Despite His Gaslighting To The Contrary, Trump's Economic Record Has Been Dismal

"Lambchop" by Nancy Ohanian

Will Parker, writing for the Wall Street Journal yesterday, noted that "Millions of U.S. renters face the prospect of eviction in January unless federal officials extend protections put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. That month is when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s ban on evictions is set to expire. The moratorium protects tenants who have missed monthly rent payments from being thrown out of their homes if they declare financial hardship. The CDC ordered the halt on evictions under the Public Health Service Act, which allows the federal government to enact regulations that help stop the spread of infectious diseases. Between 2.4 million and 5 million American households are at risk of eviction in January alone, and millions more will be vulnerable in the months after."

January could turn out to be the month more Americans are evicted from their homes than in any month in history-- a final parting gift from the worst president ever to occupy the White House. Reporting for CNN yesterday, John Harwood informed people who don't follow along too closely that Trump is leaving office with a historically bad economic record. The economic numbers, wrote Harwood, "show that-- notwithstanding lies as promiscuous as the ones he tells about election fraud-- Trump will leave office in January with a historically bad record on the economy. That sounds discordant since many Americans believe the economic fable that Trump has repeated relentlessly throughout his term. But placing his bottom-line results alongside those of his predecessors paints a deeply unflattering portrait. Alone among the 13 presidents since World War II, Trump will exit the White House with fewer Americans employed than when he started. He will have overseen punier growth in economic output than any of the previous 12 presidents.

His throwback "America First" agenda has failed to restore the old economic engine that powered an earlier era's prosperity. On Trump's watch, industrial production has fallen. The Federal Reserve says the manufacturing sector fell into recession in 2019 even before the coronavirus pandemic hit.
Last week was the 38th in a row in which at least 700,000 Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits.
Holiday-season lines at food banks dramatize the scale of human suffering. More abstract measures, such as the US trade deficit and ratio of government debt to the size of the economy, have also worsened during Trump's term.
"Trump's economic record ranks near or at the bottom compared with other presidents," concludes Moody's chief economist Mark Zandi, who compared the economic results of all presidents from the last 70 years. "The economy under his watch has performed very poorly."
To be sure, the deadliest public health pandemic in a century has devastated economic activity during this last year of the President's term. But responding to unexpected catastrophe-- from hurricanes to terrorist attacks to civil unrest to financial crises-- represents a big part of the job. And, as Zandi notes, Trump's bungled coronavirus response has exacerbated and extended damage to jobs and output.

Harwood pointed out that even before Trump's handling of the pandemic took the economy into a nose-dive, Trump had done nothing but wreck the booming economy he inherited from Obama. "Growth accelerated in early 2018 following Trump's sole major legislative achievement, the tax cuts he and Congressional Republicans enacted," wrote Harwood. "But that didn't last long with the economy already near full employment, and the budget deficit swelled. A temporary surge in investment resulted mainly from higher energy prices. 'It provided no long-term benefit,' Zandi says. The counter-productive tariff wars Trump initiated quickly offset any short-term benefit from the tax-cuts and the administration's deregulation push. That's why Trump, to avoid further damaging the economy in his re-election year, called a truce with China in January without obtaining the structural reforms he had demanded from Beijing. Trump earlier threw away leverage by abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership with allies that the Obama administration had negotiated. Among Trump's 'very serious policy mistakes,' Zandi said, were his attacks on international and domestic institutions. They include 'actively trying to undermine' the Fed's independence."

As for the stock market, growth in stock prices have been largely driven "by rock-bottom interest rates, which drive investors into stocks in search of higher returns. And the benefits of those gains accrue largely to the most affluent Americans who own most of the stocks." Almost all the income gains went ti the wealthy and "in the first quarter of 2021, as Trump yields power to Biden, the Wall Street firm JPMorgan predicts that economic output will shrink."

Here are the places on the planet you could send a criminal found guilty of a capital offense in lieu of a judicial execution. This is where people will have the most certain chances to be infected with COVID-19:

  • North Dakota- 115,307 cases per million residents

  • South Dakota- 102,907 cases per million residents

  • Andorra- 94,903 cases per million residents

  • Iowa- 81,254 cases per million residents

  • Nebraska- 76,954 cases per million residents

  • Wisconsin- 75,016 cases per million residents

  • Utah- 72,959 cases per million residents

  • Montana- 68,586 cases per million residents

  • Wyoming- 68.008 cases per million residents

  • Idaho- 67,809 cases per million residents

  • Minnesota- 67,172 cases per million residents

  • Illinois- 66,991 cases per million residents

  • Rhode Island- 66,850 cases per million residents

  • Tennessee- 66,524 cases per million residents

  • Luxembourg- 66,162 cases per million residents

  • Montenegro- 65,954 cases per million residents