Trump Says he In­her­ited a Mess, Messes It Up Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump makes a messy case that he “in­her­ited a mess’’ from his pre­de­ces­sor. Eco­nom­ics statis­tics and ter­ri­to­rial losses of Is­lamic State in­sur­gents don’t sup­port his as­ser­tions about the prob­lem

The Economic Times - - Around The World -

TRUMP Tobe­hon­est,Iin­heritedamess. It’samess.Athome­andabroad,amess. THE FACTS By al­most ev­ery eco­nomic mea­sure, Pres­i­dent Barack Obama in­her­ited a far worse sit­u­a­tion when he be­came pres­i­dent in 2009. He had to deal with the worst down­turn since the De­pres­sion. Un­em­ploy­ment was spik­ing, the stock mar­ket crash­ing, the auto in­dus­try fail­ing and mil­lions of Amer­i­cans risked los­ing their homes to fore­clo­sure when Obama took the oath of of­fice. None of those statis­tics is as dire for Trump.

Un­em­ploy­ment is 4.8%, against a peak of 10% dur­ing Obama’s first year. The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age was cra­ter­ing un­til March 2009, only to re­bound roughly 200% over the rest of Obama’s term— gains that have con­tin­ued un­der Trump on the prom­ise of tax and reg­u­la­tory cuts.

TRUMP ISIS has spread like cancer. THE FACTS The Is­lamic State group be­gan to lose ground be­fore Trump took of­fice, not just in Iraq and Syria but also in Libya. The grad­ual mil­i­tary progress achieved in Iraq dur­ing Obama’s fi­nal two years has pushed IS to the point of col­lapse in Mo­sul, its main Iraqi strong­hold. It re­mains a po­tent dan­ger beyond its shrunken ter­ri­tory, en­cour­ag­ing ad­her­ents to stage acts of ter­ror­ism. The anal­ogy with cancer is an echo of Obama’s last de­fence sec­re­tary, Ash Carter.

TRUMP Thisad­min­is­tra­tionis­run­ning likeafine-tuned­ma­chine,de­spitethe fact­thatI­can’tget­myCabi­ne­tap­proved. THE FACTS Did he just say a “fine- tuned ma­chine’’? Trump’s first month has been con­sumed by a se­ries of mis­steps and firestorms, and pro­duced far less sig­nif­i­cant leg­is­la­tion than Obama in his first month.

Repub­li­can-led con­gres­sional com­mit­tees will in­ves­ti­gate Trump team’s re­la­tions with Rus­sians be­fore he took of­fice and the flood of leaks that al­to­gether forced out his na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser in record time. His pick for la- bour sec­re­tary with­drew as he didn’t have enough Repub­li­can sup­port. By many mea­sures, the ad­min­is­tra­tion is in near paral­y­sis.

In his first month, Obama signed a $787 bil­lion stim­u­lus pack­age into law, as well as a law ex­pand­ing health care for chil­dren and the Lilly Led­bet­ter bill on equal pay for women. Trump has vig­or­ously pro­duced ex­ec­u­tive or­ders, which don’t re­quire con­gres­sional ap- proval and typ­i­cally have nar­row ef­fect. The one with far-reach­ing con­se­quences — ban­ning en­try by refugees and by vis­i­tors from seven coun­tries —has­been­blocked­by­courts.Trump’s big­gest ini­tia­tives, such as tax cuts and a re­place­ment for Obama’s health care law, have not emerged.

TRUMP It was the big­gest Elec­toral Col­lege win since Ron­ald Rea­gan. THE FACTS Not even close. In seven pre­vi­ous elec­tions, win­ner of five of those con­tests won a larger Elec­toral Col­lege ma­jor­ity than Trump. They were Ge­orge HW Bush in 1988, Bill Clin­ton in 1992 and 1996; and Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. When a re­porter pointed out that Trump was over­stat­ing his win­ning mar­gin, the pres­i­dent said: “Well, I don’t know, I was given that in­for­ma­tion.’’

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