When will the media finally admit that the Trump economy hasn't been so 'great'?
Throughout the presidency of Donald Trump, the media has parroted the GOP talking point that the economy is “great” (or “booming” or “strong” or “humming along” or whatever word Republicans happened to be using on any given day). Never mind the fact that the economy Trump inherited from President Obama was doing pretty well, thank you very much, and that it has continued to grow, although any argument about which president had the stronger economy is still evolving and won’t be settled until after Trump’s presidency is over.
Throughout the 2016 campaign, Trump continually trashed the “Obama economy,” and the media dutifully repeated his words, spreading the idea that the U.S. economy was failing under the 44th president. And too many voters believed both Trump and the media.
During the campaign, Trump continually lied about the unemployment rate, claiming that the lowered rate under Obama was much higher than reported and might even be as high as 42%. Trump bragged that the economy would boom once he was in charge, growing by 4% per year and maybe even as high as 6% per year. Need we add that such growth never occurred? It never even reached his downgraded promise of 3% growth, and quarterly growth rates keep being downgraded.
Certainly, cutting regulations for businesses and cutting taxes for those same businesses did create a temporary boost. But for the most part, instead of benefiting the average American, the GOP corporate tax cuts only enriched those at the top. Companies have been buying back stocks at levels never seen before—buybacks that have reached what some analysts are calling dangerous levels. All the while, corporate executives reaped the profits.
When the U.S. stock market tumbles and the Dow Jones Industrial Average drops 800 points in one day, that’s a big deal. The media and the markets declare that the sky is falling, while economists deliver doom-and-gloom predictions, describing the warning signs of a possible global recession.
Yet until very recently, most of the media continued the upbeat reporting about the economy, playing sound bites of Trump and other Republicans bragging about the U.S. economy and why it would be Trump’s trump card to win reelection. If that’s the trump card, it sounds like the deck just got reshuffled.