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The American economy is in shambles, the result of a pandemic which ended a decade-long stretch of growth and caused a historic wave of job losses earlier this year.
With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, voters are deciding which candidate they want to put it back together — whether in the same image or a new one.
So far, the economy has regained just over half of the 21 million jobs lost in March and April. Both the Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump have made opposing cases to rebuild from the wreckage.
Biden argues the catastrophic public health response from the Trump administration deepened the economic downturn, setting the stage for a highly uneven recovery between the wealthiest Americans and everyone else. He's unveiled plans to smother the virus and get people safely back to work.
Meanwhile, Trump boasts the economy had reached historic heights before the pandemic, even though it was growing just slightly above the same rate as his immediate predecessors. The president contends he can restore that progress, promising lower taxes and deregulation without specifying further.
Still, experts say presidents wield only limited power on the economy's trajectory.
"It's true the president is probably the single most powerful person with the most influence over it," Aaron Sojourner, a former White House economist who served both the Obama and Trump administrations, told Business Insider. "But nobody has very much control over it."
Here are nine charts that illustrate the state of the economy going back two decades and how Trump stacks up compared to his two predecessors, Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
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