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Malty Meatia @maltymeatia
, 24 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
Many potential voters are still in agreement that the booming economy will be Trump’s strong hook for the midterms. But what caused it? And can it last? And while we’re wondering this, let’s examine a more immediate question: Should Donald Trump actually be taking credit for it?
There are facts that Trump conveniently leaves out of his claims about how well the economy is doing—namely how well it was doing before he came into office. The articles below tell us that Trump's accomplishments are actually very modest.…
"the jobless rate had already been on a steady decline since 2010. Further, unemployment hit a previous 9-year low of 4.6% in Dec. 2016 when Obama was still in office. It climbed back up to 4.8% in Jan., dipped to 4.7% in Feb., and to 4.5% in Mar. 2017."…
"'...the United States economy grew at the amazing rate of 4.1%.'"
"That level was reached four times under Obama, including heights Trump has not yet reached, such as 4.6 % (twice) and 5.2 % (once). On two other occasions, Obama oversaw 3.9 % growth."…
"US wage levels have flattened since Mr Trump took office. Wage growth has stayed between 2.5% and 2.9% without showing any meaningful rise in the last 12 months."
"the country's trade deficit ... has actually risen to a level not seen since 2008."
Remember, these quotes are a taste of what the full articles show—that Trump is a participant of the over-hyped economic boom, not the producer of it. And whether or not that boom will continue securely or strongly is very doubtful, as the following articles will show.…
"Growth of 4.1% is a fast quarterly growth rate, the highest since the third quarter of 2014 (4.9%).” “Most of this growth comes from the one-time surge in consumption that accompanies deficit-financed legislation.” It goes on to call this a "sugar high."… economic "growth in the Trump era looks likely to be far short of the late 1990s or 1980s, when growth averaged above 4 percent a year or much of the 1960s when growth averaged above 5 percent a year."… -- This Times article echoes a conclusion of the Chicago Tribune—that Trump’s economy doesn’t compare with what was present for previous administrations.… To quote a very recent assessment of debt: “The federal deficit hit $895 billion in the first 11 months of fiscal 2018, an increase of $222 billion, or 32 percent, over the same period the previous year, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).”… -- This article reaches a point where it admits that “recovery from the damage Trump is inflicting on institutions and political culture in the U.S. may take years; if so, the economic costs could be considerable.”
You may already be able to guess what CNN, CBS, ABC, NYT, WaPo, MSNBC, and other notoriously “left-leaning” publications have to say about the econ. trends (namely that they’re way over-hyped and questionable), so let’s set them aside and see if they are alone in their criticisms… A contributor for the strongly conservative CNS News admits the "supposed ‘boom’ looks more like same-old, same-old. 1st quarter GDP, for instance, was just revised down 2 ticks to 2% and monthly job growth is a bit weaker than under Obama’s final years."
Speaking of conservative, an article from The National Review (whose notable contributors include Katherine Timpf, Charles Murray, Jared Taylor, Ann Coulter, Larry Kudlow, Ben Shapiro, and Dinesh D'Souza) is also opposed to the assumption that Trump has created the economic boom.…
“Presidents are one small piece of the public-policy picture — and public policy as a whole is only a small part of what shapes and moves a complex modern economy.” “Trump is an economic illiterate with no substantive policy agenda at all.”
This commentary is, of course, at odds with the preferred rhetoric of Trump’s base—and even contradicts some optimistic left-leaning sources. But we’re interested in getting the full view of what’s really happening, and not merely the dodgy claims reported aboard the Trump Train.… Formerly mentioned National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow earned a “pants-on-fire” rating from politifact for falsely claiming that "The deficit ... is coming down, and it’s coming down rapidly."… Trump got one of very many ratings of “false” for some entirely routine undue self-praise. Here it was about GDP growth, which he claimed to be 3.2 percent when it was really 2.0 percent.
Again, not saying the economy is bad per se, but that it certainly isn’t at peak performance and that its successes can’t be wholly attributed to an admin. that has had less than 2 yrs to affect the economy. Most effects of economic legislation take much longer to become evident.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Trump is almost never humble about his work even so. But there’s more to talk about here—not merely that Trump wants people to think he’s doing well, but that he’ll lie in order to accomplish his goal.
So long as people believe that he “saved” a “dying” economy when really he takes credit for the gradual seismic shift in our complex economic system, he can secure undue votes from people who don’t know that, if anything, he's actually making things measurably (and quietly) worse… The present scenario isn’t a question of “who saved the economy”—which is based on a false premise that Trump and Obama recently attempted to play into anyway—but rather “what is the government doing to help the economy?”
And here is where things get particularly interesting. In the next thread, I’ll examine Trump’s economic claim to fame—the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017. Did it unburden the middle class as promised, by boosting corporations and ushering a "trickle down" of wealth? (Spoiler: no)
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