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If the election depends on the economy, the results favor Trump

If the election depends on the economy, the results favor Trump
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Isn’t it about time we gave President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden holds massive cash advantage over Trump ahead of Election Day Tax records show Trump maintains a Chinese bank account: NYT Trump plays video of Biden, Harris talking about fracking at Pennsylvania rally MORE credit for an amazing economic rebound?

This week the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the association of small businesses, issued its monthly survey of its members' hiring and expansion plans. It could hardly have been more bullish. Small-business confidence — a key vital sign of economic health — has come all the way back to where it was at the start of the year before the pandemic. Business optimism is higher now, eight months into a pandemic, than at any time in the eight years of the Obama presidency.

Then there is the amazing jobs bounce-back. The Federal Reserve Bank estimated in March that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic would drive unemployment for the entire country to 32 percent, higher than during the Great Depression, and that it would remain historically high at 20 percent in August and 18 percent in September. 

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Instead, unemployment tumbled to 8.4 percent in August and 7.9 percent in September. 

The "infallibles" at the Fed, at the Congressional Budget Office and on Wall Street have been wrong about the Trump recovery at every step along the way. So far, 11 million Americans are back on the job today — roughly the size of the workforce in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Indiana combined. This doesn’t even include the jobs that are open but not filled; as the NFIB noted in its September survey, 30 percent of its members cited a shortage — yes, you read that right: a shortage — of qualified labor as their No. 1 problem.

Yes, of course, we have 10 million unemployed who need to start earning paychecks again after losing their jobs to lockdowns and other effects of COVID-19. But, eight months into a pandemic, this is a pretty impressive rebound. 

The Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank projects that gross domestic product (GDP) will have grown by 33 percent in the quarter that ended on Oct. 1. If correct, this is the highest quarterly gain in output in U.S. history. The experts were expecting half this progress, at best. America's businessmen and -women are the real heroes here: They picked up the broken pieces of their stores, warehouses, factories and laboratories, and rebuilt after the storm called coronavirus. As Lucy's sign from the comicstrip "Peanuts" would say: "The Doctor is in." 

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) reports that there are few nations that have sprinted out of the coronavirus health crisis faster than the United States. China is one that claims it has, but Beijing lies about its numbers; most of Europe is growing at half our speed.  

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Americans see that there's something big going on with our economy. This is why 56 percent of us say the economy is better than it was four years ago, even after the pandemic's destruction. 

We can have a healthy debate about how Trump handled the virus and whether lives could have been saved with different strategies. But whether Trump built a record-setting economy before COVID-19 hit — and whether his policies saved the economy from total collapse, and then enabled it to recover more rapidly — is not in doubt. Not if you look at the reality of today's numbers. And not if you ask most Americans how they feel about the economy and their own financial situations.   

In the end, however, voters should ask themselves this: Would a President Biden and his anti-business cocktail of higher taxes, more stringent regulations, his war on American energy and his threat of more shutdowns have brought America back from the brink this quickly? We all know the answer to that question — and if, in November, voters believe "it's the economy, stupid," President Trump could win in a landslide. 

Stephen MooreStephen MooreSunday shows - Trump Michigan rally grabs the spotlight Moore: Trump has to be on 'best behavior' for final presidential debate If the election depends on the economy, the results favor Trump MORE is a co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, a member of the White House economic recovery task force, and an adviser with Freedom Works. He is the co-author of "Trumponomics: Inside the America First Plan to Revive Our Economy.” Find him on Twitter @StephenMoore.