The day before the Schiff & Pelosi Impeachment Circus opened for its fall run in the House of Representatives, President Donald Trump gave a speech at the Economic Club of New York in which he laid out his argument for a second term. And he made it clear why Democrats are desperate to avoid talking about the economy.
Trump began by resetting the clock back to 2016 when, as we’ve pointed out in this space many times, the economic forecast was grim.
“The so-called experts said Americans had no choice but to accept stagnation, decay, and a shrinking middle class as the new normal,” Trump said. “In short, the American people were told to sit back and accept a slow, inevitable decline.”
The Congressional Budget Office, he said, projected that the number of jobs would increase by just 2 million from January 2017 through the end of this year. The unemployment rate wasn’t supposed to get below 4.4% and was slated to start rising again in 2019.
The CBO said quarterly GDP growth over Trump’s first three years would never top 2.6% and would average 2%.
As Trump rightly explains, this wasn’t inevitable. It was the result of an economy being suffocated by taxes and regulations. “If we lifted these burdens from our economy, and unleashed our people to pursue their ambitions and realize their limitless potential, then economic prosperity would come thundering back.”
Sorry Trump haters everywhere, but he was right.
The economy has added three times as many jobs as the CBO had forecast. The unemployment rate is far lower. Quarterly GDP growth topped 3% in four quarters and has averaged nearly 2.6%.
Trump also has a long list of economic gains to brag about, which, not surprisingly, he did in his speech.
- The overall unemployment is the lowest it’s been since the 1960s.
- For women, it’s the lowest it’s been since the 1940s.
- For minorities, it’s lower than any time since the government started keeping such records.
- Real wages up more than 3%.
- Nearly 7 million are off food stamps.
- 10,000 new factories have opened since he took office (after a net loss of nearly 60,000 over the prior 16 years).
- Major stock indexes are up between 45% and 60%.
- The U.S. is now a net exporter of oil and natural gas.
Trump went on to show that median family incomes have climbed $5,000 so far under his administration, or almost five times the increase in the 7½ years Barack Obama presided over the economic “recovery.”
“After years of stagnation and decline,” Trump said, “American wages, salaries, and incomes are rising very fast. … At the heart of our economic revival is the biggest tax cut and reforms in American history, (and) the biggest, boldest, and most ambitious campaign to reduce regulation.”
By the way, when the New York Times fact-checked Trump’s speech, the only things it found wrong were his boast that the U.S. is winning World Trade Organization cases “for the first time,” and Trump’s odd boast that Ivanka created 14 million jobs.
Trump also previewed his attacks on Democrats. Here’s what he said:
Everything that we have achieved is under threat from the left-wing ideology that demands absolute conformity, relentless regulation, and a top-down control of the entire U.S economy.
“Far-left politicians in our nation’s capital want a massive government takeover of health care; they want to give government bureaucrats domination over every aspect of your business and your life; they want to eliminate American oil and natural gas; they want to enlist us in global projects designed to redistribute American wealth and kill American jobs all over our nation.
“Washington’s Democrats and their radical agenda of socialism would demolish our economy, reinstate the avalanche of regulations that I have already ended, decimate the middle class, and totally bankrupt our nation. As long as I’m president, America will never be a socialist country.”
Unless the economy craters in the next year, Trump has an incredibly strong hand to play. And if he tells the same story to the nation over the next 12 months that he told to the members of the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday, whoever the Democratic nominee is will be left holding aces and eights.
— Written by John Merline
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