Donald Trump, for all his efforts to undermine and erase the legacy of President Obama, is still benefitting greatly from his predecessor’s successes. Obama managed to pull the American economy out of the death spiral of the Bush years and set the nation on a course to a strong and vibrant recovery.
Trump then swooped into office and took credit for the rebounding economy, despite the fact that he passed no meaningful legislation beyond his regressive tax bill, which has yet to take effect and which will ultimately hurt the economy, by giving massive, unneeded tax breaks to the super rich and saddling the middle class with tax hikes.
It’s, of course, worth noting that the president alone isn’t responsible for the entire economy, but the policies he pushes do shape it in broad strokes. President Obama made savvy moves to guide us out of the economic gutter. President Trump has chosen to pursue policies that could crater the economy in the long term and further shrink the middle class. The problem is that some of his mistakes won’t take effect for a few years, so by then, he will be able to deny responsibility.
Today, Trump tweeted about a recently released Quinnipiac Poll, stating that 66% of Americans believe the economy is in “excellent or good” shape. He added that it was the highest number ever recorded by that poll. What Trump conveniently failed to mention was that 49% of those polled attribute the economy to President Obama, while only 40% attribute it to Trump.
In new Quinnipiac Poll, 66% of people feel the economy is “Excellent or Good.” That is the highest number ever recorded by this poll.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 11, 2018
The poll was less than flattering of Trump in other areas, particularly when it came to grading his first disastrous year. Most Americans do not think too highly of their president.
“Grading President Trump’s first year in office, 39 percent of voters give him an ‘F,’ while 17 percent give him a ‘D.’ Trump gets an ‘A’ from 16 percent of voters, a ‘B’ from another 16 percent and a ‘C’ from 11 percent of voters,” reports the Quinnipiac poll.
In an open-ended part of the poll in which voters could use one word to describe Trump’s first year the top two responses were “disaster” and “chaotic.”
In other words, the plurality of Americans polled thinks that Trump is an abject failure as president. The evidence seems to be on their side. In addition to the aforementioned abomination of a tax bill, Trump also scuttled the TPP thus helping China to seize economic hegemony in the Pacific, pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement thus failing to take effective steps to curb climate change, and generally eroded the country’s standing and reputation on the national stage.