Some Perspective On The Debt

The 2-year spending bill has passed. The good news is that we will now be able to go two years without the threat of a government shutdown. The bad news is that in order to get the needed military spending and pass the bill, fiscal sanity went out the window. However, when you look at the bigger picture of where we are currently, things are actually getting better.

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today about the Trump Administration and debt increases.

The article included the following:

In spite of the fact that President Trump took over with nearly $20 trillion of debt and the related interest payments on the debt, and in spite of the Federal Reserve (FED) under Janet Yellen increasing interest rates by a full 1 percent since the 2016 election, President Donald Trump’s debt is one third and $1.2 trillion less than Obama’s.

The US Debt since President Trump was inaugurated on January 20th, 2016 through today has increased by only $547 billion. On inauguration day the debt was at $19.9 trillion and on February 7th, 2018 the debt stood at $20.5 trillion.

…Where President Trump increased the Debt to date by only 2.7% , Obama increased the debt by 16.2% or 13.5% more than President Trump.

President Obama inherited a US Debt amount of $10.6 trillion on his inauguration and increased it by more than $1.7 trillion by the end of his first year in office.

…CNBC reported in December 2015 that President Obama oversaw “seven years of the most accommodative monetary policy in U.S. history” (from the Fed). The Fed Funds rate was at zero for most of Obama’s time in office. Finally, in December 2015 the Fed announced its first increase in the Fed Funds rate during the Obama Presidency.

The only Fed Funds Rate increases since 2015 were after President Trump was elected President. The Fed increased the Fed Funds Rate on December 14, 2016, March 15th, 2017, June 14, 2017 and again on December 13, 2017. Four times the Fed has increased rates on President Trump after doing so only once on President Obama late in his 2nd term.

The article explains how the Fed Funds Rate impacts the economy:

Lower interest rates usually spur the economy by making corporate and consumer borrowing easier. Higher interest rates are intended to slow down the economy by making borrowing harder.

If the Federal Reserve was political and wanted to prevent Republican Presidents from successful economic growth and debt decreases, then the Fed would increase the Fed Funds rates during Republican Presidents’ terms while decreasing the Fed Funds rates under Democratic Presidents’ terms. This appears to be exactly what the Fed is doing and the market is reacting negatively this past week because of it..

One of the things to remember during the Trump Administration is that President Trump is truly swimming upstream. There are a lot of vested interests in Washington who feel that the success of President Trump would not be in their best interest. Among other things, shrinking the size of the bureaucracy would have a negative impact on real estate prices in the suburbs surrounding Washington–currently the wealthiest counties in the nation. President Trump is a serious threat to the deep state.

A Year Later

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article detailing the impact of President Trump‘s economic policies. The fact that President Trump is a businessman rather than a politician has had an impact on his economic decisions and thus on the American economy. How has that worked out?

The article reports:

Stock market: The Dow Jones industrial average rose about 31% over the past year, “more than any other president since Franklin Roosevelt,” CNBC.com reminds us. Total stock market wealth added since Trump’s first inauguration: $5.5 trillion.

Jobs: Over the last year, 2.2 million jobs were added to the economy, as the unemployment rate fell from 4.8% to 4.1% currently. Minorities experienced their lowest unemployment rates ever in December 2017, after a year of solid gains. Unemployment claims, meanwhile, are at a 45-year low.

GDP: President Trump entered office amid what appeared to be a dangerously slowing economy, with just 1.2% growth in the first quarter of 2017. But growth immediately picked up, rising to 3.1% in the second quarter, 3.2% in the third quarter, and, based on recent data, 3% or higher in the final quarter of 2017 — making the longest stretch of 3%-plus GDP growth since 2005.

