To the Editor: Rather than write about impeachment and the continued lies and misconduct that is the Trump presidency, I thought I’d focus on something Mr. Trump’s supporters consider a strong suit for the President—the economy.
So to paraphrase Ed Koch, how is he doing? Not so well, it turns out.
The first chink in Mr. Trump’s armor came in late August, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) had to revise its reported job growth between March 2018 and 2019 downward by over a half-million jobs. Next, on Sept. 26, it was reported that according to the latest Census data, wealth inequality reached a 50-year high, belying Mr. Trump’s claims of higher worker wages.
Less than a week later, on Oct. 1, the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) reported that U.S. factory activity dropped for the second straight month and had its worse showing since the depth of the Great Recession in June 2009. This last economic setback might be the worst news for Mr. Trump as he promised the most improvement in the manufacturing sector.
It’s no secret that Mr. Trump has tied proof of his financial acumen to the stock market’s performance. However, the market has actually retreated since his economic policies went into effect at the beginning of 2018. I have no doubt that Mr. Trump’s supporters have forgotten that, legislatively speaking, 2017 was a lost year for the President.
He spent nearly all of his time and efforts unsuccessfully attempting to overturn the Affordable Care Act (who could forget Senator John McCain’s Caesarian-style “thumbs down” vote on July 28, 2017). Once it became clear that an ACA repeal was unlikely, Mr. Trump spent the balance of 2017 pushing through his “tax cut.” So for all practical purposes, the 2017 economy operated under Obama policies—pre-Trump tax rates and an intact ACA.
It wasn’t until January 2018 that Mr. Trump actually began implementing his economic agenda consisting of the aforementioned corporate-heavy tax cut (which included eliminating some ACA provisions like the individual mandate), aggressive deregulation and tariffs.
Was it a success? You be the judge; on Jan. 26, 2018 the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) was 26,616.71 and by Oct. 2, 2019 the DJIA was 26,078.62. Worst wealth inequality in 50 years, worst manufacturing data in 10 years and zero market growth. Some economic “genius.”
Retired 28-year DOT Employee
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