No, This Isn’t a Strong Economy

The midterms are quickly approaching, and the GOP is in major trouble. Moderate Republican candidates are losing support from far-right supporters, and their party is being led by a politician that many believe is either on the verge of being impeached for federal crimes or simply being removed from office as unfit to do the job.

No wonder Republicans are trying so hard to make the next election only about the economy. But now it’s time to ask, are they even telling the truth?

According to President Donald Trump, this is the strongest economy the nation has ever seen — a claim he makes over and over again.

The Washington Post reports:

Now, in 40 different venues over three months, according to our database of false and misleading claims, President Trump has declared that the economy is the greatest, the best or the strongest in U.S. history. That’s a rate of every two days. In some cases, such as the rally in West Virginia — a rally, that like all of his campaign rallies was aired without interruption on Fox News — he repeated the statement as many as four times….The president has said it so often that by the end of the three-month period, he even quoted himself: “It’s said now that our economy is the strongest it’s ever been in the history of our country.”

That’s nowhere near the truth, as economists are quick to point out. As Vox’s Ezra Klein explains:

Let’s begin with the data. In July, the economy clocked its 93rd uninterrupted month of job growth — the longest stretch in American history. For the first time on record, there are more open jobs than job seekers. The unemployment rate is 3.9 percent; the last time the unemployment rate was this low was in 2000, the tail end of the Clinton boom.

But was this a result of President Trump and his “pro-business, big tax cuts” policies, as he implies? Nope.

Pointing to graphs that show a clear continuation of trends that began under President Barack Obama, Klein adds: “These trends didn’t begin with Trump’s election. If you can detect a sharp break between the Obama and Trump economies, you’ve got a keener eye than I do.”

According to the GOP, the stock markets are soaring, and there are more jobs than job seekers — obviously the economy is booming. But that doesn’t translate at all into real life impact for those outside the upper class. In fact, as the rich are becoming more wealthy by the moment, members of the middle class are increasingly learning that they can no longer make ends meet.

The biggest issue? Medical costs, which have massively outpaced income gains — even with the Affordable Care Act in place.

Thanks to GOP legislatures that refused to expand Medicaid and the GOP Congress that is gutting protections and denying states reimbursements for cost sharing measures, the promise that Obamacare could have been — one where people didn’t need to spend a third or more of their take home pay on health care costs — is sputtering away.

That’s impacting the middle class as much as the poor, as the GOP throttles their tax rebates. Due to these health care increases, the lack of wage growth and the skyrocketing costs of housing and childcare, the middle class is now more likely to rely on government aid than ever before.

It’s no wonder, then, that so many Americans may not feel this allegedly “great” economy when it comes to their own personal pocketbooks — and they’re increasingly blaming President Trump for that fact, too.

As CNN notes:

The current economy has not tracked as closely with Trump’s economic approval rating. While unemployment has substantially decreased from 9.9% in December 2009, when only 13% said the economy was good, Trump’seconomic approval rating is only slightly higher than President Obama’s in November 2009 — when Obama’s was 46%, with Trump’s now at 49%.

The GOP already has a lock on the votes of most of the wealthy business owners, investment bankers and financial dynasties in the country, so selling this false notion of a “good” economy to them won’t be a difficult one. But when Republicans have to try to convince their other constituents — like voters in Ohio, where two out of three jobs don’t earn enough to keep a family of three out of poverty — that the economy is booming, well, that might be a much bigger stretch.

Photo Credit: Molly Adams/Flickr

66 comments

Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld1 months ago

Brian F.,
Please refer from posting such nonsense. Wages continue to rise, not decline, and poverty has declined significantly over the past 70-odd years, not a massive increase.

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hELEN hEARFIELD
hELEN h2 months ago

tyfs

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David F
David F2 months ago

Dan Blossfeld is about as middle of the road politically as we get.
He points out government statistics, while the socialist and Fake News spins, ignores and conceals anything that could be construed as a president Trump accomplishment.

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Brian F
Brian F2 months ago

Wages have continued to decline as corporations and the rich are making record profits. The greedy CEO of Walmart makes $11,000 an hour, while Walmart employees live in poverty and get food stamps which our taxes pay for so I don't see how anyone can say that wages are up or that this crook Trump's horrible tax plan that adds 1.5 trillion to the debt, and cuts taxes for wealthy crooks like himself, is good for the economy. The fact is that Republicans have destroyed our economy by lowering taxes from 94% in the 1940's to 35%. This has caused a massive shift in wealth to the top 2%, and massive poverty and wealth inequality for the 98%. We need to raise taxes back to 94%, and limit corporate CEO pay to no more than 5 times the average worker's pay. Republicans and corporate fake Democrats are all crooks who work for corporate America. We need honest leaders like Bernie Sanders who supports increasing taxes on the wealthy and using that money to provide free colleges, Medicare for all, and a jobs program to put people back to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure and transitioning into 100% clean renewable energy.

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld2 months ago

Of course for those not in the workforce, those not in the workforce will see less benefit from a strong economy.

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Loredana V
Loredana V2 months ago

I think that for economists is a strong economy. For common people, especially the poor or minorities, it's not

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Dan Blossfeld
Dan Blossfeld2 months ago

When evaluating an economy, economists follow several indicators:

1. Real GDP, 2018 is higher than 17 and 16.
2. The consumers price index, which measure inflation has been flat for years.
3. The producer price index, which increases in a strong economy, has been rising since the end of the last recession.
4. Consumer confidence, which measures spending, has been rising since the last recession, and is near an all-time high.
5. Current employment, which is typically the first indicator of problems, is still strong.
6. Housing starts have been rising since the last recession, but still remain below the high "bubble" rate prior.
7. Purchasing managers index relates to business expansion, is the highest since the mid 80s.
8. Wage and Salary growth has been increasing over the past years.

All indicators show a strong economy, therefore, I would make the same conclusion. Robin is trying to spread misinformation here. If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like one, it must be a duck.

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Chrissie R
Chrissie R2 months ago

@RHOBERTA E BTW. Whatever. The agenda here is the state of the economy.

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Peggy B
Peggy B2 months ago

Well said Debbi

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Rhoberta E
Rhoberta E2 months ago

@ Chrissie R
Well perhaps to you MY words to them are bullying but to me I am calling them out on THEIR bullying much like you are doing to me.
Maybe I am a bit more honest about who I want to direct my comments to and question THEIR motives and words.
The words I challenge are often lies and total "alternate facts".
I would say by your constant remarks to me (even though I challenged you first) that you are doing the exact same thing
Have a great day.

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