Trump's Economics and other accomplishments

Reopened October 2019 - includes archived threads from pre-2019

Trump's Economics and other accomplishments

Postby Dave_C on January 11th, 2021, 10:41 pm 

I wanted to do this for a while. If you're anything like me, you have many friends and family who support trump. These are good people, you may not agree, but I like Biden’s approach which is to reach across the proverbial isle and work out our differences.

I was in a shop the other day where all the technicians were trump supporters. These I felt were wonderful people I enjoyed working with. While sitting in the lunch room (ie: trump echo chamber) I heard plenty of concerns about the economy, jobs, how best to improve the US. It struck me as odd that the views were so lopsided, as if Obama's administration was an economic disaster. I may not have agreed with the views there but I certainly could appreciate the concerns.

That said, I’d like to see how well trump actually did as president. Feel free to comment or post your own thoughts on what he did well and what he did poorly, but I’d ask that we keep it in perspective. Post as if you were writing to friends and family.

Here’s what struck me on the economy anyway… GNP didn’t seem to markedly improve. Nor did per capita GNP. Looking at these graphs, the lines seem pretty straight right through from 2008/2009 and they're expected to continue through 2024, regardless of who takes power.
GNP: https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/GDPC1
Per Capita GNP: https://www.statista.com/statistics/263 ... ed-states/

The US monthly trade deficit seemed to be holding steady at roughly -$40 billion from 2012 to 2016 but then got worse as Trump took office, slowly increasing to -$50 billion through till 2019. So Trump’s economic plan apparently resulted in higher spending on foreign goods and services.
Trade Deficit: https://www.statista.com/chart/20423/mo ... -services/

Unemployment was always something Trump talked about, but in reality it doesn’t seem to have been all that wonderful. Looking at the graph from 2010 to 2016, there was a very nice, steady drop in unemployment throughout. But in 2016, there seemed to have been a hiccup that flattened out this steady drop a bit. Granted, there were fewer unemployed so perhaps that’s a normal consequence of a prosperous economy, but it seems to have been falling quite nicely up till that point.
Unemployment: https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-un ... 2020-10-02

Finally, the national debt climbed dramatically with Trump in office. From 2012 to 2016, the deficit increased by $3.5 trillion but from 2016 to 2020, that number increased to $7.4 trillion.
National Debt: https://www.statista.com/statistics/187 ... ince-1990/

How well do you think the economy has been since Trump took over? Has it been better? Worse? Stayed the same? What markers are worth examining?
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Re: Trump's Economics and other accomplishments

Postby Serpent on January 12th, 2021, 12:14 am 

I don't think I'd still be on speaking terms with anyone who voted for Trump after the whole 'birth-certificate' garbage -let alone the "lock-her-up!" chanting. No, not even if they thought they were going to get a job in a resurrected manufacturing plant.
After 3 years post-Obama and pre-pandemic:
https://www.factcheck.org/2020/04/trumps-numbers-april-2020-update/
it looked pretty good, though less so compared to
https://www.factcheck.org/2016/10/obamas-numbers-october-2016-update/
8 years post-Bush II and the recession.
More jobs were created in the 31 final full months of Obama's presidency (6.91 million) than during the 31 first full months of Trump's presidency (5.85 million).
https://www.cnn.com/2020/02/18/politics/trump-v-obama-economy-fact-check/index.html
So, yes, Trump did continue the upward trend,
but at a cost:
https://www.arcgis.com/apps/Cascade/index.html?appid=3c85766bc4c44579a2a7bb133b70e774
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/mar/31/trump-administration-revokes-mashpee-wampanoag-tribe-reservation-status
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/2019/02/15-ways-trump-administration-impacted-environment/
https://www.kuer.org/politics/2020-01-07/trump-administrations-latest-disaster-preparedness-report-omits-climate-change

His immigration policies haven't helped anyone:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2020/08/26/fact-check-and-review-of-trump-immigration-policy/?sh=6e28444b56c0
https://www.propublica.org/article/records-show-trumps-border-wall-is-costing-taxpayers-billions-more-than-initial-contracts
https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-d&q=children+in+cages+

Then came the covid thingie:

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03035-4
https://www.aspeninstitute.org/blog-posts/the-covid-19-eviction-crisis-an-estimated-30-40-million-people-in-america-are-at-risk/

and the small matter of treason

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2021/01/11/the-role-of-misinformation-in-trumps-insurrection/
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-50323605

But you're not going to convince anyone who refuses to read objective facts.
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Re: Trump's Economics and other accomplishments

Postby charon on January 12th, 2021, 7:36 am 

...

