A false summary of the Trump economy

Dear Editor:

Regarding “Why such growth in GDP? It’s President Trump’s policies” (July 25), there are too many unsubstantiated claims made to focus on each. I leave that to those who know how to fact-check. I’ll focus on the most glaring misrepresentation, that the current administration’s policies are responsible for better economic growth (as reflected in GDP) than under the previous administration. Mr. (Phil) Grant draws this false conclusion by presenting a false summary of how things are and then crediting regressive policies in support of his false conclusion.

When you compare like time frames for the current and previous administration, here are facts that can be verified:

• GDP growth was higher on average under Obama in 2014-2015 than in Trump’s first two years.

• Monthly job growth was higher under Obama than in Trump’s first two years.

• The unemployment rate was falling faster under Obama in 2014-2015 than in Trump’s first two years.

• Growth in the employment-to-population rate has slowed under Trump.

• Growth in worker productivity rose slowly under Trump and Obama — but remains weak under Trump.

• The federal deficit is growing rapidly under Trump.

• The national debt has surpassed $21 trillion, according to the U.S. Treasury. Trump and the GOP-led Congress passed a $1.5-trillion tax cut bill and a two-year spending deal that are driving the deficit and debt upward.

Mr. Grant’s false conclusion of better economic growth rests on the current administration having cut corporate and personal income taxes (thus driving the deficit and debt skyward), making trade agreements more fair (no proof; look at the China tariff that’s hurting Maine blueberry growers), increased oil/gas drilling (ignoring climate chaos), reducing burdensome business regulations (limiting corporate accountability), encouraging manufacturers to come back to America (not happening), improving small business loan opportunities (only bright spot) and setting an efficiency example by streamlining government operations (by purposely not filling critical oversight positions).

I’m not defending the prior administration or the use of GDP as an indicator of prosperity. Rather, to point out the problem with Mr. Grant’s current and past commentaries — his inability to present factual arguments free of animus and divisive language. He does not understand this approach is ineffective.

Phil Neal


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