It’s the Trump economy, stupid

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Two stories appeared on the front page and above the fold in the New York Times over the ‎weekend. The first was about the seemingly never-ending Russia probe. The second was about the Labor Department reporting the lowest unemployment rate in nearly 20 years. Which of these two stories do you think American voters care more about?

It’s not just the 3.9 percent unemployment rate that is worth celebrating. The growth rate of the economy over the last four quarters was just under 3 percent, a level that almost all liberal economists said was impossible to achieve and yet with Donald Trump after one year in office, here we are. In just more than one year in the White House, he has achieved a growth rate that is higher than Obama was able to achieve in eight years.

{mosads}Oh, and by the way, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta estimated last week that growth in April hit 4 percent. Meanwhile, a survey of manufacturers finds that more than 90 percent are bullish about the future. There are now an estimated 6 million more jobs than available workers with the skills to fill them.

The New York Times wondered last week whether we are going to see inflation rising from 2 percent as a result of the surging demand for workers. The Washington Post reported that some blue collar workers are now getting signing bonuses of up to $25,000. Who do these workers think they are? Derek Jeter?

On Friday, Obama’s White House chief of staff, Valerie Jarrett (yes, she’s back) ‎said on CNN that Obama deserves most of the credit for the boon and this is the left’s new riff. What else could she say? The previous administration’s staffers are genetically incapable of admitting that Trump deserves credit for anything.

This storyline that Obama is responsible for the bullish job market might have a sliver of credibility if it weren’t for several inconvenient facts. First, almost every liberal analyst who now says that Obama deserves the credit was one who told us that Trump would surely crash the economy and the stock market if he won the election.

So let’s get this straight: Trump’s policies are to blame if the economy tanks, but he gets no credit if it soars? That’s heads I win, tails you lose logic. Second, the economy was slowing down at the end of Obama presidency. The last year Obama was in office, the economy grew by 1.6 percent, which is barely staying out of inflation.

Then there’s the most inconvenient problem with the spin that Obama deserves the credit for the surge in employment and growth. It would be plausible if Trump continued on with Obama’s policies. But instead, he has systematically overturned every Obama initiative, from the tax rate increases to the climate change treaty, to the pro-drilling and pro-coal energy policies to the deregulation, to the spending priorities. This is what has infuriated Democrats. How could Obama be responsible for a spurt of growth under Trump when he’s shifted Obamanomics into reverse?

Once during the campaign, Trump asked Larry Kudlow and me how we could get much faster growth. We half-jokingly told Trump that the “key was to look at everything Obama has done and do exactly the opposite.”‎ That’s pretty much what the Trump administration has done. And boom!

One last point: The supercharged economy points to the absurdity of the Democrats primary policy goal, which is to ‎repeal the Trump tax cut. They say it is mainly for the rich and for big corporations and working-class Americans have received only, in the words of House minority leader Nancy Pelosi, “crumbs.”

But the new jobs report only underscores that it would be hard to point to a bigger public policy success story in recent times. The left’s big idea one the economy is to cancel the tax cuts. Really? Would they also ask the 5 million workers who’ve gotten bonuses and pay hikes to give the money back? Would they rather that Apple not bring $300 billion back to America? Would they prefer that Walmart and Costco not raise their minimum salaries to $13 an hour?

Would they take America back to the highest corporate tax rate in the world? Would they rather the stock market give up the $7 trillion in increased wealth since Trump was elected? If the Democrats take back Congress, do they intend to raise taxes on 26 million small businesses? Inquiring voters want to know.

Stephen Moore is a distinguished visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and a consultant for FreedomWorks. He is a senior analyst for CNN and served as an economic adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. Follow him on Twitter @StephenMoore.

Tags Barack Obama Donald Trump economy Labor Nancy Pelosi White House

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