Donald Trump Is Right — The Economy Does Better Under Democrats

Dennis Crawford
7 min readApr 9, 2024

In a 2004 interview on CNN, Donald Trump said, “The economy does better under the Democrats than the Republicans.” He’s right. The history of the last thirty four years proves that Trump was correct. It’s weird to agree with Trump. I know.

The following numbers are from Simon Rosenberg.

  • 33.8 million jobs created = 16 years Clinton, Obama
  • 15.2 million jobs created = 38 months of Biden
  • 1.9 million jobs created = 16 years of Bush, Bush, Trump

Biden’s 15.2 million jobs are 8 times as many jobs as were created in the 16 years of the last 3 Republican Presidencies, combined. Since 1989 and the end of the Cold War, the US has seen 51 million new jobs created. 49 million of those 51 million jobs — 96% — have been created under Democratic Presidents. Just 2 million jobs — 4% — have been created under Republicans.

How did this happen? What is the historical context here? Let’s take a little trip down memory lane and explore modern U.S. economic history.

When President Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he inherited a slow growth economy emerging from a recession and a then record budget deficit. Once President Clinton took office, the Republicans suddenly became “concerned” about the deficit and demanded that Clinton reduce the deficits they ran up.

To clean up the mess he inherited, Clinton proposed to raise taxes on the wealthy and cut spending. Not one Republican voted for the 1993 Clinton budget. Instead, every Republican predicted that Clinton’s economic program would cause a recession and increase the deficit. For example, John Kasich (then a Republican congressman from Ohio) contended that: “I feel bad for the people who really are the working people in this country, people in my family, who are going to get the penalties from people who don’t want to invest more, take any more risks. They’re going to lose their jobs, and that’s the tragedy of this program. We’re going to come back here next year, there will be higher deficits, there will be more spending, we’ll continue to have a very slow economy, people aren’t going to go to work.”

Just how did those Republican predictions of doom and gloom play out? As we know, they were dead wrong. What followed the passage of the 1993 Clinton budget package was one of the greatest peacetime economic booms in U.S. history. During the Clinton Presidency, 22 million new jobs were created, unemployment declined from 7% to 4%, median family income rose, and poverty declined to its lowest rate in 20 years. The Clinton budget also converted what was then the largest budget deficit in American history to a projected surplus of $5.6 trillion over the next ten years.

While Clinton built up the biggest budget surplus in U.S. history, he also made significant investments in progressive priorities. Head Start spending increased from $2.8 billion in 1993 to $6.3 billion in 2000. The Earned Income Tax Credit grew from $12.4 billion in 1993 to $30.5 billion in 2000. Child care supports increased from $4.5 billion to $12.6 billion. AmeriCorps — which the Congressional Republicans tried to kill — grew from $373 million in 1993 to $473 million by the time Clinton left office.

Unfortunately, George W. Bush wrecked all of Clinton’s progress with two deficit funded tax cuts for the rich and two failed wars. Bush passed onto President Barack Obama the worst situation any incoming American president had faced since the dark days of the Great Depression in March 1933. When Obama took office, the world economy was in free fall due to the collapse of Wall Street in the fall of 2008. The economy was losing 800,000 jobs per month, GDP had shrunk 8.9% in the fourth quarter of 2008, the banking industry was on the verge of disintegration and the U.S. auto industry hung by a thread.

In response to the Bush recession, Obama proposed and passed the 2009 Recovery Act. This landmark legislation consisted the of biggest middle class tax cut in history, and investments in infrastructure and renewable energy. At the time, the Recovery Act was considered to be the most progressive economic and social legislation in decades. Then Vice President Biden Chief of Staff (and former President Biden White House Chief of Staff) Ron Klain said: “The idea that everyone knew this would be too small and we would just punked out, it’s ridiculous. We felt like we were in the deep end of the pool.”

John Boehner predicted that Obama’s policies would cause “Armageddon” and Ben Sasse boldly predicted that America would “cease to exist.” Once again, the Republican predictions didn’t age well. What turned out to be a much maligned bill was a huge success. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the 2009 Recovery Act saved 1 to 3 million jobs and ended the deepest recession since the Great Depression. In addition, a panel of distinguished economists at the University of Chicago overwhelmingly agreed that the Recovery Act boosted the economy and reduced unemployment.