Tax cuts: Trump’s $1.5 trillion in tax cuts lowered the corporate marginal rate from 35% to 21%, and cut rates sharply for middle-class and lower-income Americans. The results are in: Less than three weeks after the tax bill became law, more than 164 companies — ranging from AT&T and Apple to Visa and Wal-Mart — have announced pay hikes and special bonuses for their workers. Apple stunned markets last week, announcing it would bring $245 billion back from overseas, hire about 20,000 new workers and hand out bonuses of around $2,500 for each of its employees due to tax cuts.

Confidence: Our IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index stands at 55.1, well above the 49.3 average over that measure’s lifetime, signaling continued confidence in the strength of the economy. The optimism index is close to its all-time high and has now been positive — above 50 — for 16 months. Meanwhile, a separate IBD/TIPP index for financial stress is at its lowest since we began measuring it in 2007.

Regulation: Trump fulfilled his promise to cut more rules than he enacted. Indeed, he eliminated 22 regulations for every regulation he added, cutting some $8.1 billion in costs. More important, he pulled out of the ruinous Paris Climate Deal, which the NERA economic consulting group estimated would cost the U.S. some $3 trillion in compliance costs over the lifetime of the deal.

I can’t help but wonder if those who are protesting President Trump have 401k accounts and if they have checked their balances lately. Are the people protesting invested in the American economy in any way? Do they have jobs? Are they looking for jobs? And last of all, are we again dealing with paid protesters?

A Picture Of The Obvious

Yesterday The Washington Examiner posted an article about the media’s coverage of President Trump as compared to previous Presidents.

The graph below is from the article:

Wow.

On November 23,  The National Review posted a list of some of President Trump’s accomplishments as of Thanksgiving:

The Dow Jones Industrial Average, NASDAQ, and S&P 500 all hit record highs on Tuesday. The Wilshire 5000 Index calculates that some $3.4 trillion in new wealth has been created since President Trump’s inauguration and $5.4 trillion since his election. Fueled by the reality of deregulation, expectations of lower taxes, and a new tone in Washington that applauds free enterprise rather than excoriate it, the economy is on fire. 

Atop the second quarter’s 3.1 percent increase in real GDP, and 3.0 in 3Q, the New York Federal Reserve Bank predicts that 4Q output will expand by 3.8 percent. This far outpaces the feeble average-annual GDP growth rate of 1.5 percent on President Obama’s watch. Meanwhile, the IMF expects global GDP to rise by 3.5 percent this year. So much for a Trump-inspired “global recession.”

Unemployment is at 4.1 percent, a 17-year low. New unemployment claims in September were at their most modest since 1974. Goldman Sachs on November 20 “lowered our unemployment rate forecast to 3.7 percent by end-2018 and 3.5 percent by end-2019.” According to the Wall Street powerhouse’s chief economist Jan Hatzius, “Such a scenario would take the U.S. labor market into territory almost never seen outside of a major wartime mobilization.”

American companies have been expanding operations here rather than shipping jobs overseas. Corning, for instance, announced a $500 million investment in new U.S. production, launching 1,000 positions. 

Foreign firms have been unveiling facilities and creating jobs in America. Insourcing is now a thing. Taiwan’s Foxconn will spend $10 billion on a new Wisconsin electronics plant with 3,000 new employees. During Trump’s recent visit to China, Beijing agreed to invest $84 billion in new energy projects in West Virginia.

Add to that the future impact of the tax cuts and the repeal of the ObamaCare mandate, and most Americans will be better off next year than they have been for a number of years. To paraphrase a recent campaign slogan, “Are you better off now than you were before President Trump took office?” Hopefully enough people will answer that question honestly before they vote in the mid-term elections.

At some point Americans who depend on the mainstream media for their news are going to look at the contrast between what they are being told and what they actually see. That may be the end of the mainstream media.

How Is He Doing?

Today The Gateway Pundit posted an evaluation of President Trump’s first five months in office. The evaluation will come as a shock to anyone who watches the mainstream media, but to those Americans who do their own research, the results are not surprising.

