To hear Donald Trump tell it, the economy was a disaster under President Obama, and it’s since magically become fantastic since Trump took office. Back in the real world, the numbers make clear that Obama built this economy, and the only reason it’s still chugging along is that Trump and his unsound economic policies haven’t yet completely wrecked things. But today’s new numbers make clear that the economy is now, in fact, fully broken.
Back in February, the U.S. economy added just 20,000 jobs, a disastrous number that was barely one-tenth of expectations. The question was whether it was a mere fluke, or the start of a trend. March and April numbers then came in much stronger. But today we got the jobs report for May, and the number is just 75,000 – marking the second “bad” number in four months. Moreover, today’s jobs report revises the strong March and April numbers significantly downward, revealing that the “rebound” during those months wasn’t nearly as strong had previously been believed.
The bottom line: the U.S. economy is continuing to slow rather dramatically. The roaring Obama economy is falling apart under Trump. Economic growth goes in cycles. Trump could try to claim that 2019 has simply been a naturally occurring down cycle that wasn’t his fault. But even if that were the case, his tariffs and tax scams have doubtless made it even worse. And of course Trump won’t try to make a logical argument about the economic downturn; he’ll just pretend it isn’t happening, while continuing to tweet that this is the greatest economy of all time.
The bottom line is this: Donald Trump has very loudly married himself to this economy. If it keeps slowing, voters will definitely feel it by the 2020 election, and they’ll know who to blame. Trump will try to somehow pin this on the House Democrats, but that’s never how economic credit and blame get handed out at the ballot box. The economy is in trouble, and Trump’s latest round of tariffs will only make it worse.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report