Poland. Latvia. Greece. No, these aren’t incorrect answers to a final Jeopardy question about where Melania Trump illegally immigrated from. Despite Donald Trump’s reality-detached verbal meanderings, those are countries, along with China and India, whose economies have posted stronger growth than the U.S. since Trump became president.
Of course, that is nothing to celebrate. The more vibrant the economy, the better for everyone, even in a country where the wealthy benefit the most from our economic successes. The best news, perhaps, is that Trump and his GOP wrecking crew have so far not demolished what President Obama built after the economic crisis of 2008 and the Great Recession that followed, though they’ve taken a few big swings at the structure.
After inheriting an unemployment rate that ballooned to a 10 percent peak in October 2009, Obama left office with an unemployment rate that hovered near 4.5 percent in January 2017. That suggests Obama left the economy in good enough shape to survive Trump and the GOP’s antics, at least for a while. It also reminds us what a real president can accomplish when his efforts are on behalf of the citizens’ happiness, well-being, and enrichment rather than his own.
Trump responded to the New York Times fact check of his claim that “we are considered far and away the hottest economy anywhere in the world” by tweeting the brilliant observation that all fact checkers are now “fake news.” We’ve heard that one before.
People are not inclined to be moved by numbers when they don’t feel like they’ve gained ground, as the overarching income inequality disaster in the U.S. is only being exacerbated by a tax giveaway to the rich that has a lot of Americans scratching their heads as to why they’re paying more while billionaires pay less. A lot of them are Trump voters who, while certainly willing to mindlessly absorb Trump’s every claim, may naughtily vote Democrat while secretly alone in the voting booth in enough numbers to seal a Democratic victory in 2020.
Of course, the probability that Trump and many of his clan will be incarcerated before then makes his candidacy moot, though both MAGAmedia and mainstream outlets profit from suggesting otherwise. As recently announced presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren observed, if Trump wants to beat her or anyone else in the 2020 field, he may have have to run his campaign from a prison cell. Which is convenient, because that’s where 2016 Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is waiting.