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Trump’s Boom Economy Has Left Obama in the Dust

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Trump’s Boom Economy Has Left Obama in the Dust

Trump’s Boom Economy Has Left Obama in the Dust
November 19
15:22 2019

Liberals have all sorts of reasons for thinking that Donald Trump shouldn’t be president.  But when it comes to the economy, they’ve had a hard time refuting the extraordinary progress that has occurred since Trump took office.

Not that they haven’t tried.

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The main argument one hears these days is that the “Trump economy” is actually the “Obama economy.” Trump hasn’t really done all that much, critics say.

Under Obama, thanks to the stimulus package, America left the Great Recession behind. And there’s been steady job growth ever since.

But it’s a completely disingenuous argument.

Obama’s policies did help get the US economy back on its feet. As Obama likes to say, “We pulled the car out of a ditch.”

But the car was still standing on the side of the road when Trump took office. The annual GDP growth was anemic.  Official unemployment was falling but the labor force participation rate – a better measure of the employment trend – was at its lowest point in half a century.

Obama told the country not to expect too much. After all, America was no longer the economic powerhouse it once was, he said.

But three years of bold economic stewardship under Trump have put a lie to these claims.

Part of the story lies in the numbers.

First, contrary to predictions, the GDP growth rate has soared to twice the level it was under Obama.

Second, look at employment. People who have been out of the workforce for years and who’d largely given up on the idea of ever getting a job again – the so-called structurally unemployed – are back working, boosting the labor force participation rate for the first time in decades.  This is a clear sign that the recovery is generating permanent jobs and touching deep into the economy, beyond the short-term business cycles and labor market fluctuations

And there’s also the breadth of these new trends. Hispanics and African-Americans are benefitting mightily from the Trump economy, achieving record employment levels.

And then there are real wages.  Again, under Obama, virtually no progress was being made.  Under Trump, real wages for workers are growing again.  Average hourly earnings rose 1.7 percent year-over-year in January 2019, the best gain since mid-2016, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

Finally, consider the status of America’s middle class. Democrats are continually fretting that the middle class is suffering under Republican rule, even more so under Trump.

The truth is just the opposite.

The latest data shows that middle-class median incomes have risen by $5,000 — from $61,000 to $66,000 — under Trump, a phenomenal increase.  In fact, it’s five times the level of income gains to the middle class under a full eight years of Obama.  Economist Stephen Moore says the middle class is experiencing a “boom” under Trump.

How did Trump get us here?  It all comes down to a single word: Confidence. Confidence exists on two key levels: business confidence and consumer confidence.  Both were lacking during the so-called Obama recovery, which is why growth was still largely stagnant.

Under Obama, businesses weren’t expanding their operations – and consumers weren’t spending. It was a vicious circle. Without signs of consumer confidence, businesses were on strike, demanding longer hours and harder work from their existing work force.  But without signs of growth, consumers were hoarding their money, or simply paying down their debts.

Each side was waiting for a new economic champion – and it turned out to be Trump, a billionaire real estate mogul who’s built his entire career around forward-looking business development.

Trump took office with a determination to restore American business confidence – and businesses have responded. Businesses knew that Trump was their friend.  They never felt that way about Obama, who frequently castigated them in public and even blamed them for the country’s woes.

Trump’s lowering of the corporate business tax rate and his reform of the tax code has unleashed the private sector. Confidence is especially strong among the small business sector, which accounts for two-thirds of all new job growth.  Small business confidence has gained consistently over the past 20 months, reaching a historic high.

“Small business owners have never been so optimistic for so long,” says Bill Dunkelberg, chief economist at the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s leading small business association.

Amazingly, for the first time in years, the domestic U.S. manufacturing sector is also growing.  This is the sector that so many liberal economists had dismissed as “de-industrialized” and part of an irreversible trend toward “runaway shops.”

In 2018, 264,000 new manufacturing jobs were added, representing the highest number of new workers since 1988. And as a percent of the total workforce, manufacturing rose for the first time since 1984.

All of these indicators reflect extraordinary progress.  And while liberals are loathed to admit it, the American public has clearly taken notice.

On the economy, Trump has a favorability rating near 55%, for a net 9%.  That figure includes a large number of Democrats as well as Republicans.  And it suggests that Trump-like all past incumbents delivering on their promises of prosperity – is poised for re-election, even in the face of the Democrats’ impeachment drive.

Sure, Obama may have pulled the American “car” out of a ditch.  But were it not for Trump, that car would still be standing on the side of the road.  It might even be up on blocks, a victim of passing thieves.

Trump’s policies have given that car a brand new engine. It’s fully fueled and cruising down the road at a heady pace. And everyone in America is better off for it.

About Author

Stewart L

Stewart L

Stewart Lawrence is a trained sociologist and political scientist and a regular columnist for the Washington Times and the Federalist. He is also a former feature contributor to Inside Philanthropy, Counterpunch and the Huffington Post. In 2012 and 2016, he covered the US presidential election campaign for the conservative news magazine Daily Caller. His work has also appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor and Washington Post. He is currently working on a book about the politics of US immigration policy.

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