Nearly every day, we get more news of the rampant corruption or raw brutality of the Trump administration, if not about the Republican Party hitting new lows all on its own. As this happens, defending Donald Trump over the economy is rapidly wearing out as an excuse. Fairly soon, the economy may be not worth bragging about.
Generally, the relationship presidents have with the economy is often exaggerated – and hard to accurately measure – but the unique problem Donald Trump has is that he’s accomplished very little as president compared to many of his predecessors. He signed the 2017 donor class tax cut, which Republicans hurried to pass while they were still in the majority, and he provoked a trade war with China. Both moves may have contributed to the current economic slowdown. Exports have fallen by 5.6% due to the trade war, according to Business Insider correspondent Linette Lopez, as investors lose confidence.
A further look into numbers on the gross domestic product (GDP) is even more unsettling – with the second quarter growing by a whole percentage point less than it did in the first quarter. When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was first signed into law, Donald Trump bragged about it as being rocket fuel for the economy – that the money businesses weren’t spending on taxes would cause the GDP – the sum total of a country’s goods and services – to rise by as much as six percent.
Now we know that even 2018, which many saw as an economic boom, didn’t quite show the three percent growth that Trump was bragging about. The reality is that trends we’re seeing under Trump’s presidency are hardly anything new – much of it is what we see before an economic downturn, based on the lie that tax cuts pay for themselves. As Trump’s own scandals worsen, the economy is faltering at the worst possible time for him.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making