The Obama Recovery That Wasn’t

The stock market closed down for 2015 reversing one of the few positive accomplishments under the Barack Obama presidency. This has been a pretty prosperous time for the top two percent. For most Americans though — not so much.

A new report from Sentier Research based on Census data finds that median household income of $56,700 at the end of 2015 stood exactly where it was adjusted for inflation at the end of 2007.

That’s eight years of virtually zero income gain. And President Obama and his Washington political pundits wonder why voters are in such a cranky mood.

Last week the Joint Economic Committee of Congress issued a report on the Obama recovery loaded with even more dismal news. On almost every measure examined, the 2009-15 recovery since the recovery ended in June of 2009 has been the meekest in more than 50 years.

Start with the broadest measure of economic progress: growth in output. The chart below compares the Obama growth pace with that of the average recovery coming out of the last eight recessions and with the Reagan recovery and over the same number of months (77). Democrats used to disparage the Reagan expansion as nothing special, yet the growth rate over the first 25 quarters under Reagan was 34 percent versus 14.3 percent under Obama.

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