Economic Facts MatterOpinion
OPINION — There are economic facts, not just an opinion of the facts.
I actually like my friend Joe Hyde (the conservative Republican guy who founded this news platform) until he goes “goofy” every now and then and writes an opinion piece totally out of touch with reality, or attacks me personally while doing so (I also enjoy the articles that are good to me). Of course, that is my opinion of Joe’s opinion, and we are all subject to confusing our opinions with facts. But we do need to know the difference.
As Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the late (and I think great) senator, diplomat, and ambassador once said, “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.”
Joe and I were standing in front of his business one afternoon when I asked him whether he really supported Trump’s tax cut, which I think benefited only the rich and hurt everyone else, as well as the overall economy. Joe said yes he did, and then explained that it was helping the economy and that supply side economics are good. I asked whether he’d publish my dissenting opinion, and he said he would.
A couple of days later, Joe wrote about our conversation in San Angelo Live under his “opinion” piece and wrote an article, in which he scolded those of us criticizing Trump’s economic record:
“If you don’t understand how Trump turned it around, turn off MSNBC and listen. He pulled out of TPP. Renegotiating NAFTA tore up pages of stifling regulations. He lowered corporate and personal taxes. Since then, corporate confidence was boosted, causing companies to hire more, this bringing more into the workforce. A larger workforce means more money being spent in the economy. Obama took over after a major crash, so of course it went up, it had nowhere else to go, and then it stagnated until he left.”
Here Joe has violated “Moynihan’s law”; he has made up his own facts to support his opinion. But facts are facts, friends, and Joe’s explanation simply isn’t factual. On August 10, when Joe wrote that Beto O’Rourke is a socialist (hoping to write an article on how silly that is in the future), there were two headlines on CNBC, the business network:
“Workers see their paychecks sink as inflation grows” and “US budget deficit increases 21%, on track for biggest gap in six years.” (source)
That is the impact of supply-side economics in a nutshell, and it has been every time it’s been tried, beginning with Reagan’s economic policies in the 1980’s. Taxes are cut for the rich; rich people keep more money and use it to pay off shareholders rather than creating jobs or rewarding employees; wages don’t increase for working people; and the deficit explodes. Simply Google the history of the federal debt, and you will see it is mostly Reagan and the two Bush presidents who sent it soaring.
Yes, Obama added to it while pulling us out of the mess he inherited, but – as Forbes Magazine writes –
“President Obama’s debt actually grew at a slower annual rate than any of the Republican presidents (Reagan, Bush, Bush) even though there were events that negatively impacted the deficit that started before he became President.” (source)
Now it’s exploding again because of Trump’s tax cut. Those are the facts.
Joe wrote that the economy stagnated under Obama at the end of his term. Not true! In fact, under Obama more jobs were created in EACH of the last four years of his presidency than were started under Trump in his first year; the same is true of year two of Trump’s presidency to this point. Again, these are the facts provided by Forbes Magazine. Does Joe want us to “turn off” CNBC and Forbes Magazine, too?
And while we are discussing economic facts, I will share one more: from January 1977 to January 2017, we had 20 years of Democratic presidents (Carter, Clinton, and Obama) and 20 years of Republican presidents (Reagan, Bush, and Bush). During 20 years of the three Democratic presidents, over 45 million jobs were created, whereas during 20 years of the three Republican presidents, under 20 million jobs were created. In FACT, during Bill Clinton’s presidency alone, over 20 million jobs were created – more in Clinton’s 8 years than in the three Republicans’ 20 years combined. Look it up!
Besides this, the stock market has been much stronger under Democratic presidents, but I won’t document that, you can easily look it up. Those are facts, not opinion. Joe has felt free to advise the rest of us, so let me return the favor and give him a piece of advice: quit making up your own facts, Joe.