After making 2018 the most deregulatory year ever and after passing tax reform legislation that lowered both the personal and corporate rates and speeded depreciation, President Trump’s economy grew about 3.2 percent in the last year – more than in any year under President Obama.
For the first time, America has more job openings than job seekers. Its unemployment rate is less than what is considered full employment. Consumer confidence is at a 20-year high, and employment and earnings have never been higher for Hispanics, black Americans or women.
But according to the New York Times, we shouldn’t listen to the administration whose policies have led to this success. We should listen to outsiders who predict doom and gloom.
“The Trump administration’s rosy view of the economy is increasingly diverging from a decidedly more cautious outlook from other prognosticators, including economists at the Federal Reserve and elsewhere, who are warning that growth is slowing, in part, because of the president’s own policies,” wrote Jim Tankersley in “Trump Says the Economy is Unstoppable. Most Economists Say Otherwise,” – subhead: “The administration’s growth forecasts are much rosier than independent analysts’, reflecting the president’s faith in his tax and trade policies to fundamentally improve the economy.”
The newspaper that features Paul Krugman’s columns on the economy – “When might we expect [markets] to recover?” he asked the day after Trump was elected; “A first-pass guess is never. So we are very probably looking at a global recession with no end in sight” – seems not to have learned.
“Many economists say last year was an outlier, fueled by a brief boost of fiscal stimulus: Growth appears to have topped 3 percent in 2018 for the first time in a decade,” Tankersley wrote. “Yet Mr. Trump’s advisers say there is no reason to doubt the economy will achieve such heights again this year.”
But because the “global economy struggles under the weight of a trade war, a slowdown in China and the waning stimulus from both Mr. Trump’s signature tax cuts and additional government spending,” economists “outside the administration” project growth will slow this year, Tankersley reported.
There also will be a “small, but lasting, dent to growth from the partial government shutdown that consumed most of January” and could recur in February, and “some corporate financial executives warn that the country could be headed for recession.”
Tankersley notes that the Congressional Budget Office estimates 2.3 percent growth this year “as fiscal stimulus stops bolstering consumer spending and the economy returns to what the CBO estimates is its long-term growth trend.” It does not explain why taxpayers continuing to have more money in their pockets would lead to less spending this year than it did last year.
He also says slowed growth in China means less growth here and that the National Association of Business Economists, which has offered a consistently gloomy outlook for Trump’s policies throughout his administration, said only 16 percent of American businesses say they will increase investment because of the Trump tax cuts.
But as Heritage Foundation economist Stephen Moore and Jonathan Decker pointed out in a 2017 story for the Washington Times, Trump was used to – even then – less-than-rosy predictions for his economic policies.
Growth may not exceed 3 percent in 2019, but there has not been “Armageddon” for family finances, the American economy and the stock market, as Nancy Pelosi predicted in 2017.
He has not been “hustling America – and possibly the entire world – in the direction of another catastrophic financial crisis,” as the Independent predicted.
Larry Summers, chief economist for Presidents Obama and Clinton, predicted Trump would cause a “protracted recession” within 18 months of taking office. That obviously hasn’t happened.
“Maybe the businessman knows more about how the world works than the chattering classes,” Moore and Decker wrote.