KEVIN HASSETT: I can promise you that economic historians will 100 percent accept the fact that there was an inflection at the election of Donald Trump and that a whole bunch of data items started heading north.
Despite Trump's incorrect tweet, both figures are good for Trump, with the GDP growth rate the highest in nearly four years and the unemployment rate the lowest it has been in nearly 18 years. "And at some point somebody probably conveyed it to him adding a zero to that and they shouldn't have done that".
After relaying an incident in which he had inadvertently given an incorrect figure to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, Hassett repeated that the president had made a mistake. "You'd have to talk to the president about where the number came from, but the correct number is 10 years".
Obama, who reportedly has been running his "Organizing for America" operation, along with his White House aide Valerie Jarrett from his expensive home in a Washington neighborhood, spoke to a group of University of IL students last Friday, claiming it was his policies, not those of President Trump, that have produced the current economic boom.
"One of the hypotheses that [have] been floating around about the economy recently is that the strong economy we've been seeing is just a continuation of recent trends", Hassett said.
The government has only been tracking both numbers for 70 years and taking out Wolfers' conclusion to a percentage means that what Trump says has only happened once in the last 100 years has actually happened 20 percent of the time or slightly below the 28.6 percent odds that FiveThirtyEight gave at Trump winning the election. I guess I have a magic wand, 4.2%, and we will do MUCH better than this!
"It's definitely better when it's true than when it's not", said Justin Wolfers, professor of economics at University of MI. What magic wand do you have? "And, usually, the answer is he doesn't have an answer".
"I'm not the chairman of the council of Twitter advisers", he said.
Obama entered office amid the severe economic downturn known as the Great Recession.
The International Monetary Fund now predicts 2.9 percent growth this year and next, marking the longest period of expansion in US history. The bulk of that decade of growth was under Obama's presidency, and can fairly be credited to him. Millions of Americans who can't stand Obama will just tune out the rhetoric, so different than Trump's and so missed by his supporters, but Obama's view of his successor is shared by prominent conservatives such as columnists George Will and Michael Gerson and Sens. Trump said Monday in a posting on Twitter.
But economists tell AFP the truth is closer to splitting the baby: neither president is exclusively responsible and yet both deserve some of the credit for an economic recovery that without a doubt began under Obama. He told Salon's Amanda Marcotte that Republicans have a responsibility for allowing Trump to happen and for not doing more to rein him in. Democrats appear to have a better than even chance of winning the House and some pundits think the Senate might even be in play.