On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the American economy under President Trump. The article mentioned that the media is calling the 0.7% growth in the first quarter of 2017 a “lackluster beginning.” Somehow lost in that comment is the fact that President Trump did not take office until the end of January and that the Democrats in Congress have slow walked his cabinet appointments and obstructed anything he has attempted to do. Other than that, they have cooperated fully in helping improve the American economy.
The article reminds us:
The Wall Street Journal, which should know better, called the number “the broadest report card on the economy in the nearly 100 days since President Donald Trump took office pledging a return to faster growth. …”
Bloomberg correctly stated that “the first-quarter figure isn’t a verdict on President Donald Trump’s policies,” but then added that economists are “generally skeptical that growth will reach his goal of 3% to 4% on a sustained basis.”
To start with, it’s simply not correct on any level to call this GDP number a “report card” on Trump. He hasn’t been in office long enough to take credit or blame for the GDP number, which, as any economist will tell you, is heavily influenced by policies in place well before the number ever comes out. That means President Obama.
The article contrasts the skepticism about President Trump with the mainstream media’s fawning over President Obama when he took office:
We tried to find mainstream media critiques of Obama’s policies early in 2009, but there were virtually none. In Obama’s defense, he did face a 6.1% decline in GDP in his first quarter. But no one blamed him for that. Instead, there was lavish praise, even as he stumbled from error to error. They blamed Bush.
For instance, the Media Research Center quotes Time’s Joe Klein, who wrote: “The legislative achievements have been stupendous — the $789 billion stimulus bill, the budget plan that is still being hammered out (and may, ultimately, include the next landmark safety-net program, universal health insurance).”
The article correctly concludes:
Eight years later, here is Obama’s “report card”: Slowest economic expansion for any president since the Great Depression, averaging just 2%, with no annual growth of more than 3%. More than $6 trillion in deficits, and a doubling of the nation’s debt to $20 trillion. A decline in real median household incomes of more than $4,000. Drops in homeownership to the lowest level since 1966. Labor participation rates near three-decade lows.
Sure, give Trump some time, and he’ll generate his own grades. But the first quarter GDP number has little or nothing to do with him, and the media’s bias is showing in suggesting it does.
There is a reason many Americans are tuning out the mainstream media in droves. If the mainstream media continues on its present path, there will be about two or three people actually paying attention to what they say.