As you read the Op-Ed excerpted below, don’t forget this:
And especially don’t forget this truly surreal moment:
Excerpted from a longer piece by Juan Williams for The Hill
That’s the public message President Trump needs to send immediately to his predecessor to thank him for low unemployment and record stock market performance during Trump’s first seven months in the White House.
Instead, Trump is busy boasting about a “Trump Bump.”
Trump tweeted recently: “Highest stock market EVER, best economic numbers in years, unemployment lowest in 17 years, wages rising, border secure: No WH chaos.”
The first part of the tweet, suggesting Trump has jumpstarted a moribund economy, is Pinocchio-level astounding.
Going into what is shaping up to be a turbulent fall season — with his approval rating at historic lows near 38 percent and the Russia probe now in the hands of a grand jury — Trump is grasping for any positive news.
The good economy has become his most frequent boast to assure his base that he is delivering something for them.
But recall that candidate Trump dismissed official reports of strong economic numbers when they came under Obama by saying the Federal Reserve was creating a “false economy” and the stock market was rising due to an “artificial” bubble.
As recently as December, Trump said the unemployment rate was “total fiction.” During the campaign, Trump told voters “don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 percent or 5 percent” and “the number is probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”
Did he really say unemployment had reached 42 percent? Yes, and Politifact rated the claim as a “pants on fire” outright lie.
Now that Trump is president, he is telling his voters that the numbers are real. These are the same economic numbers from the same source calculated in the same way. Is it any wonder Americans question the president’s honesty and some question his sanity?
Let’s review some hard facts:
The unemployment rate for June 2017 was 4.4 percent. In December 2016, the last full month of the Obama administration, it was 4.7 percent.
Contrast those numbers to the unemployment rate in February 2009, the first full month of the Obama administration: 8.3 percent. Now that is the triumph of a good economic policy. It is an indisputable reality that the unemployment rate decreased during President Obama’s time in office.
Honest politics requires context. The context for America’s current economic performance is that the national economy was in danger of going over the edge in 2009, into a second Great Depression.
Trump’s distortion of the stock market’s rise is a similar story of presenting numbers without context.
Sorry, President Trump, but the fact is that when President Obama took office the Dow Jones Industrial Average was around 8,000. When he left office, it was on the verge of 20,000. The NASDAQ more than tripled under Obama’s tenure.
Any subsequent increase in market averages is based on the tremendous rise that took place under Obama.
On Capitol Hill, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has made it clear that any tax cuts have to be revenue neutral — in other words, Trump will have to cut spending to prevent the deficit from exploding with lower tax rates for corporations and the rich.
As a result, the prospect for passing tax cuts grows dimmer by the day.
Despite seven months of the Trump administration, the Obama economy is still going strong. It is so strong that Trump wants to claim it as his own.
So that’s from Juan.
We want to add one more thing.
When you hear Trump talk about how great it is that the stock market is at record highs, don’t forget that the person behind those record highs ….
… is the very same person candidate Trump said “ought to be ashamed of herself”…
I don’t know about you, but to me it kinda seems like Trump was really keen on maligning Obama’s economy and Yellen’s stock market right up until it became possible for him to claim that it’s his economy and his stock market.
Suddenly the econ data isn’t “fake” anymore and miraculously, there’s nothing to “be ashamed of” when it comes to Fed policy.
Funny how that works, no?