Actually, it's overlooked that Trump (or at least his administration) has achieved some good in economic terms. However, they aren't enough, in my view, which is almost certainly the right view, to override the rest of the appalling mess that Trump himself has created.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/opin ... trump.html

    "This list of President Trump’s accomplishments has been circulating on social media for months and has most likely been viewed by millions of people. I examined each claim to the best of my ability, reaching out to people and institutions who had special insight to see if they considered the claims accurate.

    Some takeaways: Few items are outright false, which is something to celebrate in the age of QAnon conspiracy theories. Some are misleading and some are absolutely true. About a quarter relate to Mr. Trump’s signing of bills that Congress passed, many of which he had little to do with. A large portion of items on the list credit Mr. Trump for a booming economy, which is no longer booming because of the coronavirus pandemic.

    You can read my piece about what I learned from the experience of fact-checking this list here. But I decided to post the full list as written, including the original emojis, to give readers a chance to examine it for themselves and see what Mr. Trump’s supporters are touting as his biggest achievements."

There's also this which strips it down further, if you can be bothered.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/11/opin ... check.html
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Re: Trump's Economics and other accomplishments

Postby TheVat on January 12th, 2021, 11:14 am 

Economists, many including Nobelist Paul Krugman, have pointed out that some economic indicators, like stock indexes, no longer really reflect the economic condition of middle and lower income workers. While Trump tax breaks for billionaires and their corporations helped bump up stock indexes, the power of ordinary people to purchase housing and consumer goods was stagnant or dropped. And the drop in unemployment was mainly part of the Obama Boom, going from over 10% down to 4% during his two terms. Trump's term saw a continuation of trends that Obama admin started after the crash, and so knocked another half percent off unemployment. And Trump did nothing he promised, in terms of bringing offshored jobs back to the US, improving trade balance, "saving" a moribund coal industry, etc. I see others here have covered this ground already, so I'll stop there. (don't get me started on his attempt to hobble green energy and scientific research...)

As far as I can tell, Trumpism is a personality cult which renders its adherents impervious to these facts and hobbled in their capacity for rational evidence-based discussions.
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Re: Trump's Economics and other accomplishments

Postby Serpent on January 12th, 2021, 11:40 am 

It's pretty much all in that first fact-check link I posted - all the numbers in a simple chart. Something's gained and something's lost. Yes, he did curtail immigration - at ten times what it would have cost to go through existing procedures. He did encourage US manufacturing (some say, just in the production of MAGA junk, once he'd been shamed into repatriating it) but more mining jobs were lost... and so forth. Of course, too, jobs ebb and flow: what's gained in the oil fields is lost from renewable energy production - but a trashed national park takes centuries to recover, and an extinct species never does.
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Re: Trump's Economics and other accomplishments

Postby Dave_C on January 13th, 2021, 10:29 pm 

Hi Serpent. I did check out all the info you posted... my eyes are tired of looking at this damn screen! lol

One thing I keep seeing though, like on that FactCheck page, is that they show the facts, such as 6,159,000 jobs were created and unemployment dropped 4.4% during his 4 years, but those facts don't show any relationship to other ones. Even if we compare them to Obama - during his 8 years there were 10,694,000 jobs created and unemployment dropped 5% which sounds better than Trump but that's for 8 years. So maybe Trump was better? Well, if you look at the graph of unemployment (in one of the links posted in the OP), you see something different altogether. The years from 2010 to 2016 shows a rapid drop in unemployment and the years from 2016 to 2019 show a less rapid drop in unemployment. So even if we ditch 2020, it seems the unemployment numbers were better from 2010 through 2016, but from 2008 to 2010, the crash is clearly as visible as the 2020 crash.

