama, and second, by using the same, faulty inauguration-to-inauguration range. By the media’s current math, President Trump has presided over a 5,000-point increase (25 percent) in the Dow as of Friday, December 22. But when including the time during Trump’s transition — which makes sense given the reasoning above, pricing in anticipated policy changes before they happen — Trump’s market growth increases to more than 6,500 points (34 percent) in just over one year.

Nevertheless, the inauguration-to-inauguration stock market increase percentage continues to be a go-to economic statistic the media uses because it is one of the few that reflect positively on President Obama. They cannot reference the anemic GDP growth or historically low workforce participation rate during Obama’s term, so instead, they propagandize with this number.

However, they aren’t fooling working class Americans. Wages remained stagnant, prices increased, and the real economic prospects for the vast majority of families worsened during Obama’s presidency — facts not offset by decent stock market growth.

By contrast, in just one year under President Trump, the economy is roaring — the U.S. gross-domestic product grew by 3.2 percent in the third quarter, an impressive improvement over President Obama’s “new normal” legacy. With a wide array of tax cuts passed and consumer confidence at its highest level in 17 years, things are clearly changing for the better… whether #FakeNews reports it truthfully or not.

Frank Cannon is the president at American Principles Project.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.

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