President Trump has made the economy so much better that it has added 186,000 fewer jobs in his first seven months than it did in President Barack Obama’s last seven months.
Indeed, the economy added only a disappointing 156,000 jobs in August and a disappointing 41,000 fewer jobs than we thought it had in June and July, and saw the share of 25- to 54 year-olds who should be in the prime of their working years who are in fact doing so fall a — here’s that word again — disappointing 0.3 percentage points, erasing almost all of its progress since the start of the year. Oh, and wages aren’t going up any faster; pay is growing the same 2.5 percent a year it was when Trump took office.
It shouldn’t be surprising that the economy isn’t doing any better under Trump, since Trump really hasn’t done anything to make it better. There hasn’t been a dollar of new infrastructure spending, let alone the trillion that Trump’s since-departed ideological consigliere Steve Bannon promised. And despite the administration’s tax cut bravado, it’s looking pretty iffy whether it will get that done either. (That’s because Trump wants, more than anything, to cut corporate taxes, but, due to legislative rules, even a temporary corporate tax cut has to be paid for — and Republicans don't agree on any way to do that.)
The economy, then, is still just chugging along as it has been for the last six years now. Nothing has changed. Even the relatively weak numbers in August are probably just a blip rather than the beginning of something bad. What those do tell us, though, is that there are still quite a few more people who want to work than you’d think there would be when the unemployment rate is only 4.4 percent. Which is to say that the recovery still has some room to run.
But in any case, it is fitting that Trump has tried to take credit for the same economy he said was a disaster as recently as nine months ago. That’s just him running the government like a business — at least his own. After his casinos went bankrupt in the early 1990s, you see, Trump figured out that it was a lot easier to let other people put his name on things they’d built rather than do so himself. (Well, that and a lot of Wall Street banks wouldn’t lend to him anymore). This is no different. Trump is just putting his name on a recovery that Obama put in place with his stimulus and his Federal Reserve picks.
I guess making America great again means keeping things like they were under Obama.