Media headlines lately have been dominated by the Democrat Party presidential primary and the mind-numbing 20-plus candidates vying for the 2020 nomination. In the recent Democrat debates, many of the candidates attempted to portray a narrative of dystopian times under President Trump, using the stock line that the U.S. economy “isn’t working for average Americans.”
While I often disapprove of Trump’s tone and style, and wish that he would restrain himself on Twitter, the myth that his policies are only benefiting those at the top does not stand up to even the slightest scrutiny. Democrats who want to be president can’t admit that many more Americans are prospering from the higher economic growth under this administration. Unemployment is historically low, job creation is robust and wages continue to rise under Trump. As I often tell my friends, look at ‘what’ Trump is doing, not ‘how’ he is doing it.
The Obama administration imposed an unprecedented array of taxes and regulations on major sectors of the U.S. economy—manufacturing, finance, energy, telecommunications, health care and on and on. As a result, across eight years of the Obama presidency, the economy grew annually by an anemic sub-2 percent.
Depressingly, we were told by President Obama this dismal performance was the “new normal.”
In 2016, candidate Trump campaigned on a platform of unleashing American capitalism and innovation that was quashed during the Obama years. The pro-growth, pro-business policies Trump pursued after his election have been a boon to the U.S. economy.
Trump and the Republican Congress dramatically lowered personal and corporate tax rates with the biggest rewrite of the nation’s tax code since 1986. More than 80 percent of taxpayers had their federal taxes reduced, allowing them to keep more of what they earn.
Trump also provided significant regulatory relief to manufacturers from some of the most onerous energy, environment and labor regulations ever imposed. The administration’s policy mix of deregulation and tax reform has been jet fuel for corporate investment and job creation.
The economy posted 3.1% growth in the first quarter of 2019. Since Election Day in 2016, 6 million jobs have been created and we have seen the lowest unemployment rate since 1969.
According to the Federal Reserve, there are currently about 7.5 million job openings and there are now more than 1.5 million additional jobs to be filled than there are unemployed people to fill them. An astounding 71% of Americans are saying that now is a good time to find a quality job.
Unemployment among less-educated Americans and minorities is near record lows. The jobless rate for blacks is 6.2%, which is only 2.9 percentage-points higher than for whites versus a 4.6 percentage-point difference before the start of the 2008 recession. Unemployment has fallen twice as much among blacks as whites since December 2016 and minorities account for more than half of all new jobs created during the Trump Presidency.
According to the National Association of Manufacturers, under Obama America lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs. Since Trump took office, America has gained nearly 500,000 manufacturing jobs. The 12,842,000 manufacturing workers currently employed is the most since December 2008 and manufacturing job openings are at an all-time high.
With such a tight labor market, wages are rising at the fastest rate in a decade, especially for lower-skilled workers. Average wages have grown above 3% for 10 straight months—twice as fast as inflation. And since the tax cuts of 2017, wage growth for the poorest 25% of workers has reached post-recession highs of 4.4%. Average hourly earnings for manufacturing workers have grown at an annual rate of 2.8% during the Trump administration compared to 1.9% during Obama’s second term.
Lower taxes, plentiful jobs and rising wages and have led to strong retail sales and consumer confidence has been and remains well above 2007 pre-recession highs.
The Democrats now running for President want you to ignore all this and return to the Obama-Biden days of high taxes, heavy regulation and income redistribution. To win that economic argument they have to deny the obvious reality that Donald Trump’s policies are actually helping the very Americans that Democrat policies left behind.
Frank Dowd IV, Chairman of Charlotte Pipe and Foundry Company, is a registered Independent. Charlotte Pipe and Foundry is a 118 year-old U.S. manufacturer of cast iron and plastic pipe and fittings, with seven plants around the country.