Accuracy in Media

MSNBC failed to report key factors affecting economic growth in its article, “On unemployment, Trump was born on third base, thinks he hit a triple.”

“The fact that Trump claiming credit for the news is a stretch,” MSNBC producer Steve Benen wrote. “This is a great example of someone being born on third base and thinking they hit a triple: The jobless rate has been steadily declining since President Obama ended the Great Recession in his first term.

“It’s great that the trend has continued over the year and a half Trump has been in office, but no one should try to make the case that the Republican’s [sic] tax breaks and deregulation crusade is somehow responsible for creating the trend that began in 2010 ….Indeed, if Trump were right, and his tax and deregulation plans were chiefly responsible for good economic news, he’d have to explain why job growth has been slower under his presidency than under most of Obama’s second term.”

But MSNBC missed the fact that if the slow recovery from the Great Recession (the slowest recovery since the Great Depression) were normal and Democrats had no detrimental effect, why did the forward-looking stock market jump so much from a cyclical high as soon as Republicans gained a resounding mandate in the 2016 elections? That gain came on top of a cyclical high, not a cyclical low like the one President Obama had when he took office.

By pursuing this narrative, MSNBC is also overlooking empirical evidence that increased regulation slows growth in its aftermath. There was an enormous increase in regulation when Democrats gained control of Congress in the 2008 elections, and as a result, the United States saw a dramatic drop in productivity relative to the long-term average.

Productivity grew 2.5 percent per year over the two decades prior to the Democrats winning control of the government in 2008. Since then, productivity has grown at 0.7 percent. Under President Trump, the deregulation progress we have seen in a short period puts the United States on solid footing.

The solid economic ground led Moody’s Investors Service, a financial services rating agency (and my former employer) to affirm the United States’ AAA bond rating and stable outlook due.

Moody’s reported: “The key driver for the stable outlook is Moody’s view that the diversity, dynamism, and competitiveness of the U.S. economy, along with the U.S. dollar’s status as the preeminent international reserve currency and very large size and depth of the US Treasury market, offset rising fiscal pressures stemming from ageing-related entitlement spending, higher debt service payments, and recent policy actions that will likely reduce future revenues and increase expenditures.”

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