The article reports President Trump’s impact on the Stock Market:

* The DOW daily closing stock market average has risen 17% since the election on November 8th. (On November 9th the DOW closed at 18,332 – on June 16th the DOW closed at 21,384 for another all time record closing high).
* Since the Inauguration on January 20th the DOW is up 8%. (It was at 19,827 at January 20th.)
* The DOW took just 66 days to climb from 19,000 to above 21,000, the fastest 2,000 point run ever. The DOW closed above 19,000 for the first time on November 22nd and closed above 21,000 on March 1st.
* The DOW closed above 20,000 on January 25th and the March 1st rally matched the fastest-ever 1,000 point increase in the DOW at 24 days.
* On February 28th President Trump matched President Reagan’s 1987 record for most continuous closing high trading days when the DOW reached a new high for its 12th day in a row!
* The S&P 500 and the NASDAQ have both set new all-time highs during this period.
* The US Stock Market gained $2 trillion in wealth since Trump was elected!
* The S&P 500 also broke $20 Trillion for the first time in its history.
 

So how does this compare with President Obama’s first few months? The stock markets under President Obama moved in the exact opposite direction in the seven months after President Obama’s election win in November 2008.

The article then reminds us of the impact President Trump has had on the national debt:

President Trump has also had a positive impact on the overall economic outlook:

Economic Outlook

The US Manufacturing Index soared to a 33 year high in February 2017 shortly after President Trump was sworn into office. The index reached 43 in February which was the best outlook since 1983 under President Reagan.

In Obama’s first five months in office (January through May of 2009) the best manufacturing index activity rating was a negative -22.

The difference here is greater than 50% with Obama again in the wrong direction.

It is time to leave this man alone and let him do his job. Even with the garbage that is being thrown at him, he is accomplishing things that need to be accomplished. Please follow the link to The Gateway Pundit article to see the entire list of achievements since January.

 

Why Is Anyone Surprised?

Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial today about the current state of the economy. The editorial reminds us that under President Trump, the economy is growing rapidly.

The editorial reports:

Growth: For eight years, economic indicators repeatedly came below forecasts. Now, there’s been a string of reports — the latest one is on jobs — that have outperformed economist predictions. What’s changed, we wonder?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that the economy added 235,000 jobs in February, when economists expected 200,000 new jobs. And that comes after January’s 227,000 gain, which also beat economists’ forecasts by a substantial margin.

That’s not all. Other recent indicators have come in better than economists had expected.

Orders for capital goods were higher in December than forecast.

There were supposed to be 5.55 million existing-home sales in January. The actual number was close to 5.7 million — which was the highest level since 2007.

Retail sales in January climbed 0.4%, where economists had predicted they’d advance only 0.1%. At the same time, the Commerce Department revised the December sales increase upward to 1%.

Now, obviously we can’t draw any broad conclusions from a few unexpectedly good economic results.

But it’s worth pointing out that this is a dramatic change from the Obama years, when about the only thing that you could predict with any degree of accuracy was that the economy would underperform economists’ predictions.

This is an example of soft bias on the part of the media. When the economic numbers are changed during the month following their release, they may not receive the media coverage that the numbers received when they were originally released.

The editorial concludes:

…The National Federation of Independent Business‘ small business optimism index hit a 12-year high in January. The IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index was the highest it’s been since October 2004. The Dow has gained nearly 17% since the November elections.

This sudden change of heart appears to be having an immediate impact on the economy. The unexpected rise in home sales, for example, is being driven in part by “a postelection jump in mortgage rates, led by optimism about President Donald Trump‘s plans to ease regulations and spur economic growth,” noted Crain’s Business. The jump in capital goods orders “is a sign that businesses might be following up buoyant postelection sentiment by spending more after years of tepid global growth,” according to Bloomberg.

Whether this will last depends on whether Trump gets his economic policies in place.

In the meantime, it’s worth asking why it is that economists consistently overestimated the economic impact of Obama’s tax-regulate-and-spend policies, and now appear to be underestimating Trump’s pro-business agenda.

It’s time to get on board–it seems that the train has left the station.