Obama: Republican candidates’ economic stance ‘fantasy’

NEW YORK (AA) – The economic stance of Republican presidential candidates are “fantasy”, President Barack Obama said in an interview published Thursday.

“If you look at the platforms, the economic platforms of the current Republican candidates for president, they don’t simply defy logic and any known economic theories, they are fantasy,” Obama told The New York Times Magazine.

“Nobody would even, with the most rudimentary knowledge of economics, think that any of those things are plausible,” Obama said as he pointed to some of the claims, including cutting taxes for top wage earners, 5 percent to 7 percent economic growth and balancing the budget.

The U.S. economy has overcome the 2008 financial crisis “better than any large economy on Earth in modern history,” according to Obama, who added that there is still room for improvement.

He said the unemployment rate could be brought lower, wages could be increased faster. “Those things keep me up at night sometimes.”

During his two terms in the White House, the unemployment rate has been lowered to 5 percent from 10 percent, while the private sector has added more than 14 million jobs for 73 months in a row — the longest period on record for sustainable job growth. The budget deficit has also shrunk by around $1 trillion.

Yet, there are some who still criticize the economic policies of the White House, Obama said.

“Folks on Wall Street complaining even as the stock market went from in the 6,000s to 16,000 or 17,000 … it has to do with ideology and their aggravations about higher taxes,” he said.

After being re-elected in 2012, Obama repealed President George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the top 2 percent of wage earners.