Donald Trump is always bragging that the economy is doing so great, but how much has it really helped the average person living in southern Ohio?
Trump loves to take credit for falling unemployment numbers, but if you pull back and look at the bigger picture you’ll see this trend began way back in 2009, under President Barack Obama. And those Obama-era policies will wear off soon. Already we’ve seen the rate of job growth decline as Trump’s Administration saw one million fewer jobs created in its first two years than did Obama in his last two years, according to Forbes Magazine, and wages have remained stagnant.
It doesn’t mean much to have a job if it still doesn’t pay you enough to live.
It used to be that you could manage a restaurant and support your family, buy a house and a car, a modest vacation, and retire. Not anymore. The Washington Post recently reported that 40 percent of Americans still struggle to pay the bills.
Here’s the truth: when Donald Trump says, “the economy is doing well” what he really means is, “the stock market is doing well.” The stock market is how the very rich measure the economy, and it’s the only measure that Trump has ever known. But for the average person, like me and you, it probably doesn’t really mean anything. He doesn’t care about job creation, income security, or pay equality, he only cares about how well the market is doing for himself and his rich friends.
Even if we did examine the stock market, as Trump would like, there have been record highs but also record lows. The stock market has been extremely volatile in reaction to Trump’s scare of the day. Will it be oil prices in Iran, or trade deals with China, or which American jobs will be affected by Trump’s insistence on closing the Mexican border?
Economists predict a recession by 2020 – fueled largely by Donald Trump’s $1.5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy. Remember how that was supposed to create jobs and help the little guy? Well, it didn’t. In fact it was so bad that Republicans who should have been talking vigorously about how great their economy was in the 2018 midterms instead had to run away from it because they didn’t want to take the blame for that failed and unpopular tax plan.
Donald Trump promised to reduce the deficit, but instead his terrible tax and trade deals have increased it to a record high. And now, as we all predicted, Sen. Mitch McConnell (KY) has called for cuts to social programs like Medicaid and Social Security to pay for Trump’s terrible policies. That was their plan all along, like a Bizarro Robin Hood – stealing from the poor to give to the rich.
Has your paycheck gone up significantly? Have your taxes dropped very much? Have your health care costs gotten any lower? Has your retirement savings gotten stronger? Do you find it any easier to afford groceries or daily living expenses?
They tell us on TV that the economy is so great, and we nod our heads assuredly and think, “any day now that’s gonna trickle down to me.” But it never does.
The next time they try to tell you how great the economy is doing, after you’ve just worked two jobs and still can’t pay your bills, you just tell them you aren’t buying it!
Ryan Ottney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow on Twitter @ryanottney.T