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Trump sets a very high economic bar for himself

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Donald Trump reeled off several economic statistics during his speech Tuesday to argue that he inherited a bad economy, but he may come to regret it. Here's why:

  • 94 million people out of the workforce: This number rises over time as the population grows, and has been rising at a faster rate as the population ages.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • 43 million people on food stamps: This number tacks closely to the unemployment rate, which is not likely to fall much over the next four years.
  • 1 in 5 people of prime working age are not working: The U.S. actually has a lower prime-age participation rate than most developed economies. The most plausible solutions, like expanding the earned income credit could be prohibitively expensive, while others — like boosting employment opportunity for felons — might be politically unpalatable.
Source: OECD
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