Trump’s America: Financial Failure or Flourishing?
President Donald Trump is no stranger to claiming credit for just about anything that pops into his head. Two examples of which being the strength of the stock market and the US economy in general – both of which are doing pretty well.
As far as he’s concerned, the country’s entire economy was on the brink of disaster when he (unexpectedly) won the post of POTUS. He’d make no secret of his disdain for former President Barack Obama, suggesting that his own appointment was the best thing to happen to the US economy in recent history.
Not to mention, necessary to avoid economic ruin.
“When I took over this economy, this economy was ready to crash,” he said in an interview last October.
“We were at 1% GDP. Now we’re at 4.2%. It was ready to crash. It was the worst. If you look from Depression — from the Great Depression — it was the worst recovery in the history of our country.”
Unsurprisingly, his remarks don’t paint a particularly accurate picture. On one hand, he’s right about achieving a 4.2% domestic product growth rate for one quarter in early 2018. Nevertheless, the quarter he was actually referring to saw a somewhat lower rate of growth at 2.6%. And Obama didn’t exit his presidency with a GDP rate of 1% – it was 1.6% for the year as a whole and 1.8% for his final quarter.
As usual, somewhat inflated and deflated numbers to support his argument.
Nevertheless, he continued (in an entirely different interview) to suggest that his efforts are driving the United States into a more prosperous and powerful financial position than ever before.
“We’ve probably had the greatest first two years of any President in our history in terms of what we’ve accomplished with employment, with GDP, with everything,” he stated with confidence earlier this year.
“Instead of being up almost 50% with the stock market, you would have been down 50%,”
Impressive figures, but massively over-inflated once again. For those who care to look at the actual numbers, the stock market is actually up approximately 23% since Trump’s appointment – nowhere near 50%.
Still, you can’t deny that a 23% increase is anything but positive progress. Back in 2016, Trump made a pretty clear promise to his would-be voters.
“We’re going to make America wealthy again,” he stated.
“You have to be wealthy in order to be great.”
But what he may have failed to point out is the way in which his subsequent policies would focus more on significant gains for the already-wealthy. The Trump tax cut was introduced as promised, which left some of the country’s richest individuals and most prosperous businesses even better off.
In the meantime, America’s middle classes have been dealt a hammer-blow.
Job growth has slowed significantly, and wages remain stagnant across much of the country. Farmers are suffering enormously as a result of Trump’s escalating trade wars, mass-closures are wiping out coal mines and strikes among educators are becoming more common.
If all this wasn’t enough, healthcare costs and prescription drug prices are skyrocketing, house prices are on the up and America’s student debt crisis is as healthy as ever.
On the whole, it’s estimated that close to 85% of all the benefits of the tax cuts introduced by Trump will ultimately benefit the nation’s richest 1%. So while the economy of Trump’s America may be flourishing in some ways, the benefits aren’t being felt by those who matter most – the average American household.