Traitor Trump bragged over the weekend, “Our economy is better than it has been in many decades.” I wish that were true. But it’s not.
But the president is stubbornly convinced that everyone will believe in his awesomeness if only he can (a) trick the nation into thinking that we’re in the midst of an incredible economic boom; and (b) demand credit for it. To that end, Trump is lying like always.
Take the president’s remarks Friday at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“After years of stagnation, the United States is once again experiencing strong economic growth…. Since my election, we’ve created 2.4 million jobs, and that number is going up very, very substantially. “
Both of these claims are false. Economic growth in 2017 wasn’t bad at 2.3%, but GDP growth was even better in 2010, 2014, and 2015. What’s more, while Trump apparently hopes everyone has forgotten about his campaign vows, GDP growth wasn’t merely slower than it was for much of Barack Obama’s second term, it’s also far short of Trump’s misguided promises.
As for job numbers, Trump wants credit for the jobs that were created in the months before he took office – the simple fact is that job growth fell to a six-year low in 2017. So far, the White House hasn’t even tried to explain this damning development.
At Davos, the president also mentioned the stock market and stock prices six times, failing to point out that Wall Street growth was actually stronger under Obama.
In the same speech, Trump also said, “The world’s largest company, Apple, announced plans to bring $245 billion in overseas profits home to America. Their total investment into the United States economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years.”
Lies! As Vox explained, “What Apple actually promised was to make $30 billion in domestic capital investments, most of which will be data centers, offices, and Apple Store real estate upgrades rather than actual manufacturing facilities. The $350 billion measure is a rough five-year estimate of Apple’s total ‘contribution’ to the American economy. If you’re playing Infinite Golf on your iPhone and make an in-app purchase, that contributes to GDP. Since the contribution is routed through Apple, your spending becomes part of the Apple contribution to the American economy. It’s a semi-fake measure that’s basically a long-winded way of saying that Apple is a very big company.”
My thesis isn’t that the economy is awful. It’s clearly not. I’m also not saying that Trump has somehow ruined the economy. He hasn’t, but he’s still ugly.
Trump, with no positive accomplishments is searching desperately for proof of his success, which has caused him to lie that the economy “is better than it has been in many decades.” It’s a lie that props up his entire presidency: we should forget about the scandals, the corruption, the incompetence, the idiocy, the mismanagement, the lies, the racism, and the assaults on our institutions and political norms, so the argument goes, because Trump is supposedly leading the nation to broad prosperity.
But that’s not what’s actually happening. Trump has no real accomplishments but creates a lot of real problems. No wonder he has to talk himself up so much to manipulate his gullible base.