President Obama reduced the unemployment rate from 10% to 4.7%, created 12 million jobs and reduced the annual deficit by 67%. The economy created jobs in what was then a record 75 consecutive months. That was the best record of job creation since Bill Clinton’s second term. In contrast, a net 3 million jobs were added during the eight years of the Bush Administration. (Bush had then the worst jobs record since Hoover.)

Trump’s incompetence when faced with the pandemic in 2020 ruined all of Obama’s progress. President Joe Biden inherited a nation in crisis from Trump. We had an out of control pandemic, 10 million Americans had lost their jobs, 12 million Americans lost insurance, 8 million Americans fell into poverty and the annual deficit increased from $585 billion to $3.1 trillion. Trump had the worst jobs record since Hoover.

When Trump “left office, the murder rate was higher, drug overdose deaths had increased, and the abortion rate had gone up for the first time in decades. America was more bitterly divided, and deficits increased each year of his presidency. His early Covid lies helped fuel an immense amount of confusion and almost certainly cost American lives. And his entire sorry term was capped by a violent insurrection fueled by an avalanche of lies.” David French.

Republicans like to ignore Trump’s last eleven months in office and contend that everything was awesome in February 2020. That argument fails on two points. Between January 2017 to February 2020, Trump was simply coasting on Obama’s hard won economic gains. In addition, like football, Trump’s presidency didn’t end at the conclusion of the third quarter. If football coaches were judged by the score at the end of the third quarter, Scott Frost would still be the Nebraska football coach.

Once again, the Republicans predicted doom and gloom if Biden was elected president. During the 2020 campaign, Trump prognosticated that: “The policies of the left would unleash an economic disaster of epic proportions.” He also claimed that a Biden win would destroy the country, and cause both a depression and a stock market crash. Hyperbole much?

President Biden and the Democrats rolled up their sleeves and passed the American Rescue Act in 2021. Every Republican voted no. The American Rescue Act included the largest middle class tax cut in history, money for vaccines, money for schools and funding for law enforcement.

Subsequently, Biden passed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. Infrastructure Week had become a running joke during the Trump Administration but Biden got it done. It’s the most significant piece of infrastructure legislation since the Interstate Highway Act of 1956.

Since the passage of this landmark legislation, the country has experienced an economic boom. The numbers don’t lie.

We have had 39 consecutive months of job growth. Fifteen million jobs have have been created since President Biden took office. The US Unemployment Rate has now been below 4% for 26 straight months, the longest streak since the late 1960s. If a Republican president had this kind of record, the GOP would be calling for him to be placed on Mount Rushmore.

Trump would destroy all of this progress with a massive tax increase. Trump supports a 60% tax on all imports from China, a 100% tax on all auto imports and a 10% tax on all other imports. Trump’s tax increase would bring back inflation and cause a recession. We would return to the dreaded stagflation of the 1970s.

Trump isn’t running for president — he’s running for dictator. Authoritarian dictators like Putin, Orban, Maduro and Erdogan have a history of wrecking their country’s economies. Once Trump wrecked the economy, we wouldn’t have any recourse. He has promised to invoke the Insurrection Act to arrest protesters, investigate journalists and prosecute his political opponents. A Trump victory would be the end of freedom in America.

“Once you build a house you always have it. On the other hand, a social or economic gain is a different matter. A social or an economic gain made by one Administration, for instance, may, and often does, evaporate into thin air under the next Administration.” Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Currently, Joe Biden leads Trump in 19 new national polls. He consistently leads now. The election is changing, becoming more favorable to Biden and the Democrats. Any pundit who tells you that Trump is leading is either lying to you or relying upon outdated, junk polls. Be confident going forward. Take nothing for granted. Keep working hard.

It’s America or Trump. Choose wisely.



Dennis Crawford

I’m an aspiring historian, defender of democracy and a sports fan.