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America's unemployment rate is currently 3.9 percent — a level we haven't seen since 2000. It's something that President Donald Trump likes to brag about, especially as we approach the midterm elections. So does Trump or his predecessor deserve the credit? Well, it depends on who you ask.
"When you hear about this economic miracle that's been going on, when the job numbers come out, monthly job numbers, and suddenly Republicans are saying, 'It's a miracle,'" President Obama said. "I had to kind of remind them, 'Actually those job numbers are the same as they were in 2015 and 2016.'"
President Barack Obama made those claims during a speech in Illinois on Friday, setting off a battle between the two presidents over who is responsible for the surging economy. Not long after, Trump fired back at a fundraiser in North Dakota.
"I think he was trying to take some credit," Trump said. "He was trying to take credit for this incredible thing that's happening to our country."
On Twitter, he got more specific, writing, "'President Trump would need a magic wand to get to 4% GDP,' stated President Obama. I guess I have a magic wand, 4.2%, and we will do MUCH better than this! We have just begun."
Regardless of who claims what, here are some undeniable statistics. The unemployment rate under Obama went from 7.8 percent to 4.6 percent while under Trump it's gone from 4.8 percent to 3.9 percent. As for GDP, Obama averaged 2.1 percent growth during his time in office. So far, Trump has averaged 2.9 percent growth.
So both can say they've presided over economic achievements in that regard. The trickier part is deciding which president's policies, if any at all, had more of an influence on the job market and growth. Was it the 2009 stimulus package or the 2018 tax cuts? In the end, your answer might depend on your political party affiliation.
The battle over credit between the two presidents is likely to continue as Obama returns to the campaign trail to stump for Democratic candidates across the country. There is at least one thing both Obama and Trump do seem to agree on, though: the economy is doing pretty well.