The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

For the last time, Trump hasn’t made the economy any better

Kayleigh McEnany, who used to be a Trump propagandist on CNN before becoming one on the Pravda-esque Trump TV, thinks the fact that we've added more than 1 million jobs since Trump took office shows that he has “clearly steered the economy back in the right direction.”

What she forgot to mention, though, is that this is slightly worse than things were at the end of President Barack Obama's term. That's right: The economy added an average of 181,000 jobs a month in Obama's last six months in office compared to an average of 179,000 a month in President Trump's first six months. That's a statistically insignificant difference — and a negative one at that — which shows that Trump hasn't made a diffference on the economy. And why would he have? He hasn't cut taxes or increased infrastructure spending or done anything else that would meaningfully boost GDP. (Going golfing and tweeting #MAGA a lot don't count.)

This, in a lot of ways, is the archetypal Trump story: trying to take credit for something he inherited. In his business career, that was all the money and connections he got from this father. Indeed, while Trump likes to say that he turned a “small” $1 million loan from his father into a “massive empire,” the truth is that Trump's father arranged and guaranteed all of the bank loans that made his son's first big project possible.

It's been the same with the economy. Trump hasn't actually done anything other than cut a few regulations, but he's made it sound like he's passed a new New Deal. (“No administration has accomplished more in the first 90 days,” he rather ludicrously claimed.) He brags about a “surging economy and jobs,” despite the fact that the economy and jobs are growing at exactly the same rate as before he took office. And, after disparaging the official unemployment rate as being “fake” and “phony” and “totally fiction” while Obama was president, he has apparently decided that it's “very real now.” In other words, Trump has done nothing and has congratulated himself for the economy Obama left behind.

Well, it's not just him doing the praising. Trump's new propaganda channel is, too. Those, at least, are jobs he really can take credit for.

Former CNN pundit Kayleigh McEnany appeared in a video on President Trump's Facebook page Aug. 6, hosting a segment called the "real news." (Video: Elyse Samuels/The Washington Post)