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CBS Twists Statistics and Reality in Their Attempted Trump Debunking September 20, 2018

Posted by geoff in News.

Another day, another failed Trump debunking.

Today we have Irina Ivanova of CBS news telling us that Trump is incorrect when he claims that the recovery from the Great Recession was the slowest since the Great Depression. Here’s her first chart:


Looky looky! That darn Bush had worse job recovery than Obama!


Let me start by saying that this is a stupid chart to measure recovery, because it gives no indication of what you’re recovering from. A better measure would be: how long did it take the job market to recover the jobs lost in the recession?

Here’s a chart I shamelessly stole from a Harvard website:


This chart does a much better job of showing the impact of the recession and the time to recover. It took almost 7 years for jobs to recover to their pre-Great Recession level, while the dot-com recession  took 4.

So if you’re talking about actual “recovery”, the Obama-led recovery from the Great Recession was the slowest in recent history.

GDP Growth

As her next piece of evidence, she submits a second chart:


And after noting that “…GDP grew faster during a stretch of the post-2001 recovery than the current expansion…,” this is what she has to say:

U.S. GDP today is 22 percent above its 2009 level. Nine years after the 2001 bust, GDP had grown 19 percent.

And that ridiculous statement cracks me up. First, Trump was obviously limiting his criticism of the Great Recession’s anemic recovery to Obama’s administration. So using the 2018 value, after a year and half of Trump’s presidency, is ridiculous.

Second, nine years after the 2001 recession (that’d be November 2010) takes us well past the Great Recession (which officially ended in June 2009). So she’s comparing the Bush recovery to the Obama recovery by adding the recession job losses and almost a year and half of Obama’s stewardship to Bush’s legacy.

So she boosted Obama’s numbers by adding Trump’s, and lowered Bush’s numbers by adding a recession plus Obama’s numbers.

It’s hard work showing that the Obama recovery wasn’t the worse since the Great Depression, but she went the extra mile.


1. Cathy - September 20, 2018

Charts! Charts!! Charts!!!


2. Bunk Strutts - October 16, 2018

Truth! Truth!! Truth!!!

3. Culturally Appropriating Hot Links | Tacky Raccoons - October 21, 2018

[…] How jobs bounce back after a recession [via]. […]

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