The economy is on a roll, growing 5 percent in the third quarter, the fastest in 11 years, following a 4.6 percent expansion in the second quarter.
Non-farm payrolls have risen more than 200,000 for the last 10 months, the longest such streak in more than 30 years.
But all of that is no thanks to the Obama administration, says Stephen Moore, chief economist of The Heritage Foundation.
"This isn't a story of government-directed growth, but the opposite—Washington's role in the economy starting to shrink after years of Obama administration activism. The private sector is starting to take over," he writes in The Washington Times
"What's generating the growth? A huge factor has been the fall in energy costs." Oil prices have plunged to five-year lows this month.
In addition, "businesses are clearly feeling less fearful about investing," Moore says. "And some of the negative, wet-blanket effect of Mr. Obama's anti-business, anti-shareholder agenda has dissipated as the Republican Congress repels his worst ideas — cap and trade, minimum wage hikes, new taxes on the energy industry, and massive new spending initiatives out of Washington," he adds.
"Mr. Obama, despite his executive branch power grabs, is mostly a lame duck, and that's what have been waiting for. Businesses and investors now believe that less is more when it comes to Washington. For the most part, they are probably right. This is a recovery that the private sector is creating. And, no, Mr. President, you didn't build that."
To be sure, this isn't the beginning of a growth spurt resembling the 1990s, when the expansion routinely totaled 3 to 4 percent per year, says Jordan Weissmann, Slate's senior economics correspondent
"Things are looking up," he writes. "But it's worth keeping expectations in check. Please disregard all references to the 1990s. . . . The good times of the Clinton era were the result of giant productivity gains created by the Internet."
Productivity isn't booming anymore. "As much as the Internet loves to talk about robots, we are not in the middle of another technological renaissance," Weissmann says. "Rather, we're shaking off the last ill effects of the recession and housing bust."
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