Anyway, thanks for the info.
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Re: Trump's Economics and other accomplishments

Postby Serpent on January 13th, 2021, 10:37 pm 

Dave_C » January 13th, 2021, 9:29 pm wrote:Hi Serpent. I did check out all the info you posted... my eyes are tired of looking at this damn screen! lol

One thing I keep seeing though, like on that FactCheck page, is that they show the facts, such as 6,159,000 jobs were created and unemployment dropped 4.4% during his 4 years, but those facts don't show any relationship to other ones. Even if we compare them to Obama - during his 8 years there were 10,694,000 jobs created and unemployment dropped 5% which sounds better than Trump but that's for 8 years. So maybe Trump was better? Well, if you look at the graph of unemployment (in one of the links posted in the OP), you see something different altogether. The years from 2010 to 2016 shows a rapid drop in unemployment and the years from 2016 to 2019 show a less rapid drop in unemployment. So even if we ditch 2020, it seems the unemployment numbers were better from 2010 through 2016, but from 2008 to 2010, the crash is clearly as visible as the 2020 crash.

Anyway, thanks for the info.


Don't forget to balance gains against losses. It's the net that counts, not the gross.
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Re: Trump's Economics and other accomplishments

Postby Dave_C on January 13th, 2021, 10:37 pm 

Hi Charon, thanks for that link. That's a really good (and long) one. I see Trump has actually done a few things right over the past 4 years from that. I wasn't too surprised to see he didn't ONLY play golf for 4 years.

29. In 2018, President Trump signed the groundbreaking First Step Act, a criminal justice bill that enacted reforms that make our justice system fairer and help former inmates successfully return to society.

True. The Trump administration championed these reforms. Credit also goes to criminal justice reform advocates from across the political spectrum who pushed these changes for years.
________________________________________
30. The First Step Act’s reforms addressed inequities in sentencing laws that disproportionately harmed Black Americans and reformed mandatory minimums that created unfair outcomes.

True.
________________________________________
31. The First Step Act expanded judicial discretion in the sentencing of nonviolent crimes.

True.
________________________________________
32. Over 90% of those benefiting from the retroactive sentencing reductions in the First Step Act are Black Americans.

True.
________________________________________
33. The First Step Act provides rehabilitative programs to inmates, helping them successfully rejoin society and not return to crime.

It is true that the First Step Act calls for the Bureau of Prisons to significantly expand these opportunities, but because of a lack of funding, around 25 percent of people who spend more than a year in federal prison have not completed any program, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, which backed the bill.


But claims like #46 strike me as being deceptive for the reason given. Yes, the jobs were created but in comparison to earlier years, there was nothing striking about it. See also my reply to Serpent above.
46. More than 400,000 manufacturing jobs created since his election.

It was true, but since the pandemic, the Trump administration has seen a net loss of about 200,000 manufacturing jobs, wiping out the past six years of growth, according to the Alliance for American Manufacturing. More than 900,000 manufacturing jobs were added between 2010 and 2016 during the Obama administration.

Thanks for this!
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Re: Trump's Economics and other accomplishments

Postby Dave_C on January 13th, 2021, 10:46 pm 

Hi Vat,
TheVat » January 12th, 2021, 10:14 am wrote:Economists, many including Nobelist Paul Krugman, have pointed out that some economic indicators, like stock indexes, no longer really reflect the economic condition of middle and lower income workers. While Trump tax breaks for billionaires and their corporations helped bump up stock indexes, the power of ordinary people to purchase housing and consumer goods was stagnant or dropped.

Yes, I've also saw a recent article that shows there is no or poor correlation between things like GNP and people's happiness. Having a good economy isn't a particularly good measure of the overall happiness of a given country.

Another article talked about "trickle down economics" which Trump essentially buys into; dropping taxes on the wealthy and on corporations is intended to boost the economy and give people 'at the bottom' more money for better jobs, etc... The article was a large, peer reviewed paper that essentially said this concept of trickle down economics doesn't work.
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Re: Trump's Economics and other accomplishments

Postby Serpent on January 13th, 2021, 11:11 pm 

Of course it doesn't: no strings, no accounts. They can just pocket the profits and change nothing; they can buy into countries with less regulation; they can invest it in mechanization and lay off even more people; they can gamble it away on speculation. Capital is so mobile and business so international now that there is no reason for any of the benefit of government largesse to stay in the country. OTH, the rich nationals of other countries invest freely in pretty much every nation, skewing every economy and leaving their messes to be cleaned up taxpayers' expense - taxpayers who have no choice but to earn their taxed salaries in their own jurisdiction. You have no idea of, and no control over, what you are subsidizing, where.
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