It is, of course, a truism that good economic news helps the incumbent president in his midterm elections. But this week’s news is better than most and the gains for President Trump could be far greater than the norm.
There are four things about the current economic news that are extraordinary:
First, its magnitude exceeds any quarterly economic growth report in recent years.
To break through the monotony of two percent growth with a stunning 4.1% GDP increase for the quarter is stunning and noteworthy. It may penetrate the drone of mediocre economic stats to which we have become accustomed.
Second, the growth is the direct product of a presidential policy. The cause-and-effect is clear.
Only a befuddled partisan can read the 2Q, 2018 data and attribute the surge in jobs and incomes to a carryover of Obama’s policies, newly kicking in after a decade.
The surge is obviously the product of the tax cuts taking effect and Trump’s deregulatory policies having their impact.
Third, the Democratic Party publicly and loudly opposed the policies that have so evidently caused this surge.
The very volume of their rhetoric and the dire tone of their prophesies has made it impossible for them to try to carve out a share of the credit for themselves.
Fourth, the Democrats are pledged to repeal the tax cuts and reverse the deregulatory initiatives. Their campaign platform calls for killing the goose that is laying the golden eggs even as they emerge into view.
Their determination to repeal them makes the tax cuts legitimate political fodder even as they are succeeding beyond the wildest of expectations. The only posture Democrats can adopt is to continue to attack the tax cuts and Trump’s economic program even as it works.
Good economic news often sinks into the background and does not dominate an election. Either because the growth is uneven and “doesn’t effect me” or because it often has only limited impact.
But this growth is widespread — black unemployment has dropped by 3 points since Trump too office — and quite obvious. It will take an effort of will for liberals or Democrats to overlook it.
Finally, the good economic news comes through a messenger who is hard to ignore and whose voice can usually be heard above the cacophony: that of Donald J. Trump.
Count on him to hammer home the new economic facts and not to shy away from assigning credit (to himself) or blame (to the Democrats). Like him or not, you won’t find a more aggressive or ardent advocate.
Once the obfuscations of Russia meddling and other partisan issues clears, the fact of obvious economic progress will illuminate this year’s election.
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