Accounting for The Trump Economy

 

OPINION — Joe Biden’s detractors are telling folks that Republicans under Donald Trump offer the surest route to prosperity, once COVID-19 is behind us.

As a practicing CPA and former Republican, I believe it’s essential that we have an honest accounting of President Trump’s economic performance before we judge whether he has the skill and experience to lead us out of the current crisis.

First, let’s examine President Trump’s mismanagement of the federal deficit which has skyrocketed past the Obama/Biden Administration.

In 2008, as Barack Obama’s vice president, Joe Biden led an effort now seen as an “effective and remarkably fraud-free response to the financial crisis.” Once the Obama-Biden administration stabilized the economy, the deficit fell by more than half, to $715 billion, by the time President Trump took office.

Under President Trump, that $715 billion deficit exploded to $1.1 trillion in a matter of months. The truth is, the federal budget deficit increased in each of Trump's first three years and is hitting monthly records this year.

Now let’s look at job growth.

We were told that President Trump’s deficits, which were primarily the result of corporate tax cuts, would supercharge the economy and create jobs. Did they work? The data says no. Under Trump, the economy lost more than six million jobs in total, including 257,000 factory jobs. Before the pandemic, job creation during the last three years of the Obama-Biden administration was 223,000 per month, during his first three years Trump only created 185,000 jobs per month.

A flattening job growth curve at a time of massive fiscal deficits is not the picture of economic health. It’s the picture of impending economic calamity. Even before COVID-19 caused the deficit to explode to $4 trillion and the economy to lose millions of jobs, we were headed toward a fiscal cliff.

Finally, let’s examine the stock market, which many Americans see as the ultimate measure of economic success.

The average annual increase in the S&P 500, a broad measure of market performance, was 14% during the Obama-Biden years. If the stock market manages to hold its current value--a big “if” considering we are borrowing trillions of dollars to hold it aloft--the average increase during Trump’s four years in office will only be 11%.

The New York Times reported, “despite all the hoopla about Mr. Trump’s undoubtedly pro-business policies, the stock market performance under Mr. Trump doesn’t match up well against Mr. Clinton or Mr. Obama.”

Simply put, Trump inherited a strong economy from the Obama-Biden administration, and just like everything he’s inherited, Trump squandered it.

President Trump gave us exploding and unsustainable deficits, slower job growth, and a stock market bubble bound to burst. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Trump botched the rollout of the Paycheck Protection Program and failed to provide guidance, delaying badly needed assistance for small businesses. And, in Texas, we’ve seen COVID-19 disproportionately affect minority communities and that includes minority-owned businesses from getting any help at all.

Perhaps that comes as unwelcome news to Republicans, but Americans have a very important decision to make this November, and they deserve a full accounting.

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Comments

Color me dumbfounded that this publication actually has an opinion piece based on facts and not feelings, BRAVO. Good job SA-LIVE, good job.

Using some magic to make numbers say anything that you want them to say. If the stock market was so terrible how come I made money instead of losing like during the Obama time? It's pretty easy to see that the Covid pandemic caused many things to get askew. Opinions.... guess everyone has one. During this Trump administration my business in better , profits are up, I have more employees, I have paid less taxes, I have more money in the bank .....

The stock market benefits those invested in the capital markets, not small business owners. If tomorrow, Wall Street was abandoned like the Temple of the Sun in Mexico, small businesses would be fine and more would spring up to replace the corporations that took their place.

The "Alchemy of Finance," as George Soros puts it, makes it possible for Wall Street to do spectacular while the vast majority of America turns into a favela.

About statistics. The author claims Trump inherited a “strong economy”, yet the BLS chart from the linked Forbes article puts real GDP growth at somewhere around 1.5%. Hardly what I would consider a strong economy...or what the Forbes article referred to as “robust”.

A “former Republican“ now working as a senior advisor for the Biden campaign? The linked puff piece from The Atlantic touting Biden’s handling of the Obama stimulus tells me all I need to know.

What Soros and his ilk don’t understand (or maybe they do which is more likely) is that capitalism and socialism cannot coexist. In order for socialism to thrive capitalism has to fail!

All the evidence in the books won't sway his base, which live by every lie he spews. Becoming a former republican is becoming popular, at least for this election cycle.

Next you’re going to tell us you’re a former Republican. Plenty of “formers” on both sides. Like the democrat congressman who switched allegiances based on the disgusting way in which the democrats acted towards Trump especially during the impeachment folly.

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