So How Smart Was Boasting in the Stock Market, Mr. President?

Only two months ago Barack Obama claimed he saved the stock market.

Earlier this month I pointed out that not even Politifact could support the President’s boasting in the economy. Indeed, Obama’s boasting was immense. Consider this Business Insider report from exactly two months ago: “Obama: I saved the stock market.”

President Barack Obama says he saved the American economy … and its stock market.

Obama did a victory lap on comedian Marc Maron’s podcast, WTF, earlier this week, and he said people’s lives are better today than they were four years ago, which is ultimately the goal of any presidency.

“I can answer unequivocally, ‘Are you better off now than you were four years ago?'” Obama said.

“And the answer is on just about every economic measure, you are.”

Among these “metrics” Obama listed that he had restored the value of American’s 401k savings.

It’s a high-risk move for the president to say “I” restored 401ks. That means he thinks he restored the stock market. The President can do a lot, but he can’t really swing the stock market around.

But he deserves to brag about the state of the country. When Obama took over, things were pretty bleak. Today, they are much, much better.

Now that the stock market has started its inevitable decline, are people really going to insist that things are much, much better? Things seemed better under Bush, but the Fed policies of Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke had created an unsustainable bubble. Barack Obama doubled down on all the same policies as Bush, only more so.

The history is simple. George H. W. Bush got a recession coming off the Reagan boom. He was unhappy that Alan Greenspan didn’t lower interest rates and “stimulate” growth. After Bush lost to Clinton, Greenspan changed his ways and we got the dotcom boom. Luckily for Clinton, the bubble didn’t burst until after he left office. George W. Bush/Alan Greenspan lowered interest rates still further. Thus we got the housing boom. Bush was not as lucky as Clinton, the bubble collapsed while he was still in office.

Obama inherited the mess and doubled down on all the policies that had created the mess. Again, interest was lowered to the point that it was zero or even practically less than zero. Under these policies, the stock market has soared.

But so what? It was all a bubble that was doomed to collapse. What we are seeing now was always inevitable.

So will Barack Obama take credit for destroying 401ks? Or will he say it was Bush’s fault?