Difference between Trump Economy and Obama Economy

The United States of America has one of the largest economies. It is a mixed economy exhibiting both capitalism and socialism. This economy operates as a free market economy for consumer goods and business services.

What is Trump Economy?

Donald Trump’s economic policy was mainly characterized by individual and corporate tax cuts, it attempts to revoke the Affordable Care Act, which is also known as Obamacare, trade protectionism, immigration restriction, deregulation focused on energy and the financial sector, and the response to Covid-19 pandemic. During his term, Donald Trump reduced federal taxes and increased federal spending, significantly increasing federal budget deficits. He implements trade protectionism through tariffs, primarily on imports from China. 

Many economists suggest that Trump’s economic legacy will be defined by his failure in leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic That aggravated the financial downturn and the domestic policies that benefited the wealthy and the many international trade policies that hurt the U.S. while alienating allies.

What is Obama Economy?

Obama’s economic policy, also known as Obamanomics, was mainly characterized by moderate tax increases-income Americans; it was designed to fund healthcare reforms, reduce the federal budget deficit and decrease income inequality. 

During Obama’s first term in 2009-2013, measures designed to address the Great Recession and the Subprime mortgage crisis that began in 2007 were included. It also had significant stimulus packages, banking regulations, and comprehensive healthcare reforms. 

By the end of his second term from 2013-2017, the total number of persons with jobs, real median household income, stock market, and actual household net worth were all at record levels, while the unemployment rate was below the historical average.

Differences between Trump Economy and Obama Economy

The following table highlights the major differences between Trump Economy and Obama Economy −

FactorsTrump EconomyObama Economy
Job gains and Losses
In the Trumps economy, the employees continued to be strong until the pandemic hit. The average monthly jobs under Trump were around 1,93,000 in 2018. The devastation from the pandemic wiped out a decade’s worth of employment; by August, 48 percent of the jobs had returned.
The US economy experienced some of its best years of job gains in 2014-2015 in Obama’s second term, during which the economy added more than 2,25,000 jobs a month.
Economic growth
During the GOP convention, Trump claimed that he had “ the greatest economy in history” this claim was quickly marked as false. Under Trump economy's growth is slightly above zero in his first term due to the sharp losses during the pandemic. Excluding 2020, the development of Trump’s economy in the initial 3years of his office is 2.5 percent, barely above Obama.
During Obama’s first term, the economy’s growth was a mere 1 percent when the Great Recession took its toll. The economy’s growth improved to 2.3 percent during Obama’s second term.
During Trump’s first three years, the unemployment rate declined from 4.7 percent to 3.5 percent, which was nothing significant but entirely satisfactory.
About the Bureau of Labour Statistics data, around 6.6 million non-farm jobs were created during Trump’s three years ending in 2019, while 8.1 million jobs were created during Obamas preceding three years. Trump’s propaganda would like us to believe he took a hopeless and hapless economy and turned it swiftly around, but the data does not bear this out.
When Obama assumed office in 2009, the economy was in the worst shape since the Great Depression.
In early 2009 the unemployment rates were at 8 percent and reached 10 percent by the end of 2009. Obama was criticized for immediately turning the economy around, which was impossible given the lack of trust and confidence in the economy.
Early 2010 saw the resumption of unemployment, and the jobless rate decreased from 10 percent to 4.7percent when Obama left office in 2017.
U.S. Stock Market
When Trump took office, the market was already high and has climbed higher since then. The stock market is one of Trump’s favorite indicators in the U.S. market. Even due to the blow of the pandemic that caused a 30 percent drop in the stocks in March, the market has come roaring back this summer.
According to the analysts, the stocks gained more in Obama’s first term than in Trump’s. Obama’s presidency, which began in a financial crisis, led the stocks to a deep slump but then began an epic rebound a few weeks into his presidency, leading to the stock market's growth.
U.S. Government Debt
Trump’s 2017 tax cut added $1.5 trillion more to the debt, and then the pandemic hit, and congress responded with more than $3 trillion in aid. Thus, the national debt has increased since World War 2.
Under Obama, the spending increased as the federal government tried to revive the economy after the Great Recession, fund the ongoing wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, and continue most of the bush tax cuts.
Gas Prices
When Trump took office, the average gas prices were $2.37 a gallon. And they have remained low throughout Trump’s first term, which helped keep costs for many Americans.
Though Trump likes to proclaim that America is now “energy independent” because it exports oil, the reality is that the nation still depends on crude oil imports from abroad.
They were above $3 a gallon for most of Obama’s tenure. Many Americans see these prices on their drive to work, which influences the overall feeling of the economy.
The oil prices plunged in 2014 as the major oil-producing countries, like Saudi Arabia, refused to cut back the production, which led to a glut of oil on the world market.


Looking at the three years before the Covid-19 pandemic made a mess of things, we can see that the U.S. economy under President Donald Trump performed the same as it did during the last three years under President Barack Obama. Although some economic measures were a little worse and others better, there is no significant difference.

Updated on: 13-Jul-2022


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