Write of Center

Dec 13 2019
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Considering all the media attention given to current impeachment hearings, it’s easy to overlook America’s encouraging economic news.

Last week the November employment report signaled an acceleration of extraordinary labor market trends in America, defying the “conventional wisdom” of many economists.

The editorial writers of Investor Business Daily recently cited projections made prior to President Trump’s inauguration in 2017. At that time, the Congressional Budget Office released its 10-year economic forecast, claiming this represents the consensus of economists.

Assuming no changes in tax or regulatory policies, the CBO estimated the number of jobs created between January 2017 and today would be 2 million. They also expected a slight decline in the labor participation rate as more aging baby boomers retired.

The CBO was far off on both counts. Actual job growth has been 6.8 million, or 4.8 million more than projection. The labor force participation rate increased to 63.2% from 62.6%.

Unemployment was projected to be 4.7% vs the actual 3.5%, the lowest in 50 years. Additionally, quarterly GDP growth has exceeded CBO projections in every quarter after March 2017.

Does President Trump’s policies of reducing business taxes and regulatory burdens deserve credit for this enhanced economic recovery? His supporters say yes, the left says no. We won’t debate this point in today’s column, but rather just share facts.

November’s job growth was 266,000, including 54,000 in manufacturing, which a few years was said to be dead and gone. Year over year wage growth exceeded 3% for the 16th consecutive month; during Obama’s 96 months in office this was achieved only 3 times. Higher wages mean more consumer confidence and spending, which represents 70% of our economy.

The small business sector has been revitalized with a renewed zeal of start-ups, which are particularly strong among Hispanics who are now seen as statistically the most entrepreneurial group in America. Hispanic unemployment has been under 5% for 20 straight months. Prior to President Trump, there had only been one month ever of sub-5% Hispanic joblessness, in 2006.

Instead of focusing on things that would help our economy, leftist partisans promote impeachment. Never mind that 12 appropriations bills have not been finalized for the 2020 budget year that began October 1. Absurdly, continuous resolutions for spending have become a way of life in Washington DC.

Economists cite ways to expand this strong economy even further and support the passage of the US, Mexico, and Canada trade agreement negotiated and promoted by the Trump administration, estimating it would add 200,000 new American jobs.

Sadly, Nancy Pelosi kept USMCA bottled up for months in the House, and only today signaled support for this vital agreement to give so-called “moderate” House Democrats something to talk about other than impeachment when they go back to their swing districts this winter break. It’s a slick political move by Pelosi, but lousy governance.

We even hear some hyper partisans gleefully predicting a recession. Imagine that, hoping that fellow Americans will suffer economically just to hurt a president you don’t like.

Politicians can’t even agree on needed infrastructure spending. You’d think that Democrats, whose presidential candidates have offered in excess of $90 trillion in new spending, would be chomping at the bit to spend at least a few trillion on infrastructure, but you’d be wrong.

They oppose anything that could be viewed as a victory for Trump. How about doing what is right for the American people?

What about trying to reduce our nation’s outrageous deficit? I didn’t like the deficits of the Obama years, and I don’t like them today.

Even if some in Congress don’t like Trump personally, don’t they still have to work with him to do the nation’s business? A friend of mine, who is left of center, reminded me of a quote attributed to Mitch McConnell, GOP Senate Majority Leader, that his goal was to do everything to limit Obama to one term, so turn-about is fair play with Trump.

But at least the GOP Congress and President Obama negotiated and agreed to limit spending that in turn lowered the deficit. During Trump’s presidency there has been absolutely no cooperation.

 President Reagan delivered real leadership; despite his strong dislike of the Soviet system, he worked with a pragmatic leader in Gorbachev to reduce nuclear arsenals. Reagan’s peace through strength approach helped win the Cold War.

President Clinton and Speaker Newt Gingrich may not have been the best of pals, but they worked together to reduce spending, balance the budget, and reform welfare.

So far, the Pelosi Congress has produced absolutely nothing of substance. They should be ashamed of themselves for accepting pay for having done little or no work. It’s partisanship first, the nation a distant second.

This is not what the Founding Fathers intended and represents sad days for our nation.