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Trump Did Nothing to Help the Economic Boom

(Bloomberg Opinion) — The public gives President Donald Trump very low marks for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and race relations. But as recently as the end of June, the public was still giving him slightly positive marks for his handling of the economy. That edge may now be eroding, but Trump’s numbers on economic policy are still much better than on other important issues:

It’s obvious why Trump gets decent ratings on the economy — before the coronavirus outbreak in March, he had presided over the late stages of the longest economic expansion in postwar U.S. history. But the key phrase here is “presided over,” because Trump didn’t really do much more than that. If anything, those economic policies that he did manage to enact probably did more harm than good.

The expansion that began in 2009 was one for the history books, narrowly outlasting the booms of the 1990s and 1960s. But duration isn’t everything. Much of the reason that recovery lasted so long is that there was such a big shock to recover from. In terms of growth in real gross domestic product per capita, that expansion was actually slower than most:

The one place where Trump’s recovery […]

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