I must agree with Oliver Berliner that my headline “Is government obsolete?” may have left something to be desired. It was an obvious response to George Will's “Is the individual obsolete?” But our debate between the powers of the state versus the individual is nothing new, and a more nuanced title might have been appreciated.
How about “Let’s do what works?” Democrats not only recognize government’s role in addressing less desirable human proclivities, Democratic administrations have delivered superior results by virtually every positive economic measure over the past half century. Reviewing all of this may be a lot to ask, but we might compare Trump’s first 21 months with Obama’s last 21.
Positive numbers are always welcomed, but undisputed statistics tell us that we have essentially remained on Obama’s job growth trajectory and that Trump will reach his 25 million job growth goal if our economy continues to grow at the pace it was under Obama. Our unemployment rate has shown essentially the same progression, and let us be aware that growth rates are as important as the total numbers. Trump started with a workforce of 145.7 million, 9 percent larger than when Obama took office.
We may hear, "Obama made us a bit like Europe, so it’s no wonder his economy was weak,” but let us focus upon the recession he was handed and very real recovery. Otherwise, "Let us not be defined by unseemly puffery and misspoken claims” will remain a line worthy of our attention.